A specialist service which offers help to new mums with severe post-natal depression and other complex mental health issues is helping more mums than ever before.
The Suffolk Community Perinatal Service has met the national NHS target - offering 475 new mums a face-to-face or video assessment in the past 12 months. An increase of 174 women compared with 2019/20, when the target was 301.
It is now recruiting extra staff so that it can continue to meet the target, which increases each year. By 2023 the aim will be to treat 677 women.
Kevin Moran, Deputy Service Manager with the Suffolk Community Perinatal Service, said:
“We are proud of the work our dedicated team is doing to help transform care for vulnerable women. And of the fact we are meeting these stretching targets for the access we provide.
“We have brought in extra staff as the service has continued to grow which has allowed us to increase the number of assessments we carry out. Our team has also showed great willingness to adapt as new challenges have arisen.
“Every assessment we complete is worthwhile. It gives us the opportunity to signpost women to the best service to meet their needs. That might be with our team, Wellbeing, or to services offered by partner organisations or the voluntary sector.
“We also receive positive feedback from those in our care. Many telling us that the support we have provided has helped them go on to enjoy a healthy happy life with their new baby.”
The Suffolk service was set up in 2017 as part of the national roll out of perinatal community mental health services across the country.
The team provides a range of support to women for up to a year following the birth, including:
caring for problems such as severe post-natal depression and psychosis
support for the rest of the family and
pre-conception counselling to women who already have a mental health condition
They also provide training for other healthcare professionals and work with midwives and health visitors to help them identify women who may be at risk of mental health difficulties.
If you think you could benefit from support from the perinatal team please talk to your healthcare professional.