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Perinatal mental health service now available across the borough

PUBLISHED: 13:26 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:26 10 May 2017

The aim is to support pregnant women and their families

The aim is to support pregnant women and their families

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The service will support pregnant women with pre-existing mental illness, mental illnesses that develop during pregnancy or a year after

A specialist perinatal mental health service is now available across the borough.

The new service works with existing mental health and maternity services to provide high quality support to women and their families during pregnancy and for a year after birth.

It has been designed and funded by NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group, and is delivered by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The service includes advice and signposting on relevant services for mental health, intervention and support for women with anxiety and depression, and also offers clinics involving psychiatrists, midwivesm psychologists, pharmacists and obstetricians.

Dawn Newman-Cooper, deputy head of Planned Care and responsible for maternity commissioning at NHS Bromley CCG, said: “We know that up to 20 per cent of women develop a mental health problem during pregancy or within a year after giving birth.

“The benefits of our new perinatal mental health service are wide ranging for both women and their families. It supports women who have a history of significant mental ill health who may be at a risk of relapse or recurrence of their illness due to their pregnancy and those who become mentally unwell during pregnancy or the postnatal period.

“Women told us they needed more support for their mental health during this perios of their lives so we have responded with this new service as we are committed to improving care for our residents.”

Dr Angela Bhan, chief officer of NHS Bromley CCG, added: “We welcome the recent announcement made by NHS England that there will be additional investment in perinatal mental health care in 20 areas across the country. We know from our own experiences in Bromley how important these services are and what a difference our local investment will make to the lives of women and their families.”

Laura James, lay chair of the Bromley Maternity Services Liaison Committee, concluded: “We are absolutely delighted to have played a small but vital role in shaping the new service. We know that they will make a huge difference to the women at a very vulnerable time in their lives.

“It is really important that women across the borough are aware of the new services and we have already started advertising initiatives such as Mindful Mums and the multidisciplinary clinic at the Princess Royal University Hospital on social media.

“We also hope to seek out and provide ongoing feedback about the service to maternity leaders and commissioners from the women who are using it.”

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