As reported on 7th April 2021 the NHS is to dedicate 26 new perinatal mental health hubs by 2024
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, it was announced that there will be 26 new hubs opened around the country dedicated to perinatal mental health care. The pandemic has highlighted the difficulties experienced by women in the perinatal period.
NHS England’s Chief Executive Simon Stevens has said that ten sites will be up and running by April 2022 with a plan to have every area with one by April 2024. This is all in an effort to increase access to psychological support for women before, during and after pregnancy.
One of the most prevalent issues women face during this time is post-traumatic stress disorder. The Birth Trauma Association estimates around 30,000 women a year experience birth trauma, with many going on to experience short term post-traumatic stress disorder after birth.
Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s national mental health director hopes that this news will encourage any mums to come forward and access the support they need. The NHS estimates the costs within the NHS and social care sector as 1.2 billion per year where women do not have the ability to access high-quality perinatal mental health services.
Dr Giles Berrisford, NHS advisor for perinatal mental health said that the number of women experiencing mental health problems during pregnancy and for the 24 months following birth is as high as one in four. He said that they hope to enable “at least 66,000 women with moderate to severe mental health difficulties related to motherhood to access specialist care by 2023/24.”