A nationwide roll-out of new mental health hubs for NHS maternity services has been announced today.
NHS England is aiming for every area to have a dedicated mental health hub by April 2024, as laid-out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
The new services will be aimed at mothers who are struggling with bereavement and/or their mental health. As well as offering mental health services, the hubs will also provide training to maternity staff and midwives.
NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, said: “The pregnancy and the birth of a new child are a special time for families but if things go wrong it can have a huge impact on women, their partners and even other children. That is why the NHS is developing maternal mental health services to help them get back on track as part of our Long Term Plan.”
10 of the 26 hubs will be open in the coming months, with the rest aiming to be launched by this time next year.
The 10 hubs that are set to open soon are listed below:
- Birmingham and Solihull
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight
- Kent and Medway
- Lancashire and South Cumbria
- Shropshire Telford and Wrekin
- South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.
Emily Slater, CEO of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, said: “The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) welcomes this positive step towards achieving ambitions for perinatal mental health laid out in the Long Term Plan.
“For the more than one in 10 expectant and new mothers experiencing mental health problems, and the increased numbers as a result of the pandemic, there needs to be a system of care available to support them. These new services will enable more women than ever to access vital perinatal mental health care.
“The MMHA is keen to see training for all staff who interact with women and their families in the perinatal period, so we also welcome the role these services will play in upskilling the maternity workforce, alongside providing much-needed support.”