Gloucestershire secures £113k to improve specialist mental health support for new and expectant mums

Pregnant women and new mums in Gloucestershire are to benefit from over £113k funding that will improve specialist community mental health support for women, their babies and families.

NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) worked with partners including 2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether), Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (GCS) and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT) to submit the county’s case to government in a bid to secure funding which will be released over the next year.

Gloucestershire was one of only 20 areas to be successful in receiving wave one funding last year. This was used to set up a specialist perinatal mental health team which supports pregnant women and new mothers who are experiencing post-natal depression and other emotional difficulties, as well as their babies and families.

The service has been really successful since it started in July 2017, and has already received nearly 150 referrals.

Dr Michelle Doidge, Clinical Lead for Perinatal Mental Health Services at NHS Gloucestershire CCG, said:

“We are really pleased that our new service has already helped so many women to cope with and recover from their perinatal issues and are delighted to have been awarded this additional funding.

It will give the service a welcome boost; we will use it to expand and develop the team to provide specialist support to new mothers who are experiencing mental illness, helping them recover through expert advice, information and treatment.”

Jan Furniaux, Service Director, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“This additional funding will enable us to build on the strong foundations and excellent work that the service has already put in place. Perinatal mental illness can have a deep and long-lasting effect on the whole family, so this funding will play a vital role in encouraging women to seek help early and get the support they need.”

Dawn Morrall, Clinical Lead – Better Births – Maternity Transformation Gloucestershire, said:

“We are delighted that this additional funding will allow teams in the county to provide additional support to women and their families.”

One in ten women experiences a mental health problem during their pregnancy and in the first year after birth, with depression and anxiety being the most common.

Providing high quality perinatal support to new mothers, newborns and their families is crucial to their ongoing wellbeing in life and is a high priority in Gloucestershire.