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New mother and baby units announced to support women with serious mental health conditions

Four new mother and baby units will open in England to support women with the most serious mental health conditions.
Mother and baby

Four new mother and baby units will open in England to support women in severe mental health crisis.

These new units will provide inpatient support for women and their babies with the most complex and severe needs who require hospital care, who are experiencing severe mental health crisis including conditions like postpartum psychosis.

Expanded units

The existing 15 units in the country will also be expanded, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens revealed during a discussion on the parenting website Mumsnet on Friday.

The mother and baby units allow women to stay with their babies while receiving care.

One in five women can experience mental health problems during or in the year after pregnancy, with around two in every thousand experiencing postpartum psychosis, which is strongly associated with maternal suicide.

More personalised care

Mr Stevens said: The NHS is serious about

Four new mother and baby units will open in England to support women in severe mental health crisis.

These new units will provide inpatient support for women and their babies with the most complex and severe needs who require hospital care, who are experiencing severe mental health crisis including conditions like postpartum psychosis.

Expanded units

The existing 15 units in the country will also be expanded, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens revealed during a discussion on the parenting website Mumsnet on Friday.

The mother and baby units allow women to stay with their babies while receiving care.

One in five women can experience mental health problems during or in the year after pregnancy, with around two in every thousand experiencing postpartum psychosis, which is strongly associated with maternal suicide.

More personalised care

Mr Stevens said: ‘The NHS is serious about delivering more personalised care to new mums and that includes better specialist mental healthcare for those who need it.

‘Having a baby should be one of happiest, most life-changing experiences and every mum should have the opportunity to bond with her baby, while receiving the care she needs and remaining as close to her families as possible.’

The new eight-bed units, which aim to open in 2018, will be based at:

  • Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
  • Devon NHS Partnership Trust
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

£15 million capital funding

The existing and new units will receive a share of £15 million capital funding to expand capacity by 49% by the end of 2018-19.

Last year Mr Stevens also announced an additional £40 million for 20 new specialist community perinatal mental health services for new and expectant mothers. These will help reach at least 2,000 women with severe and complex mental health problems over the next year, and 9,000 more women by 2018-19.


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