NHS England to Establish New Hubs for Maternal Mental Health Services

Pavankumar Kamat

April 08, 2021

New dedicated hubs are being established across England to provide mental health support for thousands of new, expectant or bereaved mothers. The goal of the programme is to consolidate maternity services, reproductive health and psychological therapy as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Of the 26 new hubs planned, 10 will be operational within months and the rest by April 2022. By the end of 2021-2022, around 6,000 women are expected to receive support for a range of mental health issues from postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder to extreme fear of childbirth. Furthermore, these clinics will also train maternity staff and midwives.

From 40 per cent of the country having no access to specialist perinatal mental health care five years back, England has made substantial progress, with specialist community perinatal mental health services now available in each of the 44 local NHS areas. Over 30,000 were provided perinatal mental health services in 2019-2020. Following establishment of the new hubs, at least 66,000 women with moderate to severe maternal mental health issues will be able to access specialist care by 2023-2024.

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.”

Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s national mental health director, added: “The NHS is here for everyone who needs help and the expansion of specialist care through the roll out of these maternal mental health services will strengthen the services already in place, enabling us to improve the quality of care and outcomes for many women.”

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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