As part of the NHS response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have made changes to the services we provide
The new Maternal Mental Health Services will be available for women with moderate-severe or complex mental health difficulties associated with loss and trauma directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience. This may include those who experience PTSD following birth trauma and have experienced perinatal loss, or those with a severe fear of childbirth (tokophobia). This service will provide care and support to women whose needs would not be well met in other services. For example, women experiencing moderate-severe or complex mental health difficulties following perinatal loss who would not currently be seen by perinatal mental health services.
The service will be delivered by a multi-agency team which includes psychologists, psychological therapists, a specialist midwife, and a peer supporter. They work with other professionals such as health visitors, GPs and midwives to ensure women are given the support they need. The team also work closely with the local Maternity Voices Partnership who provide feedback and support to shape the service. Women and families have worked with maternity and mental health professionals to design the service.
Fiona Ellis, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Local Maternity System (LMS) Programme Manager said “This new multi-agency approach brings professionals caring for women together in weekly meetings to discuss cases and share expertise and experience. This enthusiasm, willingness and incredible joint working between maternity and mental health colleagues at all levels improves access to care and ensures women experiencing maternal mental ill-health can quickly receive the specialist input they need”.
Anyone who feels they need support around their mental health during pregnancy or soon after birth is encouraged to discuss this with their midwife, health visitor or GP who can refer into the new team if required.
Appointments are being offered via an online consultation ensuring women can be cared for closer to home. Face to face appointments can be provided if necessary. Recruitment to the psychological therapy team is ongoing and it is hoped all appointments will be completed by August 2021.