From HealthWatch Torbay:
Our latest report “Maternity and Mental Health in Torbay” was commissioned by Healthwatch England to engage with our local population and service providers to explore mental health support, during pregnancy, throughout the perinatal period and up to 3 years beyond. The work looked at:
- the impact of deprivation issues on the experience of maternity, identified in the Public Health Local Authority Health Profile for Torbay
- the experience of maternity for people (including partners) where English is not their first language
- Interviews with staff, including both mental health and maternity professionals, to understand their challenges and aspirations for the Long Term Plan in maternal mental health
Our conversations highlighted some critical success factors for providing support for mental health to mothers and families. These are:
- A universal offer of a perinatal mental health service with locally based Mother and Baby Unit.
- A strong primary care and community multidisciplinary infrastructure including Health Visitors and Midwives wrapping around the whole family
- The choice to access mental health focussed Peer Support organisations in the community, working in partnership with the statutory sector to support both the mother and father at this time.
- Children’s centres in the community with excellent links to Health Visiting and the capacity to innovate in response to the needs of parents and others caring for the child.
- We also questioned the current method of information provision to mothers and fathers. This does not seem to be timely or in the right format resulting in key “red flag” messages missing their mark.
The report has just been published and can be read in full by clicking on the link below.
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