Maternity and Mental Health in Torbay


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.

Download the full report

You can join us on our social media pages, follow us on Facebook or Twitter and keep up to date with whats going on in South Devon.

Got a news story, blog or press release that you’d like to share or want to advertise with us? Contact us


Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!