Health providers and commissioners must ACT
There is a clear moral, social and economic case for supporting women with perinatal mental health problems and their families.
Below are examples of the excellent models you can use to establish perinatal mental health services in your area:
- Quality Network for Perinatal Mental Health Services – Standards for perinatal community mental health services
- Joint Commissioning Panel Criteria – Guidance for commissioners of perinatal mental health services 2012
- Quality Network for Perinatal Mental Health Services – Standards for mother and baby inpatient units
- Ten key recommendations for commissioners
- East Midlands Perinatal Mental Health Community Service Specification
- Exeter Mid East Perinatal Mental Health Service Specification
- Hampshire Perinatal Mental Health Service Model
Influencing service provision in your area
Our five steps below are key recommendations for anyone who wants to influence health providers or commissioners to improve the quality of perinatal mental health care in their local area. These were developed with local agencies who have improved the quality of their local services in the past year.
- Know your starting point. Use our map to see the service level provision in your area and take a look at our essential reading to build up an understanding of issues and solutions.
- Know the Office of National Statistics annual births for your area to work out the size of the service your area requires and where it should be located. Areas with a birth rate of less than 6,000 babies per year may need to join with neighbouring areas to commission a joint pathway of care.
- Use our example service specification and the questions listed in our check list to encourage colleagues to think about gaps in service provision in your area and how best to present a business case to fill these gaps.
- Form a local perinatal mental health alliance of everyone who is interested and can influence service development in your area. This should include representatives from maternity, children and young people, and adult mental health services, as well as people who have experienced a perinatal mental illness (ideally both mild to moderate and severe cases). This group could meet face-to-face or virtually.
- When you put together a business case for a service or explain what is needed in your area, always include the costs of perinatal mental illness (see our Counting the costs) and real life stories of local people who have been affected by perinatal mental illness, including women, their partners and significant others.
Do you want to improve provision of perinatal mental health care in your area? We offer free, bespoke support for healthcare providers and commissioners.
The support is tailored to your situation and offered on a case by case basis. Please contact us using the link below to find out more.