The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin (STW) Midwife Led Unit (MLU) has been selected to be an early implementer site for the new NHS Maternal Mental Health Services, as part of a testing phase taking place in all regions of England throughout 2021/22.
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 childbirth 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 would not currently be seen by perinatal mental health services.
The service will be delivered by a team of healthcare professionals, including psychologists, psychological therapists, a specialist midwife, and a peer supporter. They will 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, the STW 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”.