RCM welcomes perinatal mental health report published in Wales
The report contains 27 recommendations and the authors have also highlighted the need for the Welsh Government to undertake a public awareness campaign to improve understanding of perinatal mental health conditions and their symptoms across Wales.
They have also called on the Welsh Government to work with the relevant professional bodies to ensure that perinatal mental health becomes a core part of the training and continuous professional development of all healthcare professionals likely to come into contact with pre- and post- natal women.
Responding to the report, Helen Rogers the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Director for Wales said; “The RCM very much welcomes this report and is pleased that the RCM’s professional views and recommendations have been incorporated into these crucial recommendations.
“In particular we are pleased with the recommendation to have a specialist perinatal mental health midwife placed in each health board with maternity services, as this is something the RCM has long supported and campaigned for. This report also highlights the need to improve communication between professional maternity teams to ensure that vulnerable women are identified quickly and the RCM continues to work with our members and other royal colleges to improve multi-disciplinary team working.
“Continuity of care is crucial particularly for women to feel conformable enough to confide in their midwife or healthcare professional about how they are feeling both during and after pregnancy and this report again recommends that there should be a named professional lead responsible for each woman’s perinatal care at each health board. The RCM believes this is absolutely vital to make sure important signs and symptoms are not missed.
“The RCM is happy that the report recognises that the separation of mother's and babies is not ideal and having a mother and baby unit in Wales is vital for families, but even more important for single mothers facing mental health problems alone with little or no support.
“The recommendations contained within this report will require clear focus and appropriate funding if they are to become a reality.
We hope that this report will go towards reducing inequities across the provision of perinatal mental health services in Wales and most importantly improve support for women, their babies and families in Wales.”
Notes to editors
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.