‘More has to be done to improve the provision of perinatal mental health services for women in Wales says RCM’
Today (Thursday, 19th April 2018) the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) has published maps showing that pregnant women and new mums in a quarter of the UK still cannot access lifesaving specialist perinatal mental health services which meet national guidelines.
According to the MMHA maps just 28% of areas in Wales are showing green on the map meaning specialist perinatal mental health services are available for women in that area, but not elsewhere in Wales.
Commenting on the newly updated maps and statistics Helen Rogers, The Royal College of Midwives (RCMs) Director for Wales said; “While the latest maps indicate Wales is doing better than other areas in the UK such a Scotland and Northern Ireland, there is much more that needs to be done to improve the provision of vital perinatal mental health services for women in Wales.
“In October 2017 the children’s, young people and education committee in Wales published a report on perinatal mental health and some of the key recommendations were based on evidence provided by the RCM.
“While progress is being made, our concerns do remain on the absence of a mother and baby unit in Wales which is vital for families and means women are not separated from their babies, but these units are even more important for single mothers facing mental health problems alone with little or no support for family members.
“The RCM will also continue to advocate for a specialist perinatal mental health midwife to be placed in each health board with maternity services, as this is something instrumental to identifying pregnant women who need care and support and will also allow those mothers to be cared for within a community setting or at a hospital close to their home which will enable them to be supported by their families too.”
The MMHA UK, Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland maps can be seen on the MMHA website at http://www.maternalmentalhealthalliance.org/campaign/maps.
For information on the maps and statistics please contact Anna France-Williams, Communications Officer, MMHA Everyone’s Business Campaign, Anna.firstname.lastname@example.org;Tel 07377 668 423 or 020 7117 2875.
To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email email@example.com.
Note 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/.