Fairer Care for Postnatal Illness and Baby Blues Mums

From: PostNatal Illness-Support & Help Association
Published: Thu Oct 20 2005

If a women lives in the wrong area of the UK, treatment for postnatal depression can be a nightmare, according to the Post-Natal Illness-Support And Help Association, www.pnisha.org.uk. They are delighted that the Daily Mirror newspaper has joined them in campaigning for a specialist mother-and-baby unit in every county.

Liam Byrne, British Health Minister said about the campaign
"Giving birth is now safer than ever. Up and down the country there are some excellent practices. But I am personally concerned that not enough services are up to the mark. This has to change and I am determined that it will."

"We want to offer women a gold standard service. We have brought together the best brains in maternity to put together an action plan that will give us world-class maternity services. And by the end of the year we will have audited every maternity unit to see how and where we can improve services."

"I want to congratulate the Daily Mirror and PNi-SHA for their campaign for change and for agreeing to help us get services right."

STAFF at specialist mother-and-baby units have been trained in perinatal medicine (which is better known as the mental health of pregnant and postnatal women). They also meet the criteria set out by the Royal Colleges Of Psychiatry-Faculty Of Perinatalists.

There are eight main NHS units - two in London and one each in Birmingham, Glasgow, York, Nottingham, Derby and Stafford.

A further seven - in Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, Winchester, Bristol, Middlesex and Welwyn Garden City - claim to be mother-and-baby units, but they are little more than side-rooms adjoining mixed psychiatric wards.

They are a world away from the specialist units and a mother and her baby would not have the same feeding and washing facilities or any security measures to protect her from other patients.

The staff are "General" Mental Health Nurses with no perinatal training (unless they have worked on one of the 8 dedicated units where in-service training is given) as it's not a part of the curriculum. They have little or no experience of Midwifery or Mother and Baby care and of treating the physical, psychological or emotional needs of a mother who is suffering from postnatal depression.

FERN BRITTON, patron of PNi-SHA says: "I have personal experience of the devastating effects this dreadful illness has on new mothers and their families. I am thrilled the Daily Mirror is working with PNi-SHA to campaign for better facilities and care for women with postnatal illness and their families."

The PostNatal Illness-Support & Help Association (PNi-SHA) is a registered charity (1105767) to support women and their families affected by postnatal illness. PNi-SHA is an independent organisation which is registered as a stakeholder organisation with NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, run by the UK Department of Health.

For more information contact
Deborah Morgan-Graham
C/o Ashbourne Adult Education Centre
Cockayne Avenue
United Kingdom
Company: PostNatal Illness-Support & Help Association
Contact Name: Deborah Morgan-Graham
Contact Email: deb@pnisha.org.uk
Contact Phone: 01335 347599

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