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Location of new mother and baby mental health units revealed

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NHS trusts in Kent, Devon, Lancashire and Norfolk have been selected to host new mother and baby units offering specialist mental healthcare, it has been announced by NHS England.

The creation of the four new units, first confirmed at the end of 2016 as part of £40m investment in support for mothers with mental ill health, are expected to open in 2018.

“The NHS is serious about delivering more personalised care to new mums and that includes better specialist mental healthcare”

Simon Stevens

The eight-bed units will offer in-patient facilities for women who have the most complex and severe needs, such as those who are experiencing severe mental health crisis, including conditions such as severe depression, anxiety and post-partum psychosis.

The location of the four new mother and baby units, which will allow women to stay with their babies while receiving the specialist care they need, was revealed on Friday by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens while speaking to members of the online community Mumsnet.

The organisations hosting the units will be Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership, Devon NHS Partnership Trust, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

The trusts will receive a share of £15m capital funding to support the new units. Meanwhile, NHS England will also increase bed numbers across its 15 existing dedicated mother and baby units by around 50% by the end of 2018-19.

NHS England noted that one in five women experienced mental ill health during pregnancy or in the year after birth, and that improving access to evidence-based treatment was shown to increase recovery rates, leading to better outcomes for women and their babies.

simon stevens confed 1

simon stevens confed 1

Source: Neil O’Connor

Simon Stevens

Mr Stevens said the new units would ensure more mothers had access to specialist mental healthcare.

“The NHS is serious about delivering more personalised care to new mums and that includes better specialist mental healthcare for those who need it,” he said.

“Having a baby should be one of happiest, most life-changing experiences and every mum should have the opportunity to bond with her baby, while receiving the care she needs and remaining as close to her families as possible,” he added.

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