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Perinatal Mental Health



The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) builds on the commitments outlined in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health to transform specialist Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) services across England.

The Perinatal Mental Health Programme within Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network supports delivery of these core clinical programmes by connecting mental health and maternity commissioners, providers, professionals, patients and the public across pathways of care with the aim of improving mental health outcomes.

Laura Ansboro

Clinical Network Manager

Anna Downward-Fletcher

Quality Improvement Manager

Nicola Hawkins

Quality Improvement Lead

Katy Morley

Clinical Lead

What We Are Trying To Achieve

Perinatal mental health refers to a woman’s mental health during pregnancy and up to 12 months after birth. This includes mental illness existing before pregnancy, as well as illnesses that develop for the first time, or are greatly exacerbated in the perinatal period. Perinatal mental health services offer ‘perinatal specific’ interventions.

The PMH Programme aims to:

  • Support improved service provision
  • Reduce regional variations in perinatal mental health care
  • Improve access and inequalities
  • Improve data collection and reporting
  • Improve training provision
  • Improve user experience
  • Supporting the Integrated Care Systems in achieving the following PMH LTP ambitions by 2023/24:
    • Access - Increasing access to specialist community PMH services to 66,000 women
    • 24 Months - Extending community services from preconception to 24 months after birth
    • Therapies - Expanding access to evidence-based psychological therapies within PMH services, including parent-infant, couple, co-parenting and family interventions.
    • Partners - Ensuring partners of women accessing specialist PMH services and MMHS receive evidence-based assessment of their mental health and are signposted to support as required
    • MMHS - Implementing Maternal Mental Health Services, that will integrate maternity, reproductive health and psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience.

Why It’s Important

Around one in four women experience mental health problems in pregnancy and during the 12 months after giving birth. If left untreated, mental health issues can have significant negative and long-lasting effects on the woman, the child, and the wider family. Therefore, the collective aim across the region is to fully support women and families to achieve the best outcomes by ensuring need is identified early, the correct support is in place locally and that the support is provided in a timely fashion.

The costs of undiagnosed or untreated PMH problems include avoidable suffering, damage to families, impact on children and death and serious injury (Maternal Mental Health Alliance). Additionally, the economic cost to society of not effectively treating perinatal mental illness far outweighs the cost of providing appropriate services.

What We Have Achieved In The Last 6 Months:

  • Developed service expansion to 12-24 months postpartum and thresholds and access sections of the Yorkshire and the Humber (Y&H) LTP Implementation Guidance through Task & Finish Groups.
  • Dads/partners and co-parents Task and Finish Group established September 2021 continues meet monthly. The group aims to share practice, promote a Y&H approach to this ambition and agree content of the Y&H PMH LTP Implementation Guidance.
  • The North East and Yorkshire (NEY) Regional Clinical Delivery Team along with Y&H Clinical Network met with Integrated Care System (ICS) colleagues in Q3 21/22 to identify challenges to achieving the national access trajectory and the other LTP ambitions and how NHSE/I can support ICSs.
  • Held a Y&H PMH Community Service Development Planning meeting to share ideas and information for inclusion to strengthen plans and support the case for investment and worked through the planning considerations tool.
  • A NEY PMH Provider Collaborative Workshop was held on 12.01.22, organised by Y&H Clinical Network, NEY Specialised Commissioning Team and the NEY Clinical Delivery Team.
  • Established the Y&H PMH Midwives Learning Collaborative; created to develop a learning community and provide a supportive environment where problems of common interest can be discussed and worked through.

Meetings and Events

  • Perinatal Mental Health Network Steering Group this meeting continues to meet quarterly, task and finish groups are set up as needed to support work that arises in line with the work plan.
  • PMH Community Service and Mother Baby Unit Learning Collaborative (bi-monthly)
  • PMH Commissioners Group (bi-monthly)
  • PMH Midwives Learning Collaborative (bi-monthly)
  • Membership of ICS PMH Meetings

What We Plan To Do In The Next 6 Months:

  • Host a series of sharing and learning webinars. E.g. data reporting, inequalities and the importance of perinatal mental health.
  • To adapt a survey developed by the North West Coast PMH Clinical Network to explore women’s experiences of mental health enquiry in Midwifery and Health Visiting services for use in Y&H.
  • PMH Care Pathway Assessment. This will contribute to preparatory work for PMH Provider Collaboratives in identifying what is working well and where there are gaps or improvements that could be made.
  • The Y&H Clinical Network is scoping a piece of bespoke work that will align the regional Perinatal Mental Health and IAPT programmes. This will be focussed on the prioritisation of partners in IAPT.
  • National, Regional and Y&H news – produced bi-monthly, includes national news, campaigns, courses and resources.

Local Services

The Clinical Network support 3 Integrated Care Systems:

  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire
  • Humber Coast and Vale

Regional Mother and Baby Unit

The 6 Y&H Specialist PMH Community Services:

  • Bradford - Specialist Mother and Baby Mental Health service - Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven (bdct.nhs.uk) Tel: 01274 228300
  • Humber - Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership - RDaSH NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 01482 617735
  • Leeds - Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - Perinatal Service (leedsandyorkpft.nhs.uk) Tel: 0113 8555505
  • North Yorkshire & York - Perinatal mental health service, adults, North Yorkshire and York - Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (tewv.nhs.uk) Tel: 01904 556724
  • Sheffield, Rotherham & Doncaster - Sheffield Rotherham and Doncaster Perinatal Mental Health Service | Sheffield Health and Social Care (shsc.nhs.uk) Tel: Sheffield: 0114 2716069. Rotherham: 01709 447070. Doncaster: 01302 566999
  • South West Yorkshire - Perinatal Mental Health Team - South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Tel: 01924 316009