The Trust is pleased to announce that it has been selected to open a new specialist inpatient unit for mothers with perinatal mental health problems.
NHS England has selected the Trust as a preferred provider to run one of the four, new eight-bed mother and baby units (MBU) in the country. The unit will be an inpatient facility for mothers with serious mental health problems to stay with their babies. The plans to open the specialist units come as part of a £40m investment in inpatient perinatal care.
Each unit will provide care for women experiencing severe mental health problems or who may be at high risk of becoming mentally unwell in the perinatal period, including very serious conditions such as post-partum psychosis. The units enable treatment and recovery for mothers while allowing their relationships with their babies to develop. They are staffed by multidisciplinary teams across psychiatry, nursing and nursery care.
The North West was recognised as one of the areas in the country with particular access issues around inpatient MBU capacity. The Trust expressed an interest in September 2016 and was informed of the successful bid in late May 2017.
Lisa Moorhouse, Head of Operations for Mental Health at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We are really pleased to have been selected as one of four providers in the country and excited to be a key part in transforming perinatal mental healthcare.
“Perinatal mental illnesses are a major public health issue with between 10 and 20% of women developing a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. With this in mind it is extremely important that people have access to these specialist perinatal, mother and baby units.
“Our priority is to provide the right care, at the right time, every time and by this facility in Lancashire we are ensuring that women who are at risk of, or suffering from, perinatal mental illnesses are given appropriate support at the earliest opportunity.”
The new units form part of a funding package of £365m pledged to improve perinatal mental health services over the next five years, with £40m allocated for the development of new MBUs from 2015-16 to 2018-19.
The final contracts and go-live dates are under discussion and are expected to be confirmed in the summer.