Released on: 16 August 2023
Responding to the RCM’s report on strengthening perinatal mental health, Angela McConville, Chief Executive at NCT said:
“Mental ill-health remains one of the leading factors of maternal deaths postnatally in the UK and yet access to support is still dangerously patchy and unreliable. It is disheartening that despite reporting symptoms of poor mental health, many women who died were not formally diagnosed.
“Many women rely on the trusted and invaluable support charities and voluntary organisations provide in local communities. We know from our own perinatal mental health peer support services all across the UK that cultural barriers as well as deprivation and discrimination can further isolate women and widen the gap to access treatment. Our research shows understaffed services have contributed to delays and quality of care, impacting on the mental health of women during pregnancy, birth and in the postnatal period.
“We fully support the recommendations in the RCM’s report for an integrated and increased midwifery workforce with specialised training to support women with their perinatal mental health needs. Value should be placed on continuity of care for women at risk, too. This cannot be possible without a commitment from the Government to ring-fence funding for staff and their development.”
You can read the full report here.