New specialist mental health maternity unit planned for East Anglia to help mothers

Photo credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

Photo credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire - Credit: PA

East Anglia is set to get a new specialist maternity unit catering for new mothers suffering from poor mental health.

NHS England yesterday announced that inpatient units will be provided in our region, the North West, and South West.

It will enable mothers suffering from conditions such as post or pre-natal depression to stay close to their babies.

Each of the three units will consist of eight beds.

It is not yet known where the unit in East Anglia will be based or which health trust will run it.

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NHS England's associate director for perinatal mental health, Giles Berrisford, said allowing new mothers to stay with their babies while receiving inpatient care helped with their recovery.

He said: 'These new units will help those areas we know have particular access issues and are an important part of our overall aims for transforming perinatal mental health care,' according to the Health Service Journal.

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The unit can provide care for women who may be either experiencing severe mental health problems or at high risk of becoming mentally unwell.

It will be staffed by multi-disciplinary teams across psychiatry, nursing, and nursery care.

As many as one in five women experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or the postnatal period, and the estimated cost to society is £8.1m a year.

The new units are part of a £365m pledge by the government for perinatal care during the next five years.

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