Pilot for new maternal mental health service set to launch on Yorkshire Coast

Scarborough and large parts of North and East Yorkshire will be included as part of a pilot to develop a maternal mental health service.

By George Buksmann
Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 4:26 pm

Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership has been selected as one of only 10 areas in England to develop the service, which will help an estimated 300 women in the region who have previously been unable to access specialist mental health support.

The HCV Partnership secured £500,000 in funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop a maternal mental health service in the region to help women without children with a fear of childbirth (tokophobia), women with a birth-related post-traumatic stress disorder, women who have had a miscarriage or still-birth and women who have experienced having a baby removed at birth.

The partnership works to improve the health of the 1.7 million people living in Hull, York and areas across North and East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

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The selected pilot scheme is one of 10 areas chosen across England.

Amina Bristow, Perinatal Mental Health Programme Lead for Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, said: "There has been an acknowledged gap in care for women with medium to severe mental health issues relating to pregnancy and birth who do not have a baby.

"We are delighted that Humber, Coast and Vale will soon be able to provide this much needed mental health service and to close that gap.

"The service will integrate maternity, reproductive health and psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to the maternity experience.

"Being awarded funding for both on-going research and service provision will greatly enhance our knowledge and understanding of this specialist area of mental health care, and bring much-needed psychological support and therapy to women across the region."

The HCV Partnership has been awarded two separate funding amounts to support the development of the service, alongside the necessary research to determine the number women who will be able to directly benefit from the additional level of specialist care. £500,000 of funding has been awarded for the pilot and a further £300,000 for the scoping and research element of the work.

The Maternity and Mental Health Service will launch in spring with the aim of providing the service on a permanent basis from 2023.