Improved Mental Health Services for Dudley – 23/02/10

New mothers suffering postnatal depression in Dudley will be given extra care to help them cope better after birth as part of plans to boost mental health services.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust has developed a Clinical and Social Care Vision, which aims to address gaps in mental health services and support across both boroughs.

The five-year plan outlines a number of service improvements and potential service developments which will improve the care and treatment of people suffering with mental health illness.

The borough’s mental health trust looked into the profound effects that untreated postnatal depression can often have on relationships and families, with up to 20% of mothers nationally suffering from postnatal depression in the first year after birth.

Research shows that specific perinatal services can help to reduce the severity of postnatal depression and support mothers in recovering, resulting in better outcomes for both the baby and mother.

In support of this Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust is working with NHS Dudley to develop a local perinatal mental health service. This will ensure that new mothers are provided a specific service which will be closer to their home, if not at home, and available when they need it.

The trust have developed the five year clinical and social care vision following a number of consultation events with a wide range of groups from staff to service users.

Gary Graham, chief executive of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, said:

“The Trust recognises the need to review and develop services in line with the changing needs of local communities.  Our Clinical and Social Care Vision looks at the range of mental health services which we currently provide and considers what additional services and amendments need to be made to improve access and quality of services across Dudley and Walsall."

“This review will enable us to deliver services which truly meet the needs of local people and enable people to achieve recovery."

“The perinatal services is just one of the areas where we feel there is potential to improve and we will be working closely with our the primary care trusts in both Dudley and Walsall to develop additional support for new mothers with postnatal depression.”

The Trust will be working to deliver proposals set out in the vision over the next five years by working in partnership with the primary care trusts in both boroughs and the Local Authority to ensure that both the physical and mental health needs of the population are met.