Buckinghamshire Perinatal Mental Health Service launched in May 2019.
Last updated 19 hours ago
Buckinghamshire Perinatal Mental Health Service has been recognised at the NHS Parliamentary Awards.
The Buckinghamshire Perinatal Mental Health Service is a specialist service providing assessment and treatment of women with complex and severe mental health problems during and after pregnancy.
It launched in May 2019 and brings together Oxford Health and Buckinghamshire Mind professionals to provide wrap around care and support for mothers and their babies.
Despite being relatively new, they have been recognised for their hard work and have been named regional South East winner of the NHS Parliamentary Awards Excellence in Mental Health Care category.
And the team is now shortlisted for the national NHS Parliamentary Awards.
Dr Amanda Elkin, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, is part of the team:
“It is phenomenal and is a huge accolade. I think it is a real testament to the dedication of the team who are so passionate about what they do.
“But also, thanks to the woman who we have support and continue to support who provide us with feedback to we can continue to develop this service.!
“The impact of perinatal mental health is not only felt on the mum, but the baby and the wider family.
“All the evidence shows that this time is absolutely crucial for the ongoing health of the family.”
The service works with women who have suffered with mental health issues who are planning pregnancy, those who are currently pregnant and mothers who have recently given birth.
When patients were asked about their experience with the service in July all agreed or strongly agreed that staff gave them the right amount of support and care, staff listened to them and understood their problems and staff helped them understand their illness. And 97 per cent said staff helped them be more confident caring for their baby.
One mother said:
“This service is an absolute lifeline.
“I will always, always praise this service as my daughter is now nine months and I have been enjoying her in a way that I never did with my first. At 18 months I was still struggling due to late specialist intervention.
“I am so thankful that this service is here to support me and I hope all PMHT are as good as this throughout the UK.”
The coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns have had a huge impact on the health services, which Dr Elkin says has been felt by the team and their patients:
“The pandemic has really impacted on peoples mental health regardless whether they are pregnant or not.
“The impact of this on maternity services and health services has been really challenging for women and professionals.
“This need is just going up so we are working harder than ever doing lots of digital consultations and home visits when we are allowed to.”
Her hope, and that of the team is that they can continue to support women and their support network when it comes to pregnancy and birth.
Buckinghamshire Perinatal Mental Health Service works closely with other professionals, developing a treatment plan tailored to and in partnership with patients.