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Additional funding granted to help new mums with mental illness

07 July 2015

A mental health and well-being project launched in October 2014 at West Middlesex University Hospital has secured an additional £108,000 in funding for a further 12 months to continue its work on improving awareness and access to support for women experiencing mental health issues immediately before and after giving birth.

A mental health and well-being project launched in October 2014 at West Middlesex University Hospital has secured an additional £108,000 in funding for a further 12 months to continue its work on improving awareness and access to support for women experiencing mental health issues immediately before and after giving birth.

The Perinatal Mental Health Community Education Provider Network (PNMH CEPN) has gone from strength to strength since it launched 9 months ago. It is a collaborative project delivered by West Middlesex University Hospital, West London Mental Health NHS Trust and Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group. Its aim is to engage women of child bearing age with health services, facilitating informed and planned reproductive choices as well as enabling early access to perinatal mental health services when needed.

Julia Lidderdale, perinatal mental health specialist midwife said: “Key to the success of the project has been the multidisciplinary approach and the involvement of a variety of different health professionals. The team is made up of two Obstetric consultants, a psychiatrist, a perinatal mental health specialist midwife and a GP. The team have worked together engaging Hounslow GPs, delivering training to doctors, nurses and midwives and providing undergraduate medical students from Imperial College London and midwifery students at the University of West London with specific perinatal mental health training.”

Louise Page, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at West Middlesex said: “One of the most unanticipated outcomes of this project has been the impressive enthusiasm for learning shown by student midwives, health visitors, nurses and medical students. They have been so passionate about their learning, keen to identify areas where they lacked knowledge and improve their confidence in recognising perinatal mental health problems.”

“We are delighted to have received the extra funding which means over the next 12 months we can continue educating health professionals throughout Hounslow and supporting new mums. We also hope to share our expertise with other North West London boroughs such as Ealing, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham.”

The extra funding comes at the same time the PNMH CEPN team took home first prize at Health Education North West London’s Excellence in Education and Training awards, winning the award for Network-wide innovatory education between Primary and Secondary Care sectors.