Improving mental health care for pregnant women in Bromley

Date: 14 December 2016

A new specialist perinatal mental health service is now available in Bromley.    The new service works with existing mental health and maternity services to provide high quality specialist mental health support to women and their families during pregnancy and for a year after birth.  It is designed and funded by NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group and delivered by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, (which runs the Princess Royal University Hospital maternity services).

Launched in July 2016, the service provides timely and co-ordinated mental health care for women. This co-ordinated care includes advice and signposting on relevant services for Mental Health, bespoke intervention and support for women with anxiety and depression; offer of multi-disciplinary clinics involving psychiatrists, midwives, psychologists, pharmacists and obstetricians who are working closely together with the women in need and their respective families to ensure that our interventions are co - ordinated, responsive and seamless to ensure that their changing needs are fully met at any point of contact with services and throughout the perinatal pathway.   GPs are working closely with the service to support their patients during pregnancy and health visiting services are involved after the baby is born.   

Dawn Newman-Cooper, Deputy Head of Planned Care and responsible for maternity commissioning at NHS Bromley CCG said, “We know that up to 20% of women develop a mental health problem during pregnancy or within a year after giving birth.   The benefits of our new perinatal mental health service are wide ranging for both women and their families.   It supports women who have a history of significant mental ill health who may be a risk of relapse or recurrence of their illness due to their pregnancy and those who become mentally unwell during pregnancy or the postnatal period.  Women told us they needed more support for their mental health during this period of their lives so we have responded with this new service as we are committed to improving care for our residents”.

Dr Angela Bhan, Chief Officer of NHS Bromley CCG said, “We welcome the recent announcement made by NHS England that there will be additional investment in perinatal mental health care in 20 areas across the country.     We know from our own experiences in Bromley how important these services are and what a difference our local investment will make to the lives of women and their families”.

Laura James, lay Chair of the Bromley Maternity Services Liaison Committee – known as Bromley Maternity Voices said, “Bromley Maternity Voices is absolutely delighted to have played a small but vital role in shaping the new perinatal mental health service for women and their families. We know that the new, multidisciplinary services will make a huge difference to women at a very vulnerable time in their lives. It is really important that women across the borough are aware of the new services and we have already started advertising initiatives such as Mindful Mums and the multidisciplinary clinic at the Princess Royal University Hospital on social media. We also hope to seek out and provide ongoing feedback about the new service to maternity leaders and commissioners from the women who are using it”.


Notes for editors:


  1. NHS Bromley CCG is the NHS organisation responsible for planning, buying and monitoring most of the health services people in Bromley will use.    This includes hospital, mental health and community based services.  The CCG is a membership organisation made up of GPs in Bromley.
  2. Perinatal Community Mental Health Services provide specialist care for women with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or psychosis while pregnant or after birth responding quickly if they become ill, and helping minimise risks to mum and baby by for example giving medication advice, providing lifestyle advice or counselling support or following an inpatient stay promoting hope and recovery.  Services also see and treat women who have been identified as at high risk of developing serious illness both at home and in the maternity  unit during pregnancy and after delivery.
  3. The announcement made by NHS England is available here.
  • Summary:

    A new specialist perinatal mental health service is now available in Bromley.    

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