Thursday, 25 September 2008

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

Today I attended a conference organised by the North West Regional Infant and Maternity Mental Health Network, of which I have become part of. The theme was 'Consultation and planning event needs, gaps and strategic challenges in the NW'.

The aims were:

• To confirm the importance of perinatal and infant mental health and its position in terms of current health and social care strategy

• To build capacity in the field of infant and maternal mental health at a regional and local level

• To present the findings of a recent scope of gaps and needs

• To explore the contribution of managed care networks and specialised perinatal mental health teams for improving outcomes for affected families in the NW

• To provide an opportunity for action planning across systems and services

I feel the aims were met and it was great to see almost 70 delegates from across the NHS there, especially some commissioners. There are some extremely highly motivated and committed staff in the region in this area but clearly there are huge gaps in provision.

I confess that I wanted to tell everyone there about my trip to Sydney and to stress some of the issues I learnt there! I am delighted that the 'Watch, wait and wonder' scheme that I was so impressed with is now being trialed down the road from me!

I urge everyone involved to begin to move forward in this area so we can alleviate the needless suffering out there!

Let's get some long-term funding and plans sorted and get cracking!

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