Yesterday I attended the ChiMat second annual conference at the Royal York Hotel. For the past 10 years I have been involved in some way across the UK (and beyond) in trying to increase the awareness and improve the facitilties for infant and maternal mental health. I have met some amazing, passionate people who have the same aims as I do but time after time there has been the feeling that although there are some excellent areas of good practice there was nothing central to bring it altogether.
Finally we have ChiMat (Child and Maternal Health Observatory) http://www.chimat.org.uk/ which provides information and intelligence to improve decision-making for high quality, cost effective services. It supports policy makers, commissioners, managers, regulators, and other health stakeholders working on children's, young people's and maternal health.
The great mailing list on infant and maternal mental health which had been run by Janet Cobb via jan-net is to be transferred here too.
The event was well attended and there were workshops showing some of the data tools which are available to help in planning for this area.
Heather Gwynn, director of the Chief Nursing Officer's Directorate at the Department of Health, opened the day and I was thrilled to hear her say of how we must also try to find ways to measure compassion, care and decency which is so important. Reference was made to the Mid Staffs report on NHS failings http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_113018
and the value of listening and learning from the patient experience. So I felt justified to be there and will continue in my efforts to be heard and make a difference, no matter how small!
I will post other sources of information here next week from the event but for now I want to go and cuddle my 5 week old niece!