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London Perinatal Mental Health Network celebrates HSJ nomination

7th November 2019

London Perinatal Mental Health Network narrowly missed out on a prestigious award at the worlds most fiercely contested health service awards now in their 39th year.

London Perinatal Mental Health Network which provides professional forums to promote engagement; sharing of best practice by addressing system challenges, was shortlisted for the Acute or Specialist Service Redesign Initiative at this year’s HSJ Awards, recognising their outstanding contribution to healthcare.

Representatives from the team attended the awards ceremony last night (6 November, 2019), which was held at Battersea Evolution, where they heard they had just missed out in their category.

The judging panel, made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community, shortlisted Healthy London Partnership despite the tough competition from hundreds of excellent applicants. London Perinatal Mental Health Network had been selected based on their ambition, visionary spirit and the demonstrable positive impact that they have had on patient and staff experiences within the health and social care sector.

1 in 5 mothers suffer from perinatal mental health difficulties during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth. Women may experience mental health problems prior to pregnancy and or develop mental health problems during pregnancy or in the postnatal period.

A wide range of mental health conditions can occur during this time, most commonly depression and anxiety. Research shows that 50 per cent of women with depression go undetected and do not access treatment and support. There are some conditions specific to this time in a woman’s life such as tokophobia – a severe fear of child birth, and post-partum psychosis – a severe but treatable illness that occurs after having a baby.

The collaboration of the London Perinatal Mental Health Networks has resulted in the establishment of professional forums to promote engagement; sharing of best practice by addressing system challenges and by developing toolkits and guidance across London with a strong focus on co-production. The Network has supported the training of clinicians across the care pathway by raising awareness and by increasing confidence amongst various professionals in this area of mental health.

With a more integrated care approach through partnership working, the pathway has led to improved outcomes for mothers and children in the short, medium and long term. Benefits include the appropriate use of services, early intervention and the prevention of escalation and crisis.

The collaboration of the London Perinatal Mental Health Networks has resulted in women able to receive a wider range of interventions from low intensity self-help programmes, to high level specialist in-patient care. This is wholly due to the knowledge, passion and commitment of its members to improving mental health care for women in the perinatal period.

To find out more about perinatal mental health , visit www.healthylondon.org/our-work/perinatal 

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