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Help shape Perinatal Mental Health Services in Lancashire

20th February 2018

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is inviting local residents to take part in discussions and share ideas to help make the specialist inpatient unit in Chorley, the best it can be.

Later this month, the Trust is holding a workshop to review pathways, models, designs for the unit, and plans for when the service goes live in July 2018. The Trust is especially keen to hear from mums who have any lived experience of mental health issues or those who have been affected by perinatal mental health. The event will take place from 9.30am-3.30pm at Preston North End Football Club, Sir Tom Finney Way, Lowthorpe Rd, Preston PR1 6RU.

Last year, NHS England selected the Trust as a preferred provider to run one of the four, new eight-bed mother and baby units (MBU) in the country. The unit is an inpatient facility for mothers with serious mental health problems during the perinatal period. The new MBU means that the Trust can provide the support and treatment that women need whilst continuing to be with their babies.

Gill Strachan, Consultant Psychiatrist at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We have known for a long time that the first few weeks and months after having a baby, is the highest risk time in anybody’s life for developing a psychotic illness. Around 1 in 1000 women suffer from post-partum psychosis and that is often something that people have never heard of.

“Often what we see on social media and what people talk about is how wonderful it is being a mum. People often post pictures of their smiling babies and they don’t post how difficult it is, the change it can bring to their lives, what an impact lack of sleep can have on their mental health. They do not talk about their feelings of inadequacy as a mum, perhaps feelings that they are not doing it right as they think people may judge them or they will be stigmatised.

“We are really looking forward to the event later this month and are excited to welcome members of the public, including mums with lived experience to help us to shape our new specialist perinatal service!”

The unit is a huge step forward for everyone involved in perinatal mental health across Cumbria and Lancashire. The Trust is also looking for people to be involved in the planning for the new unit and has set up a closed Facebook group for people to share experiences and have discussion about the plans. If you would like to join the group, please email your details to communications@lancashirecare.nhs.uk. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact the Transformation Team on TAS@lancashirecare.nhs.uk or 01772 773728.

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