Postnatal Depression

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support is provided to women who suffer from postnatal depression.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government is committed to improving both the detection and treatment of perinatal mental illness. In May 2018, NHS England confirmed that new mothers will be able to access specialist perinatal mental health community services in every part of the country by April 2019. In 2010, more than 40% of localities provided no service at all. In early December 2018, NHS England estimated that these services treated 9,000 women in 2018.

We are investing £365 million from 2015/16 to 2020/21 in perinatal mental health services to ensure that by 2020/21 at least 30,000 more women each year are able to access evidence-based specialist mental health care during the perinatal period. This investment is designed to improve access to specialist perinatal mental health services across England, resulting in better outcomes for women and their families.

In addition, the NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, includes a commitment for a further 24,000 women to be able to access specialist perinatal mental health care by 2023/24, building on the additional 30,000 women who will access these services each year by 2020/21 under pre-existing plans. Specialist care will also be available from preconception to 24 months after birth, which will provide an extra year of support.

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