In developing this guide we have found that many services are working to consider the needs of the whole family and support these needs appropriately, either directly through the interventions offered within the service, or by signposting partners and other family members to relevant services.
However, most services do not routinely collect data on the numbers of partners and other family members involved in the care of mothers accessing specialist perinatal mental health services, or their experiences and outcomes.
To support new ways of working, services need to be evidence-generating. All specialist perinatal mental health services need to consider collecting data to build the evidence-base for what works well, specifically for partners and other family members.
Practice tips: box 16
- Identify ways to measure and monitor the numbers of partners and other family members involved and/or supported throughout the mother’s care pathway (either using existing systems or manually) to demonstrate that teams are considering the needs of the whole family. Record any barriers or unintended consequences that arise.
- Record the ways in which partners and other family members are involved in the mother’s care, the professionals who are doing this and the clinical time required.
- Invite and record qualitative and quantitative feedback from partners or other family members about their experiences of using the services using the Patient Rated Outcome and Experience Measure (POEM, RCPsych) [ref. 50] or other local formats for evaluation.
- Consider capturing feedback from different perspectives. For example, parents may report perceived benefit for young carers; mothers may report in relation to partners or other family members; partners may report in relation to mothers.
- Where mothers are involved in the development and evaluation of services, consider also consulting with and including the voice of partners and other family members to shape service provision to meet the needs of the whole family.