Improving access to perinatal mental health services


Develop and plan the implementation of a region wide perinatal & infant mental health strategy that will deliver timely & equitable access to appropriate services by service users.


The project will;

  • Support NHS England to provide better access to appropriate services for at least 30,000 more women each year.
  • Develop Perinatal Mental Health Networks within the region that mirror the STP & LMS footprints
  • Provide an accurate understanding of services within the region
  • Develop evidence based pathways of care for eventual adoption within the region
  • Support the development of a Mother and Baby Unit for Lancashire and Cumbria

Role of the network

The network will facilitate the creation of a North West Coast Perinatal Mental Health Network comprised of two locality groups; Cheshire & Merseyside and Lancashire & South Cumbria.  The locality groups will work with stakeholders to scope existing services, complete a gap analysis and make recommendations to commissioners.  The locality groups will work with stakeholders (including the third sector and service users) to create evidence based care pathways and develop a regional perinatal mental health strategy for the provision of services.  The Lancashire and South Cumbria locality Group will work in partnership with patient groups, local and national partners (including those in Cumbria) to support the development of a Mother and Baby Unit.

Partners and associates in this work

Public Health England, NWC SCN Perinatal Mental Health Network Working Groups (C&M and L&SC), Maternity Clinical Expert Group, Health & Wellbeing Boards, All Providers, CCG Commissioners, NW Specialist Commissioning Team, Local Authorities, Adult Mental Health Providers, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Providers, NHSE Perinatal Mental Health Team.

  • ANCD’s Perinatal Mental Health, NHS England (The Maternity Review & Women’s Health Acute Medical Directorate).

Summary of project plan

Main activities and milestones:


  • Complete a stakeholder analysis within L&SC.
  • Establish a regional NWC PNMH network and two locality groups.
  • Complete service scoping exercise within C&M.
  • Present the scoping report completed within L&SC during 2015/2016 to the network.
  • Maintain links with NHS England Mother and Baby Unit Procurement Team.


  • Agree priorities for L&SC.
  • Begin delivery of a regional PNMH work programme.
  • Publish and consult on a regional NWC PNMH strategy and pathway.
  • Establish links with Health Education England and Public Health England.
  • Consultation on national service specification for Mother and Baby Unit.
  • Write and advisory paper highlighting geographic issues and risks relating to the Mother and Baby Unit for Lancashire and Cumbria.


  • Deliver a NWC PNMH Conference to be held centrally within the region.
  • Deliver pathways mapping events for L&SC.


  • Deliver an education programme in partnership with Health Education England and Public Health England.
  • Publish and consult on a gap analysis and recommendations for commissioners for PNMH services for L&SC.