Maternity and Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Network

The South West Maternity and Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Clinical Network (SWMCN) brings together stakeholders across the South West region to support each other in improving the overall safety and quality of maternity and perinatal & infant mental health services.

At the heart of the network is the aim to improve outcomes and experience for all mothers and babies with the knowledge that giving every child the best start in life is crucial to reducing health issues across the life course.

There are over 60,000 live births in the South West each year and over 22% of the population is aged 0-19 years. Whilst many maternity health outcomes in the South West are comparable to, or better than the average for England, there is a considerable amount of effort required across the whole health and social care system to ensure that these outcomes become comparable to the best in Europe.

Local Maternity Systems

The SWMCN  provides leadership and support to the six Local Maternity Systems in the South West to help them to deliver the recommendations of the National Maternity Review Report, ‘Better Births’ and the National Maternity Transformation Programme. This includes the Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle, the elements of the Mental Health Taskforce that relate to perinatal and infant mental health and the achievement of NHS England’s deliverables within the Five Year Forward View and the Long-Term Plan.

The desired outcome is to drive out unwarranted variation in the delivery of effective, safe, high quality, person centred services across the South West. This is so that all mothers, babies and their significant others receive the right care in the right place at the right time, no matter what their circumstances are or where they live.

Essential to this is the Network’s ability to link professionals and organisations; bringing clinicians, commissioners and other partners together in a whole system approach that celebrates sharing and learning through open dialogue to continuously improve the delivery of services.  that are sensitive to the needs of their local population.

Offering and facilitating opportunities for shared learning across the whole of the South West Region helps to minimise duplication of work and create consistency, a real advantage to the experience of women who do not necessarily live and use services within organisational boundaries. But the Network also works with individual systems on a bespoke offer that can give more focussed support too, offering an objective perspective and an alternative lens as a trusted, critical friend.

The SWMCN geography covers six Local Maternity Systems (LMS) that are aligned to the six Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) footprints in the South West. These are:

  • Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire
  • Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Gloucestershire
  • Somerset
  • Wider Devon