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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Mental health service for new mums gains seal of approval

Mental health service for new mums gains seal of approval

Southern Health’s Community Perinatal Team  have been awarded full accreditation status for a second time meeting   the incredibly high standards set by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Quality Network.

Every three years the team must undertake the strict assessment process if it wishes to gain accreditation. The award highlights the quality of perinatal care at the Trust, which has been featured in award winning documentaries including Louis Theroux.  

Jacqui Bell, Team Manager for the Community Perinatal Team, said: “This is the second accreditation we have received and we are very proud to have met the standards required during such difficult times. “

Back in 2017, the team was the first in the country to receive independent accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatry.  At the time this made the perinatal service ‘double accredited,’ as its inpatient unit in Winchester has received its own accreditation.

The standards include providing a range of therapeutic interventions for the mother, the baby, and the family, actively encouraging partners/family members to attend carer support networks or groups and providing a telephone advice line for professionals to share expert advice should it be needed.  If a mother becomes unwell and needs to be admitted to an inpatient mental health unit, a community perinatal mental health team representative contributes and attends ward rounds and discharge planning in person (where possible) or remotely to ensure continuity of care.

“The accreditation is reassurance to patients that they are receiving a national standard of care; the team will continue to work hard, striving to maintain the high quality patient-centred care and treatment.” Jacqui continues.

The accreditation also includes practical considerations like ensuring the team is easily accessible via public transport, that it can conduct assessments in a variety of settings and that it provides facilities that are suitable for small babies and siblings to make it as easy as possible to attend the service.

Accreditation status is the formal recognition that the community perinatal service has shown it has the competence to deliver against recognised standards. This framework is for all perinatal services and providers across the UK in the NHS and independent sector.

Please note the picture of the team below was taken pre COVID-19.

Community Perinatal Team photo.jpg
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