Maternal Mental Health Alliance warns care compromised by shortage of MBUs

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance says a lack of Mother and Baby Units (MBU) and specialist community health provision means many women who suffer with perinatal mental health issues do not receive adequate care.

There are 17 MBUs in the United Kingdom, but none in Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of the North East, South and East of England.

Dr Alain Gregoire, chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, said:  “The shortage of hospital Mother and Baby Units and of specialist perinatal mental health teams means that mothers in half of the UK are not getting the expert care they and their babies require.

“It would be a national scandal if there were no maternity hospitals and general surgeons were doing caesarean sections, in large parts of the country. Access to expert treatment and facilities for women’s mental health at this time are just as important, and the NHS should be held to account for ensuring that these are available for women and their babies throughout the UK.”

For a map showing the regional availability of Mother and Baby Units, visit Maternal Mental Health: Everyone’s Business.

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