New maternal mental health service shortlisted for top award

The team behind the Lancashire and South Cumbria Reproductive Trauma Service have been shortlisted for a national award, recognising their pioneering approach to working across maternity and mental health.

The service was launched just one year ago and has now been recognised with a nomination in the ‘Outstanding contribution to midwifery services: Perinatal Mental Health’ category at the Royal College of Midwives Awards 2023, which will take place in London in May.

Service manager Tracy Marsden said: “To be shortlisted for such a prestigious award is a huge accolade. We have worked tremendously hard to ensure the needs of every single person coming through our service have been met, their stories heard and acknowledged while they receive the most appropriate package of care from our dedicated team.

“We have taken into account the feedback both prior to launching the service – through our initial consultation – and over the last year from stakeholders, clients, women and their families to provide the best level of care possible.”

The Reproductive Trauma Service was set up on 28 March last year by NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), which organises health and care services across the region, and is operated by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It is available to people across the region and is one of the first services of its type in the country, offering a variety of support and therapies to those who have experienced birth trauma, fear of childbirth, or perinatal loss.

The team of 18 includes maternal mental health midwives, psychological therapists, mental health practitioners, a peer support co-ordinator, service manager, clinical lead, community manager (employed by The Dads Net), admin and ongoing support from the team’s expert by experience.

Support can be accessed by speaking with a health visitor, midwife, or GP. In its first 12 months, the service has had 520 referrals – over 100 more than it had originally targeted.

Tracy added: “We believe we make an outstanding contribution to perinatal mental health across Lancashire and South Cumbria due to the integrated and innovative approach to working across maternity and mental health.

“So on behalf of myself and the team I would like to say a huge thank you to Royal College of Midwives for recognising the contributions we are making on a daily basis to support women’s mental health through pregnancy.”

The Royal College of Midwives Awards has been recognised as one of the industry’s most prestigious awards since 2004. The final ceremony will take place at The Brewery, London, on 19 May 2023.

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