New £1.3m service in the community for new and expectant mums

A new �1.3m outpatient service will be launched in Lancashire this year
A new �1.3m outpatient service will be launched in Lancashire this year
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A new £1.3m service will be launched in Lancashire to help new and expecting mums cope with post-natal depression and other mental illnesses.

The outpatient programme will work with the new inpatient unit at Chorley Hospital, which is also set to open later this year.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Gillian Strachan (inset) said the extra cash ‘for specialist perinatal mental health services will mean women across Lancashire and south Cumbria will be able to access high quality services when and where they need it’. She said: “We are determined to work in partnership across the region to make sure that women and babies are given the best start in life and this is a positive step towards that.”

The team will be made up of a variety of around 20 experts, including psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, and nurses. They will care for up to 1,000 mums with serious conditions that stop short of needing a hospital stay.

The new inpatient unit, as reported by The Gazette last year, will have eight beds and care for both pregnant and new mums.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden welcomed the ‘positive’ news, but questioned the distance people on the Fylde coast would still have to travel. He added: “It’s not great for them or for the people who want to visit them.”

Until it opens in the autumn, mums face travelling to a similar unit in Wythenshawe, Manchester, or being separated from their children, mental health trust Lancashire Care said.