A new mental health unit for mums-to-be and new mums – and their babies – is set to open next year.
It means women suffering from serious health issues, including post-natal depression, will be able to receive specialist treatment alongside their little ones.
Based at Chorley Hospital, it will cover Cumbria and Lancashire and have eight beds, and will care for both pregnant women and new mums, Lancashire Care NHS Trust announced.
“Perinatal mental health problems are more common that you might think, with up to 20 per cent of women developing a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby,” Lisa Moorhouse, head of operations for mental health said.
“By providing this specialist inpatient and community service here in Central Lancashire we will be able to deliver care closer to people’s homes when they need it the most.”
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.”
Lancashire Care said the unit will care for women ‘experiencing severe mental health problems’, as well as those at ‘high risk of being mentally unwell in the perinatal period’ – during pregnancy and for a year after birth.
Until it opens in 2018, mums face travelling to a similar unit in Wythenshawe, Manchester, or being separated from their children, the trust, which is responsible for mental health across the county, told The Gazette.