GP six-to-eight-week maternal postnatal consultation and mental health support for new parents

News - 12 January 2024

There is new NHS guidance, written in collaboration with the Royal College of GPs, asking family doctors to provide personalised postnatal care for the physical and mental health of new mothers, and to support them with family planning.

This will also include Mental Health support. As a result of new NHS guidance to GP’s mothers in England will be asked in detail, if pregnancy or giving birth, has affected their mental health. The move is part of a drive by NHS England to improve support for women suffering postnatal depression or other mental health problems linked to their pregnancy or childbirth. 

It also provides clear national advice to address unwarranted variation for the delivery of safer, more equitable and more personalised care.

More information is available in the news story here.

You said We Did

Healthwatch Wirral has played pivotal role to contribute to the new guidance. We did this by gathering experiences of new birth givers here in Wirral & working alongside Healthwatch England. Part of this included local mapping, a survey, qualitative interviews and working with local partners like WMO (Wirral Multi Cultural Organisation, Koala Northwest, Wirral Maternity Voices, and Wirral Mind. Several articles were produced along with a final report produced in June.

As part of the review of maternal mental health care, Healthwatch England went on to analyse experiences of pregnancy and post-natal care shared by 2,693 new mothers and birthing parents since April 2020. Whilst the survey participants were self-selected, their views are likely to reflect those of a significant group of recently pregnant people. 

Further Reading

Stories from new mothers: accessing maternal mental health services | Healthwatch

Stories from new mothers: the importance of good communication | Healthwatch

Continuity of carer is crucial to addressing perinatal mental health | Healthwatch

A new NHS delivery plan promises improved maternal mental health support | Healthwatch