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iHV response to MBRRACE-UK report on maternal deaths

9th December 2015

A new report of pregnancy-related deaths shows that, while overall figures are falling, there is an urgent need to protect and improve training of all the relevant professional groups about perinatal mental illness, and particularly the speed with which women’s illness can progress.

The report findings into the reasons why women with mental disorders die in pregnancy and in the postnatal period reinforces health visitors’ concerns as seen in results from the Institute of Health Visiting’s (iHV) State of Health Visiting Survey 2015. The iHV 2015 survey of over 1400 health visitors found 1 in 4 health visitors cannot provide every family with a postnatal mental health (PMH) assessment at 6-8 weeks, and 3 in 4 cannot at 3-4 months as recommended by the Government. This is of particular concern as 68% of respondents reported having seen an increase in postnatal depression in the past 2 years.

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