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Creating a Movement of Change Across Wales

4th May 2021

In support of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (3-9 May 2021 – #MMHWeek2021), a Voices Blog by Sharon Fernandez RGN RSCN RHV Ba(Hons) Ma Queen’s Nurse, Public Health Wales, National Clinical Lead for Perinatal Mental Health.

 

Wales has come a long way in terms of perinatal and infant mental health service development over the last couple of years.

Building upon and strengthening the great work that was achieved before and with national leadership, we have been able to strengthen relationships, work much more collaboratively and re-focus time, energy, passion and willingness with the same shared vision in mind – for Wales to lead the way in delivering high quality perinatal mental health care to individuals and their families.

We have taken a ‘whole system approach’ with our priority being to strengthen that system.

With stronger foundations in place, we have been able to address the bigger issues – shaping the Fully Integrated Care Pathway, and reviewing the function and form of the specialist teams. We have developed specialist inpatient provision – with our new interim Mother & Baby Unit opening its door on 19 April in Tonna, Swansea; supporting all health boards to sign up to the Perinatal Quality Network; and to work towards meeting national standards. The network has also funded national training opportunities to the specialist teams and wider workforce colleagues.

The Wales Perinatal Mental Health Network has worked closely with the iHV to create Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Champions across Wales. We have commissioned six cohorts of Multi-Agency Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Champions training, with training being provided with both face-to-face and virtually over the last year.

‘being a Champion has been a complete privilege and I am so looking forward to being an advocate and cascading the training within my Health Board.’

The training has been very well received by all colleagues, giving them increased skills, knowledge and confidence to provide the right care, at the right time, and by the right people. It has also provided them with the opportunity to meet and build relationships with colleagues from within their health boards and across Wales – hearing how others work in different areas of the pathway has reinforced the importance of learning together and from each other.

‘I do feel in part that receiving the iHV PIMH Champions training on the very start date of the first national lockdown really focused my attention on these families who presented with PIMH difficulties. The training enabled me to regularly push the need for prioritising face to face visits during health visitor restrictions for these families, particularly across health and social care collaborations.’

With plans to cascade this training across all health boards in Wales, we are now closer to creating a much-needed movement of change and delivering high quality perinatal mental health care to all who need it across Wales.

Sharon Fernandez
RGN RSCN RHV Ba(Hons) Ma Queen’s Nurse, Public Health Wales, National Clinical Lead for Perinatal Mental Health

@sharonf2016 @NHSWalesCollab
#WalesPNMHNetwork #PMHReachingOutForSupport #MaternalMHMatters #JourneysToRecovery