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Launch of national network promises improved care for new mothers

20 January 2017

The first Scotland-wide network of specialists focused on improving mental health for new and expectant mothers is being launched today.

The Managed Clinical Network will bring together perinatal and infant mental health professionals from across Scotland, who will develop and implement guidelines and best practice.

The Scottish Government said the new network will identify gaps in current perinatal care, and ensure that everybody gets the same high level of care throughout the country.

Separate reviews by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and the Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) recommended the establishment of a clinical network, which Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt will launch at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary today.

A report published by the MWC last year showed a geographically mixed level of service in hospitals and in the community. It also found that a third of mothers who needed hospital care were treated in non-specialist wards without their babies.

Dr Gary Morrison, Executive Director (Medical), at the Mental Welfare Commission, said:

"New mothers and mothers-to-be who experience mental ill health are particularly in need of good quality care.

"We welcome this announcement by the Scottish Government. Their commitment to establishing a Scotland-wide network will allow a much greater sharing of expertise between health care teams, and reduce the variation in care that women currently receive. It will help improve care for women who are unwell at this time in their lives, wherever they live in Scotland."

Jamie Wilson 0131 313 8782

Note to editors

A copy of the full news release from the Scottish Government is available here: http://news.gov.scot/news/mental-health-for-new-mums

A copy of the Commission's perinatal report, entitled 'Keeping Mothers and Babies in Mind', is available here: /media/320718/perinatal_report_final.pdf

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