Perinatal Mental Health Services

Download (PDF 4.08MB)

Summary of report content

Healthwatch Suffolk collected data between 25th October 2018 and 15th December 2018 on the behalf of Suffolk Perinatal Mental Health (SPMHS) and Public Health Suffolk (PHS). The SPMHS and PHS launched a survey to capture the experiences of both mothers and partners in Suffolk, of which Healthwatch Suffolk hosted and analysed. 148 responses were analysed, 3 from partners and 145 from mothers. The findings of this report does not reflect the experiences of young mothers as all participants were over the age of 22. Over half of mothers said they had experienced a mental health illness before their pregnancy, 2 of 3 male participants indicated they had experienced a mental illness before their partners pregnancy. Two-thirds of mothers noticed a problem after birth with over half noticing within the first 3 months. 70% of mothers had experienced depression and 50% had more than one type of illness. All male partners had experienced depression and two had also experienced anxiety and panic attacks. Most mothers received no help or was prescribed medication. On average, mothers rated services (GPs, mental health services, birth hospital, community midwife, health visitors) a 4.4 out of 10, with services being rated the lowest for the treatment of PTSD. Mothers said reduced waiting times, better access to services especially in rural areas, workforce awareness and trained professionals would be improved their experiences. This report contains a map of Suffolk showing the number of responses by location and level of deprivation.

Would you like to look at:

General details

Report title 
Perinatal Mental Health Services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Suffolk
Date of publication 
Monday, 25 March, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 25 October, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 15 December, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Quality of treatment
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Local Council
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Suffolk Perinatal Mental Health and Public Health Suffolk.
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Baby clinic
GP practice
Health visitor
Secondary care services 
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
New mothers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people under the age of 18
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.