Service user experiences of perinatal mental health services in Croydon

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Croydon investigated 77 new mothers and their partners' experiences of around a number of maternity, pregnancy care related areas using a survey. Healthcare professionals were also spoken to, to gather their views on perinatal mental health services. 

It was found that there is a lack of signposting and information within the pathway as many fo not know where to go for support. There is not enough continuity of care but appropriate support at the right time makes a difference to carer's and patient's experience. Respondents highlighted an appreciation for staff who were under pressure and strained. Although, patients often experienced embarrassment and stigma when talking about their mental health challenges. There is a lack of consideration about mental health within maternity services. More than 60% of service users are facing emotional and mental health challenges. Service users have a lack of knowledge and understanding of how childbirth will or might affect emotional and mental health wellbeing.

A number of recommendations were made including that there needs to be increased signposting and information for new parents; increased continuity of care with more collaboration between the various services involved in the pathway; facilitate mental health education; scop a new pathway for those with mental health challenges; recruit more staff to reduce the staff pressures; increase support networks, such as the local children's centres; and communicate effectively the mental health challenges that can be faced by new parents.

Service provider responses are detailed in the report.

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General details

Report title 
Service user experiences of perinatal mental health services in Croydon
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Croydon
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 20 August, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 March, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 April, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Health promotion
Holistic support
Information providing
Staff levels
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Network related impact

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.