A silent problem perinatal mental health in Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire

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Summary of report content

The Oxfordshire 1001 Critical Days group is a coalition of local agencies working with young children and their families in both the voluntary and statutory sectors. In this report parents’ views about their experience of perinatal (i.e. the time leading up to birth, birth itself and the post-natal period) services and support were collected, in order to gain a deeper and wider understanding about what was working well and what could be improved. An online survey was produced and received 36 responses. The survey was then followed up with four semi-structured interviews. Responses to the survey and follow up interviews identified many positive features of support received, and appreciation, often glowing, was expressed for health visitors, midwives, children’s centres, breastfeeding support services, Infant-Parent Perinatal Service, Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP) and others, and particularly for individuals within those services. Common themes also emerged about the patchiness and inconsistency of support and about primary, secondary and other community care services often not linking up and sharing information effectively. Some of the recommendations are: 1. In the light of current cuts to children’s centres, everything possible should be done to ensure clear pathways of support for families and the continuation of open access support. 2. There should be a cross agency system to enable earlier identification of parents who are in need of emotional and mental health support, particularly those who are reticent or find it difficult to ask for help. 3. Consistency of care needs to be improved.

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General details

Report title 
A silent problem perinatal mental health in Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Oxfordshire
Date of publication 
Friday, 11 November, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 11 November, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 11 November, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Health promotion
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff levels
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 
Structured interview
User stories
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 
GP practice
Health visitor
Secondary care services 
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Depression and anxiety service

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Fertility, pregnancy and childbirth
Types of disabilities 
Mental health
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not 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? 
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? 
Not known

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.