Health Minister Robin Swann has re-iterated his commitment to the development of community perinatal services within Northern Ireland.
Delivering the opening address to Northern Ireland’s third Maternal Mental Health Conference to mark Maternal Mental Health Week, the Minister said: “Earlier this year I approved funding for the development of community perinatal services with an investment of around £4 million.
“This investment is reflective of my determination to develop and implement new multidisciplinary community perinatal teams in each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts as well as a Regional Team. These teams will provide vital wrap around care for mothers in the perinatal period experiencing mental health conditions.
“Mothers and infants have waited too long time for this specialist service which it’s hoped will begin partial delivery later this year.
“This will be part of a phased roll out of services and I am pleased to say that PHA will shortly commence work on developing a business case for a dedicated mother and baby unit for the region.”
The Minister also outlined that the roll out of perinatal services will form a key element of the wider improvements being progressed through the 10 year mental health strategy which has recently been the subject of a major public consultation exercise.
Departmental officials are presently completing the final analysis of consultation responses and will be publishing a consultation response shortly, with the final strategy due to be published later this year.