This paper provides guidance for boards in relation to Delivering Effective Services (DES) recommendations on regional approaches to specialist community perinatal mental health service provision.
The paper aims to:
- outline the roles and responsibilities of posts with a regional remit described in DES
- assist boards to meet the standard that women and their infants have access to specialist perinatal mental health provision wherever they live in Scotland, through additional regional support where required
- provide guidance on governance arrangements
Work is being done at a national level on support for regional planning. This paper is intended to provide guidance in advance of broader arrangements.
Delivering Effective Services (DES) Recommendation nine states that ‘NHS Boards with very low birth numbers should collaborate through regional structures with neighbouring boards to ensure sessional time from core specialist staff to provide advice and supervision for staff in adult community mental health teams. This may be provided via telemedicine link.’
The DES regional model further recommends that:
- boards should collaborate at regional level to ensure the availability of a consultant psychiatrist and senior mental health nurse with protected time for specialist perinatal mental health, who can provide at least 0.1 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) for regional specialist advice and supervision for staff working in local adult Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs)
- boards should consider providing additional resource in order that the psychiatrist and senior nurse can provide direct clinical assessment via telemedicine for women under the care of the local service
- local CMHT staff should have regular update training at a level commensurate with their need to act as the primary specialist professional, and that training should be supported through regional structures
- boards should also consider collaborating to provide advice and supervision from specialist perinatal mental health midwifery and parent-infant therapists
- larger stand-alone community perinatal mental health teams should provide a leadership role for service development, pathways into care and education through regional structures
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