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Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) capacity increase options: consultation

A consultation on how to increase Mother and Baby Unit provision or equivalent services to support women with severe mental illness during the perinatal period and their infants. This consultation will inform the development of an options appraisal, as recommended in Delivering Effective Services.


Section C: Options for the Provision of Additional Mother and Baby Unit Services

Delivering Effective Services (2019) recommended that Scotland could benefit from an additional four Mother and Baby Unit beds. These additional beds could be created by expanding one or other of the existing Mother and Baby Units, or through creating a new, third, Mother and Baby Unit in the north of Scotland.

The north of Scotland was identified by Delivering Effective Services as a potential site for a third Mother and Baby Unit as there were concerns about equity of access for women who live significant distances from the existing Mother and Baby Units within the central belt.

A Mother and Baby Unit in the north of Scotland would be sited in either NHS Highland, NHS Grampian or NHS Tayside.

Best practice indicates that the minimum size for a Mother and Baby Unit is 6 beds. Therefore, the recommendation by Delivering Effective Services for an addition 4 beds will be considered as a minimum number of additional beds so that any new unit, if chosen as the preferred option, could be created in line with best practice and standards. If a new Mother and Baby Unit were to be developed it may be larger than 4 beds.

The report suggested that a full options appraisal should be carried out to identify the most appropriate model of bed provision. We are now carrying out the options appraisal and we are seeking views on the options developed to inform the decision making process.

Options will be evaluated on the basis of the ability to provide equitable access to care for women across Scotland, cost-effectiveness of the service, and the safety and sustainability of the service.

When a woman is referred to an MBU for mental health inpatient care there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account, for herself and her family.

4. What do you think is important to women and families when considering admission to an MBU?

Please give us your views

5. a) What do you imagine would be benefit(s) of increasing the number of beds in existing units? (choose all that apply)

  • Access for women and families across Scotland
  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Sustainability of the service
  • Other –

b) Can you tell us your reasons for thinking this?

6. a) What do you imagine would be the challenges/drawback of increasing the number of beds in existing units? (choose all that apply)

  • Access for women and families across Scotland
  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Sustainability of the service
  • Other –

b) Can you tell us your reasons for thinking this?

7. a) What do you imagine would be the benefits of developing a new unit in the north of Scotland? (choose all that apply)

  • Access for women and families across Scotland
  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Sustainability of the service
  • Other –

b) Can you tell us your reasons for thinking this?

8. a) What do you imagine would be the challenges / drawbacks of developing a new unit in the north of Scotland? (choose all that apply)

  • Access for women and families across Scotland
  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Sustainability of the service
  • Other –

b) Can you tell us your reasons for thinking this?

9. Do you think there is a different way to provide care for those women with severe illness, and their infants, who might otherwise need to be admitted to hospital?

Please give us your views

Contact

Email: PerinatalOptionsAppraisal@gov.scot

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