How many Mother and Baby Units are th... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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How many Mother and Baby Units are there in the UK, and where are they?

Catharine
Catharine

If we feel that it is vital that women diagnosed with PP have access to MBU's how can we encourage the Government to ensure that there are sufficient available?

27 Replies
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I am in Scotland and there are two up here. I was lucky to get a place in one when I needed it. There were 6 beds in the one I was in. Not many really!

I know there is one in Birmingham and I was lucky to get a bed here and there is another one in Stafford. I don't know where others are but there needs to be more. I had to spend a week in a general psychiatric ward while I waited for a bed to become available as there are only 6-8 beds on the unit.

There are a total of 22 Mother and Baby Units scattered across the UK in the following locations; Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, two in Leeds area, Manchester, Derby, Stafford, Nottingham, Birmingham, Leicester, Cardiff, Bristol, five around London, Bournemouth, Winchester and Eastbourne. Some of these are very small with one or two beds, some are larger with 5 or 6 beds. To be referred to unit however, you would need your GP to refer you to see a Perinatal Psychiatrist for assessment. Hope this helps!

Here is a map of MBU locations: twitpic.com/621icu

Catharine
Catharine in reply to Nic_at_APP

Thanks Nic, that is very helpful. It does seem from the map, that in some parts of the country there is a lack of availability - so it seems that it is very much a lottery, as louloubexs says, as to postcode. I am surprised that Addenbrookes in Cambridge is not on the map for East Anglia. Also Wales seems to have very few too.

Hidden
Hidden

Thanks for that information Nic, I wasn't aware they was so many but they are all quite small. I was in the Eastbourne one and that's a six bed unit. The Bethlem Royal is in Beckenham and that is slightly bigger. I think its 12?!. Also it's difficult as if a mum has multiples, like myself. That woman would take up two spaces, as it happen when I went to Eastbourne a lady had twins, so there were only 5 mums, which therefore reduces space which is another factor that affects the MBU lottery.

xx

Hidden
Hidden

Nic, would it be possible to get a break down of how many beds in each MBU? Thanks x

EmmiLou
EmmiLouVolunteer in reply to Hidden

Hi Louloubexs

I was in the MBU in Manchester which is in Wythenshawe and there were 8 beds there and a self contained flat. Even though there were 8 beds it was still very difficult to get a place in there. I remember there being people from all over the North, including Carlisle. x

The USA needs to learn from the UK. To my knowledge there are only 2 units in the entire USA. Any suggestions on how to increase the number? Does anyone know the history on how the UK began having mother baby units? And how the UK was able to increase the number of units?

Catharine
Catharine in reply to JenniferM

Jennifer, I am not able to answer your questions here - I would hope that Perinatal psychiatrists communicate worldwide. I wonder if any USA universities are doing research into PP like Ian Jones and Jess Heron?

andrea_at_app
andrea_at_appVolunteer in reply to JenniferM

Hi JenniferM, I'm not sure about the history but I'm interested to know, so I'll find out & get back to you. Also with an update on how the campaign to increase the number here is going now. I still find it shocking there are only 2 in the USA, hopefully that will change soon!

Thank you, Andrea!

andrea_at_app
andrea_at_appVolunteer in reply to JenniferM

Hi all. Just to let you know, Professor Brockington, who set up the first Mother & Baby Unit in the UK (possibly worldwide), is writing the history of M&B units, how they increased & what is happening now to be included on the APP website. We'll also include an interactive map of all UK M&B units for easy reference. I'll let you know when it's available but keep checking the website for updates - it'll be under the 'Getting Help' section. app-network.org/

Hopefully this important info will be available soon!

This is good news. Thank you for letting us know. Hoping USA can learn from the history. I will be looking forward to the information. Please do keep us informed.

I live in Wales and went into one but there was also another one so im not sure how many are in Wales. Kind regards Lavender123 x

Lavender123, thanks for that - I wonder how far your family had to travel to visit you? and did your GP find the place for you in the MBU? It must be very hard if there isn't somewhere close to home.

I think it was approx 10 miles from home and my family members travelled by car , it would have been difficult to visit by bus though. But this was 16 years ago so there may be MBU nearer now , i could try and find out if you like as we have a few nurses in our family now. okay? kind regards Lavender x

Hidden
Hidden

JenniferM, I can't believe there are only 2 MBUs in the entire USA, that is just awful. The MBU was a 2 hour journey each way from our house.

When hubby finished work, he'd commute every night, he'd get to us about 8, and visitors were only allowed to stay until 10pm, so he only got two spend two hours a day with us. Followed by another 2 hour drive home. Also due to it being so far, I didn't have many people coming to visit only close family.

This continued for just over 3 months, so a very stressful time not helped by the long journey.

xx

Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

The one in York has closed which is awful as they were brilliant with me. Leeds isn't a million miles though I guess.

Thanks for that information Spannerb, I guess the NHS is having to think of ways of saving money, and planning the best way to use their resources for the whole community. We all know, it is difficult making hard decisions when money is limited. And yes, if you think about only 2 MBU's in the entire USA and the distance between Leeds and York - it puts things into perspective perhaps even if it doesn't make sense to us.

Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

Yeah, 2 in the US is rubbish. I know that the NHS is constantly changing and money has to be saved. York was closed when a new Trust took over (Leeds) and the closure was due to health & safety apparently. Perhaps as Bootham Park is an old building, former asylum. It was an hour's journey for my husband as we live north of York. If we have another baby and I'm need of a MBU, we might end up Newcastle way. These units are so important, I hope they continue and are opened more where possible, both in the UK and abroad.

Thanks everyone for the useful info. I wasn't able to go to a mother and baby unit, as there wasn't one close enough, and feel it is so important that more are opened up in key areas. Going back to Catharine's original post, what can we do to convince the Government that this should be a key priority? I really feel that my whole experience of PPP and recovery would have been managed so much better if I had had access to a specialised MBU, rather than being on a general psychiatric ward. It was just so horrible being separated from my baby for three weeks, and being treated by nurses some of whom didn't actually know what was wrong with me (yes, I checked, and it is possible to train to become a psychiatric nurse and not know about PPP).

Catharine
Catharine in reply to lrbs

Thanks Clooney for your response to my question. Perhaps we can ask Andrea and others more closely involved in APP the best way to go about this? If we all wrote to our MP's it might be helpful to have a standard letter to help us put our point across that we might access from this site?

What do others think?

Naomi_at_app
Naomi_at_appVolunteer

Hi all

This is a great thread - very interesting to get a sense of the whole picture across the UK. You may notice that there is no provision at all in Devon & Cornwall - 2 of the biggest counties in the UK!! I'm pleased to report that my local perinatal mental health team in Exeter is really keen to get some campaigning going for equitable provision in the South West... Please send me a personal message if you are SW-based and up for being involved.

In answer to Catharine's question - it is a very good time in the next 6 months to raise the profile of MBU provision as the way NHS services are commissioned is having a big shake-up. You may have heard about the GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) which will take over buying of local services from April 2013. Each CCG has a legal requirement to show that they are listening to the views of local people about what services should be provided. This is where Healthwatch comes in...

healthwatch.co.uk/ It would be brilliant if as many of us as possible who are passionate about this issue take part in our local Healthwatch - either in person or by writing. These will get going in April 2013 but in the meantime Local Involvement Networks (LINKs) are a good place to make contact and start networking!

Hope this helps

Naomi

This site seems very supportive and genuine comments. Good to be part of it.

Naomi_at_app
Naomi_at_appVolunteer

Hi Leigh4

Lovely to have you with us - and thanks for the encouragement about the site.

It would be great if you would like to start a new question asking for input from members into your proposed project. Just go to the grey 'Ask a question' link at the top of the page.

Personally I think the Family Project sounds invaluable, as the transition from any inpatient setting to home and full-time responsibility is huge. At APP we have also found that many women come out of an inital manic psychosis into a deep depression - some support on leaving hospital around what to do if you experience depression would be great. Many of our members also felt they didn't have enough practical tips on interacting, playing with and bonding with their baby. This would be a great part of the sessions for both mums and dads.

Wishing you all the best with the project - keep us posted!

N

andrea_at_app
andrea_at_appVolunteer

Hi all,

There're some great discussions & comments above! If you haven't seen this yet it's a really useful map of UK Mother & Baby Units. It's still in development though & we'll be adding more useful information to it so it's best to check regularly. We're also currently developing the Campaigning pages of the APP website as there's a lot of fantastic work going on this year & hopefully much needed progress will be made!

Take care all x

Map of UK Mother & Baby Units.

app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

I lived in South Wales and the mother baby uniting closed down in cardiff and the Bristol one was full so I had to go to Bournemouth there was five beds there I didn't think it was fair because my parents had to book into hotel to stay down there with me to have company.

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