The NHS is 75 years old on Wednesday 5th July. At Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) we would like to mark the anniversary by thanking all the staff who are part of our partnership projects with the NHS, working to deliver peer support to women and families affected by postpartum psychosis (PP) and severe postnatal mental illness.
APP's NHS partnership projects
APP has been working collaboratively with the NHS since 2018. By embedding our peer supporters in Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) and with perinatal community mental health teams we reach women and families during admission and discharge as well as provide longer-term support through local community café groups - monthly get-togethers for anyone who has experienced PP. Wider family members are signposted to dedicated dads, co-parent and grandparent support via APP’s national projects. Women from diverse communities can be matched for additional support to others with similar experiences.
Since 2018 APP's NHS partnership projects have supported more than 700 women and family members.
We’re currently working with NHS teams in:
- Birmingham (East, South, West and Solihull community teams).
- Chamomile Suite Mother and Baby Unit in Birmingham.
- Ribblemere Mother and Baby Unit in Chorley & community teams in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
- The Black Country community teams (Walsall & Wolverhampton and Sandwell & Dudley).
“I am incredibly proud of our NHS partnership projects and the work which APP peer support teams do alongside our NHS colleagues. Reaching women and families earlier in their illness, whether whilst at an MBU or as part of a community team, including supporting pregnant women who are at risk of PP, has provided vital peer support which APP is well-placed to provide, being in but not of the system. Our café groups and other community support is there for women for as long as they wish to be part of it, and seeing those who have been patients then give their time and experiences to APP as volunteers is both very moving and a great testament to what we have achieved so far. I would welcome the opportunity to grow our networks of APP peer supporters in NHS services and would love to hear from other MBUs about how we can work together on more collaborative projects.
Like many others who have lived experience of PP, I am thankful to the NHS and for the treatment I had when I was unwell, as well as APP’s peer support which was such an important part of my recovery and ongoing journey. To be working on these projects now is hugely rewarding and something I never imagined could be possible. Thank you to the NHS, my wonderful APP and NHS colleagues, and everyone who is marking this special anniversary”.
Hannah Bisset, APP National Coordinator – NHS Contracts. Email: email@example.com
Find out more about APP's regional projects here.
Since 2014 APP has delivered lived experience talks and workforce training days for NHS staff, including MBU teams, health visitors, midwives and mental health nurses. The courses help health professionals recognise the early signs and symptoms of PP; promote the importance of timely treatment; and talk about recovery and support needs.
- 100% of health professionals attending APP’s training say it has increased their knowledge of PP.
- 100% say it will change their practice, with 73% saying it will change their practice ‘a lot’.
- 99% say they feel better equipped to identify and manage those at risk of PP during pregnancy.
We want to thank and celebrate NHS staff who have worked incredibly hard to support APP through fundraising. Many healthcare professionals have taken on marathons or other sponsored challenges for APP over the last few years, and teams from MBUs and Perinatal Mental Health Teams in Glasgow, Birmingham, Nottingham, North Wales and Swansea have all taken part in our Miles for Mums and Babies challenge - running, walking and cycling hundreds of miles to raise awareness of PP and funds for APP.
The Morpeth and Exeter MBU teams and the Pennine Specialist Perinatal Community Mental Health Team all joined in with our Big Bake for APP.
We would love to partner with more NHS teams, to highlight the support families going through PP need and raise money for our work. Sign up for #MilesforMumsandBabies or get in touch with our fundraiser, Fliss.
“As Peer Support Facilitator with APP and the Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust I have had the privilege of supporting many mums and families alongside the caring and compassionate perinatal team at the MBU and in the community. It such a great partnership between APP and the Trust, as APP complements the services provided by the amazing perinatal services to ensure that mums affected by PP, and their whole family, are supported throughout their recovery journey and beyond”.
Jocelyn Ellams, APP Peer Support Facilitator – Lancashire and Cumbria
“It is a fantastic service and I feel very lucky to have this as an option in my workplace with such a caring and compassionate peer support worker”.
NHS Healthcare professional
“Thank you so much for your support through the past 3 months. It’s meant so much. It has been the hardest 3 months of my life, but I think a lot of good has come out of it. I’m so much more motivated and confident now than I was before and I’m getting so much enjoyment out of my baby”.
Mum supported by APP-NHS partnership project
Join our NHS projects team
APP is recruiting casual Peer Support Worker(s) to join our innovative collaborative NHS partnership projects with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust and Black Country Healthcare Foundation Trust providing peer support to inpatients at Birmingham Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) and in the community through our café groups in both the Black Country and Birmingham.
We’re looking for people with lived experience of postpartum psychosis to help support women, one-to-one and through small group activities, at the MBU and to be part of our West Midlands café groups across the region. Full details of how to apply are here.