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Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Mother and Baby Unit opens its doors

23rd November 2018

Ribblemere_MBU_full_team.jpgLancashire and Cumbria’s new specialist inpatient Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) officially opened its doors on 30th October at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital.

The specialist Ribblemere MBU and community perinatal mental health (PMH) service are part of a £40m investment in inpatient perinatal care and a huge step forward for everyone involved in PMH across Cumbria and Lancashire. Before the new unit was developed, the nearest facility where women experiencing perinatal mental health problems could be cared for alongside their babies was Wythenshawe in Manchester.

The purpose built Ribblemere Unit has eight separate en-suite bedrooms, each featuring a single bed, cot, baby changing station and storage facilities.

Mums staying in the unit will also have access, in the communal areas of the ward, to:

  • Lounge area with TV and DVD player
  • Open plan dining room
  • Nursery
  • Kitchen with tea, coffee and snack making facilities
  • Milk kitchen (for sterilisation and preparation of baby formula)
  • Laundry room with washing, tumble drying and ironing facilities
  • Bathroom with accessible bath
  • Multisensory room
  • An enclosed garden.

The  unit is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals experienced in treating perinatal mental health difficulties which includes doctors, mental health nurses, nursery nurses, nursing assistants, a clinical psychologist, occupational therapist, social worker and peer support worker. The ward is staffed 24/7 by the nursing team who will provide support, one-to-one time and continuous assessment to every patient on the ward. Each patient will also be assigned a named nurse to coordinate care throughout admission.

Co-production

The Ribblemere MBU was developed in partnership with women who have experienced perinatal mental health issues, some of whom will continue to work with the Trust on related services. The Trust is also working closely alongside national charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis and will have peer support workers embedded within the unit.

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