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Mental health: New mothers and babies at risk across half of Britain due to lack of services

Mentally ill mothers are missing out on potentially life-saving care because they cannot access NHS services, experts warned yesterday.

Health coalition the Maternal Mental Health Alliance said that pregnant women and new mothers across almost half of Britain did not have access to specialist perinatal mental health services.

Women or their babies could be left at risk because they are missing out on essential and potentially life-saving care, according to the group of more than 60 professional and patient organisations.

They have released a series of maps showing the availability of services to women across Britain — and that large swathes of Britain have no provision at all.

“Specialist perinatal mental health services have the expertise to treat illnesses that particularly affect new mothers,” said Alliance chairman Dr Alain Gregoire.

“Yet in almost half of the UK, women still have no access to community specialist perinatal mental health services.”

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