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Dorset HealthCare is at the forefront of developing excellent mental health services for children and families. We run one of very few mother and baby mental health units in the country, supporting families so that mothers can remain with their baby and close to their families while receiving care for mental health issues before and after a new birth.
The quality of our current service means we have been chosen by NHS England as one of the trusts which will lead the way in further developing this service. A national expansion programme is providing funding to tackle the shortage of specialist inpatient facilities and Dorset families will benefit from this.
We currently run a five-bedded mother and baby unit at our Alumhurst Road site in Westbourne where we provide specialist perinatal mental health support. This focuses on the needs of the mother and the baby, with treatment for women suffering severe mental illness such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Affective Disorder and post-partum psychosis in the perinatal period. We can also help women with a history of severe mental illness that are having a baby and may need extra support.
Our current unit is not big enough which means that some women and their babies may be taken out of the area, away from their partners and families, or be transferred to an acute hospital. We are funding the project ourselves, and aim to create a purpose-built new perinatal unit which will:
The new development will be subject to planning permission and a planning application has been submitted to the Borough of Poole.
We are committed to sensitively managing the development to minimise the impact on the site, our neighbours and the environment. With this is mind we will:
We will be running two open days at the site (St Anns Hospital) for residents and others to see the plans and speak to staff. These will be happening on: