Inequalities in Perinatal Mental Health identification & access to services

Poor mental health in the perinatal period (pregnancy and up to one year after birth) can, if left untreated, cause long-term negative impacts on the whole family. We know that there are inequalities in who gets treatment by PMH services, with ethnic minority groups and those living in deprived communities less likely to have their mental health illnesses identified, recorded or treated.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Perinatal Mental Health steering group has funded research to identify the reasons for these inequalities in the identification and treatment of PMH across the different perinatal services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Through reviews of the research literature, development of systems maps, qualitative research and analyses of routinely collected health data we aim to show where there are gaps in current services which are contributing to these inequalities.

At the end of the study, we will work with the community, commissioners and healthcare providers to co-produce recommendations and adaptations to systems to address these inequalities and provide the best possible level of care to women, their partners and children.

The research is a collaboration between Born in Bradford, the University of York and the University of Huddersfield. Together this team brings expertise in perinatal mental health, applied health research, systems change, health inequalities and analysis of large data to lead an exciting piece of work to help improve PMH services across the region.