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The Patients Association Investigation into PCTs Commissioning of PND Services - Sunday Times 6/3/2011

The Sunday Times featured Chris and Joe’s story in an article on the 6th March 2011, prior to the release of The Patients Association Report on Primary Care Trusts commissioning of Postnatal Depression Services.

After the Independent Investiagtion into Joe’s death, Chris contacted and worked with The Patients Association to help them to reveal that the NHS failure in Joe’s case was wide-spread across the UK resulting in a “postcode lottery of care”.

The article outlined the main failings of the NHS according to the Patients Association report and contains a quote from Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association.

To access the article go to:

The Patients Association Investigation into PCTs (2011)

The Patients Association performed an independent investigation into the commissioning of Perinatal Mental Health Services across 150 Primary Care Trusts to identify whether Joe’s case was an isolated incidence or an example of a far wider problem. What they discovered was appalling:

  • 78% of PCTs do not know the incidence of PND in their region
  • 55% of PCTS are failing to follow NICE guidance and do not provide any written information on PND to mothers who may be suffering
  • 44% of PCTs are failing to implement NICE guidance and are not part of a clinical network for perinatal mental health
  • 63% of PCTs do not have a lead in PND services that is a Specialist Perinatal Psychiatrist as required by the NHS National Service Framework
  • 20% of PCTs do not review adherence to NICE guidelines despite Directors of NHS trusts having legal responsibility to ensure risk management frameworks are robust and defensible and national policies that mandate a requirement to monitor adherence

The facts are that service provision for women with postnatal depression can be poor, to non-existent in most areas of the UK resulting in a postcode lottery of care. Key issues are:

  • Failure to understand and identify numbers of women who suffer and require services
  • Failure to commission services
  • Failure to provide information and support to patients and their carers
  • Failure to follow NHS National Service Frameworks and NICE Guidelines