A vision of healthier mothers made reality

Dr Judy Shakespeare, RCGP Clinical Champion for Perinatal Mental Health

The RCGP Clinical Priority programme for Perinatal Mental health launched the RCGP Perinatal Mental Health toolkit on 22 July and a second edition has been released in November 2016. It has been developed by Dr Carrie Ladd, RCGP Clinical Fellow and Dr Louise Santhanam with funding from NHS England.

The toolkit includes good local resources which might not be available in some areas. The majority of the 400 resources included are national organisations but there are several examples of innovative regional and locality projects that are worthy of sharing with a wider audience, such as the posters produced by Forging Families group for Sheffield CCG. There are also links to educational resources, including the eLfH perinatal mental health open access sessions, which I edited. Among many resources aimed at health professionals, there is a specific section created more for women who are affected, and their families and friends. Carrie and Louise engage regularly with the large social media community of passionate, articulate women with lived experience, who are committed to promoting support, hope and recovery stories. 

The toolkit has been very successful. In its first week it was the most visited toolkit on the RCGP website, notching up 5,593 visits and since launch, it remains as the most visited toolkit, with 14,338 visits at time of writing. The average time spent on the toolkit is 8 minutes 19 seconds, which is brilliant, given that 2-3 minutes is considered good by industry standard. It is used predominantly by viewers for the “Clinical Resources for Clinicians” menu, and secondarily for the ‘Resources for Women and their Families’ menu’, suggesting that it is also reaching that target, either directly by women or by GPs recommending it to their patients.

One surprise at the RCGP conference in Harrogate on a totally unscientific head count during an oral session, was that only about 50% of delegates seemed to know about it. This toolkit, like several others on the RCGP website, is available free of charge and with open access to all whether RCGP members or not. If you have any recommendations about how to share the toolkit more widely with colleagues, Speciality Training schemes, CCGs, SCNs, please let us know.

If this has sparked your interest in Perinatal Mental Health, follow Carrie on Twitter @LaddCar or Louise, @gp_aulait. Alternatively, contact the team at CIRC for more information about how to get involved with current and planned work.

 At the launch, from left Carrie Ladd, Judy Shakespeare, Louise Santhanam


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