In an open letter to the health secretary, the group highlights how many families are not receiving the five checks from a health visitor they are entitled to, and how the health visiting workforce in England is at an all-time low with not enough health visitors to meet the level of need. New analysis of Public Health England data has found that 19 per cent of babies in 2021 didn’t receive their 12-month health visitor review by the time they were 15-months-old.
The ‘Fight for a Fair Start’ campaign aims to improve access to mental health support for the one in five mums and one in ten dads who experience perinatal mental health problems during pregnancy and in the first year after birth.
Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive of the BPS, said:
“We are pleased to lend our support to this vital campaign and call for better access to perinatal mental health support. It is well known that the pandemic has had a serious impact on the mental health of parents and access to services is patchy and inconsistent, which leaves many new parents who are in need of support unable to access the help they need.
“Our members who work in prenatal and perinatal mental health know all too well that without the right support, mental health difficulties during pregnancy and the first year can have not just immediate consequences, but affect the relationship between parents and their babies long-term. It is important that the government listens to the concerns of parents and those who work in the sector, and rebuilds health visiting services.”