The Mother and Baby Mental Health Unit at the Southern General Hospital, one of only two specialist units in Scotland, has received national recognition for its work to improve the quality of mental health care for new mothers.
The Unit has been awarded Royal College of Psychiatrist Perinatal Quality Network Accreditation following a review by external auditors.
Clinical nurse manager Clare Haughey said: “This is particularly difficult to achieve because you are reviewed by your peers. What it means for our patients is the reassurance that we are providing a high quality, best practice service.”
The Unit had to pass demanding criteria to achieve this national recognition. The process involves compiling extensive records as proof of the work of the unit which then go before the Royal College panel. While, peer reviews ask carers and family members of patients for feedback about the service and speak to patients.
The SGH facility has 24 staff delivering in-patient services plus a team of five working in the community.
Clare continued: “The standards are very high. The reviewers look at the care we provide, our staffing levels, environment, mixture of disciplines in the service, and if are we meeting the standards of best practice for mother and baby units throughout the UK.
“Accreditation lasts for three years after which the unit must be reviewed again as well as undergoing a yearly review from the Royal College of Psychiatrist Perinatal Quality Network.
“Apart from maintaining standards there is always room for improvement, hence we welcome all feedback and suggestions from users, carers and referrers to our service.”
The Quality Network for Perinatal Mental Health Services works with specialist perinatal mental health teams to improve the quality of mental health care for new mothers.
Participating services are able to benchmark their practice against similar services and demonstrate the quality of care they provide.