Rosewood Mother and Baby Unit launches
Helen Whately MP has officially opened Kent’s first Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Dartford.
‘Rosewood’ MBU has been developed by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) to run alongside the existing Mother and Infant Mental Health Service (MIMHS) in the community. The MBU provides inpatient care for mothers from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex who are experiencing acute perinatal mental health issues, such as psychosis. The unit opened for referrals on 8 August and is already providing care for five mums (from all three counties) and their babies.
The MBU is part of NHS England’s national transformation programme to help build capacity and increase MBU provision for perinatal mental health. Rosewood features eight ensuite bedrooms, sensory room, nursery, kitchen, garden, lounge and dining areas. Nursery nurses provide care and support for babies 24 hours a day.
Mums are admitted with their baby and supported by a multi-disciplinary team including staff nurses, peer support workers, healthcare workers and nursery nurses.
A range of professionals from Kent, Surrey and Sussex attended the launch as well as a preview event prior to opening.
Professor Catherine Kinane, Executive Medical Director (KMPT) said: “We are thrilled to officially launch the Rosewood MBU which is already making a difference to the lives of mums and families affected by acute perinatal mental ill health. We’ve taken great care to recruit a skilled staff group to provide this service and are proud that mums with lived experience have played a key role in the MBU’s development and launch. The MBU has the feel of a home from home with facilities including children’s visiting area, garden and quiet area to help support recovery and also facilitate family visits.”
Helen Whately, Mid Kent and Faversham MP commented: “The first few weeks, and months, of life with a new baby are amazing but it can also be really tough. New mothers are at risk of mental ill health and some may need specialist treatment. But how much worse if you’re a new mum struggling with your mental health and you have to travel miles from home – possibly even be separated from your newborn and family – to get treatment. This brilliant new Mother and Baby Unit will mean mothers can get the help they need close to home without being parted from their babies. It’s fantastic to see the money the Government is investing in perinatal mental health starting to make a real, tangible difference.”
Zoe Gibson, a mum of two and one of three Rosewood peer support workers helped to develop the trust’s MBU and used her lived experience of a five month MBU stay to help inform its design and production.
Zoe commented: “I am proud of the Rosewood MBU which will do so much to support mums and families. Being part of the team which has created this fantastic new resource was so rewarding. I am living proof of the value of mother and baby units as I have the most amazing bond with my son which was supported through being together at a MBU.”