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Required Infrastructure

This perinatal and infant mental health pathway relies on the dedication and commitment of a large number of frontline practitioners such as midwives, health visitors and children’s centre workers. A number of infrastructure requirements are necessary including the following:

  • A fundamental aspect of the provision of good quality and efficient services are the knowledge and skills of the frontline staff involved in their delivery, alongside the adequate staffing of services. A range of innovative ways of working to support the wellbeing of parents and infants have been developed over the past decade, and staff need to be provided with opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD) in order to acquire the necessary skills to deliver these new ways of working.
  • The research points to the importance of practitioners having access to appropriate supervision and support, and evidence about the value of supervision has now been provided for practitioners such as health visitors in terms of increasing compassion and job satisfaction, as well as reducing burn-out and stress.8
  • Other necessary infrastructure requirements include the type of integrated working practices between, for example, midwives and health visitors, and adult mental health practitioners and children’s social service workers, which have been identified as being necessary to both effective information sharing and patient care, in the perinatal period.9
  • The full commissioning of the Healthy Child Programme is necessary to enable staff to work towards achieving the best start in life for every child.