New and expectant mums across south and west London will soon have access to special mental health services after new funding was secured.

There will be community perinatal mental health teams available to support new and expectant mothers in Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton, and Wandsworth.

It follows after funding was granted to the South West London Health and Care Partnership (SWLHCP) earlier this month.

David Bradley, chief executive at South West London and St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, which will be delivering the service in partnership with South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This funding is much needed to help develop and improve the existing Perinatal services we provide.

"This investment will help us expand the service so that more women in south west London can access services to support their mental wellbeing and the wellbeing of their children and families”

Both psychological and psychiatric assessments, as well as care, will be offered to women who are affected by complex or severe mental health issues during the perinatal period.

In addition, preconception advice for women – who have a current or past severe mental illness – planning for pregnancy.

Sarah Blow, SWLHCP’s senior responsible officer, said: “Over 21,000 women give birth every year across the six boroughs we serve.

“This funding will allow us to support any of those women, should they experience complex or severe mental health problems.

“In addition, it will allow us to deliver training to the wider workforce to ensure that others are confident in recognising the symptoms and helping to manage less serious mental health problems during the perinatal period.”

The teams involved can comprise of doctors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers, who work together to provide services to mothers dependent on their needs, according to SWLHCP.

Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s national mental health director, said: “Mental ill health doesn’t discriminate.

“It can happen to anyone at any time and it disrupts life, not just for mums but the whole family.

“Which is why we are absolutely committed to driving forward improvements in care and ensuring this important area of mental health continues to get the attention it deserves.

“Women with lived in experience can play a pivotal role when it comes to shaping the services for others and influencing how we plan and deliver care effectively as soon as possible.”

It is currently unclear when specifically these new community services will become available following the announcement on May 8.

In August 2016, the NHS launched a £5 million perinatal community services development fund in a bid to help 30,000 new or expectant mums who are affected by serious mental ill health.