31 March 2017

Dear Colleague

Inquiry into Perinatal Mental Health

The National Assembly for Wales’ Children, Young People and Education Committee is undertaking an inquiry into Perinatal Mental Health. The purpose of the inquiry is to help gain a picture of current perinatal mental health service provision across Wales, in both community and inpatient settings. The Committee will gather written and oral evidence, as well as hold a stakeholder event to hear about women’s (and their families) own experiences and journeys through care.

The Committee is keen to hear how services link together under the umbrella of Perinatal Mental Health, including specialised perinatal mental health services, maternity services, general adult mental health services, inpatient mother and baby units, parent and infant mental health services, health visiting, clinical psychology, and midwifery services, GPs and the extended primary care team, role of the third sector and local support groups, and private providers of services.

It is specifically seeking evidence on:

- The Welsh Government’s approach to perinatal mental health, with a specific focus on accountability and the funding of perinatal mental health services covering prevention, detection and management of perinatal mental health problems. This will include whether resources are used to the best effect.

- The pattern of inpatient care for mothers with severe mental illness who require admission to hospital across both specialist mother and baby units (designated mother and baby units in England) and other inpatient settings in Wales. (Since 2013, there has not been a mother and baby unit in Wales).

- The level of specialist community perinatal mental health provision that exists in each Health Board in Wales and whether services meet national standards. 


- The current clinical care pathway and whether current primary care services respond in a timely manner to meet the emotional well-being and mental health needs? Of mothers, fathers and the wider family during pregnancy and the first year of a baby’s life.

- Consideration of how well perinatal mental healthcare is integrated, covering antenatal education and preconception advice, training for health professionals, equitable and timely access to psychological help for mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders, and access to third sector and bereavement support.

- Whether services reflect the importance of supporting mothers to bond and develop healthy attachment with her baby during and after pregnancy, including breastfeeding support.

- The extent to which health inequalities can be addressed in developing future services.

Invitation to contribute to the inquiry

The Committee would like to invite you to submit written evidence to assist with the inquiry.  General information regarding consultation procedures, which should be considered carefully before submitting evidence to the Committee, is set out in the Annex.

The Committee welcomes contributions in English and Welsh and we ask organisations with Welsh Language policies / schemes to provide bilingual submissions, in line with their public information policies. Responses should be submitted by Friday 28 April 2017.  It may not be possible to take into account responses received after this date. 

If you have any queries, please contact Jon Antoniazzi, Committee Clerk on 0300 200 6565.

Yours sincerely,


Lynne Neagle AC / AM
Cadeirydd / Chair




Submitting Written Evidence to the Committee

Disclosure of Information

1.  The Assembly’s policy on disclosure of information is available; please ensure that you have considered these details carefully before submitting information to the Committee.  Alternatively a hard copy of this policy can be requested by contacting the Clerk.

Submitting evidence

2.  If you wish to submit evidence, an electronic copy of your submission should be returned to: SeneddCYPE@assembly.wales.

Alternatively, you can send it to:

Children, Young People and Education Committee
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

3.  Submissions should arrive by 28 April 2017.  It may not be possible to take into account responses received after this date.

4.  When preparing your submission, please keep the following in mind:

Guidance for witnesses providing written evidence for committees

5.  The Assembly is committed to providing accessible information to the widest audience possible.  This short guide is to assist witnesses who produce written information for committees.  This will enable the Assembly to provide information submitted by third parties in an accessible manner.

·                     Use plain English and plain Welsh – avoid unnecessary jargon.

·                     Use a minimum of font size 12.

·                     Use a clear sans serif typeface, such as Lucida Sans. 

·                     Do not have writing over graphics, pictures or watermarks.

·                     Colours and contrast - writing should have maximum contrast to the background: dark on light, light on dark.

·                     Do not use block capitals, and minimise use of bold, underlining and italics.

·                      If you wish to refer to a published document, please include a hyperlink to that document, rather than the document itself.

6.  Where possible, information should be provided in Microsoft Word to ensure accessibility.  Where a scan or Pdf is provided, particularly in the case of signed letters or tables of information, the original Word document should be provided along with it.


7.  The Committee welcomes evidence from those with an interest in this subject.  If you are responding on behalf of an organisation, please provide a brief description of the role of your organisation.  The Committee welcomes contributions in English and Welsh and we ask organisations with Welsh Language policies / schemes to provide bilingual submissions, in line with their public information policies.

8.  The Committee will consider responses to the written consultation and hold oral evidence sessions.

9.  For your information, the Committee has invited submissions from a wide range of organisations, a list of which is available on request.  A copy of this letter has also been placed on the National Assembly’s website with an open invitation to submit views.  However, the Committee would be grateful if you could forward a copy of the consultation letter and Annex to any individuals or organisations that you believe might wish to contribute to the inquiry