1.        The Wales TUC


1.1        The Wales TUC is the collective voice of the Welsh trades union movement and is the largest democratic membership based civic organisation in Wales.  With 50 affiliated trades unions representing around 400,000 workers in the public, private and third sectors; the Wales TUC represents the views of workers in communities across the whole of Wales.  A constituent part of the British TUC, the Wales TUC has devolved responsibility for Welsh issues, including all matters within the remit of the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh government.


1.2        Unions in Wales elect delegates to the Wales TUC Conference which decides collective union policies for Wales and itself elects the Wales TUC General Council to oversee the delivery of Welsh policy.  The Wales TUC also delivers UK wide and international matters as part of the TUC.


1.3        The Wales TUC plays an integral role in the social partnership model of governance developed with the Welsh Government and employers in Wales. Our aim is to make Wales a fair work nation.


1.4        We welcome the opportunity to make this formal response on behalf of the Welsh trades union movement.  It represents the collective views arrived at democratically on behalf of all our affiliated unions and their memberships.  We approach consultations in this way rather than organise 400,000 individual responses however our single collective response should be given due consideration appropriate to the weight of numbers it represents.



2.        Better Maternal Mental Healthcare


2.1        The Wales TUC’s position on better maternal mental health care is set out as follows (based on a resolution adopted at our 2016 Conference):


“Conference is appalled that according to the Maternal Mental Health Alliance there are seventeen mother and baby units in the United Kingdom, but none in Wales. This means women who suffer with mental health problems during pregnancy or in the months after giving birth are not getting the standard of care they want or deserve.


“This is a big problem, given that one in ten women suffers from mental ill-health either during pregnancy or in the first year of motherhood. Where mother and baby units do not exist, mothers may be admitted to adult wards where they can be separated from their babies.”


2.2        The Wales TUC response is to welcome this consultation as part of the inquiry into perinatal mental health, looking at how perinatal mental health services are currently provided and how the Welsh Government can improve services for mothers, babies, fathers and families. The Wales TUC calls on the Welsh Government to develop a clear action plan for the development of services. We want to see decent and high quality maternal mental health provision in Wales.


2.3        In respect of detailed responses to the terms of reference set out in the consultation, unions affiliated to the Wales TUC within the health sector are best placed to engage in greater detail on this matter and we understand that those discussions are taking place. Wales TUC would be pleased to engage along with those unions and would be happy to provide a joint detailed response (including responses from our affiliate unions) in the form of a letter at a later date if needed.