Perinatal pathways

Speech bubble with perinatal care comment

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health highlighted a system of patchy care and fragmentation for women with perinatal mental health problems, and recommended that national clinical quality benchmarks and pathways could help to address this and support at least 30,000 more women to access mental health care during pregnancy and after giving birth.

The pathways are described fully in these documents:

This guidance sets out the policy initiatives and strategic context for transforming perinatal mental health care. It explains why this transformation must be a priority for commissioners, providers and sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and integrated care systems (ICSs).

This guidance provides detailed information on the pathway, what is important to people who use services, what perinatal mental health problems are and the treatments that should be provided, and the principles for delivering high quality, compassionate care.

This document includes NICE recommended care for perinatal mental health problems, recommendations for outcomes measurement and examples of services who are already providing high quality care and elements of the pathways.

The College's Perinatal faculty has produced a template service specification for specialist community perinatal mental health teams. This can help commissioners to implement the perinatal mental health care pathways.


This graphic visual representation introduces the perinatal mental health care pathways, and can also be downloaded:

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry