Bulletins & Information


Here you will find our posts on any important information.

Sunflower Banner


24th Feb, 2021 | Information


Psychology Provision in Specialist Perinatal Community Mental Health Services, 26 September 2019

Untreated perinatal mental health problems are a significant public health concern. Economic analyses indicate that untreated perinatal mental health problems cost society £8.1 billion every annual birth cohort and that 75 per cent of these costs are as a result of the adverse impacts on later infant and child outcomes.

(This is equivalent to a cost of just under £10,000 for every single birth in the country.)

PSSRU: Personal Social Services Research Unit: The costs of perinatal mental health problems: Report summary: Annette Bauer, Michael Parsonage, Martin Knapp, Valentina Iemmi & Bayo AdelajaOver : 2014

Over a fifth of total costs (£1.7 billion) are borne by the public sector, with the bulk of these falling on the NHS and social services (£1.2 billion).

The average cost to society of one case of perinatal depression is around £74,000, of which £23,000 relates to the mother and £51,000 relates to impacts on the child.8

Despite this, the current provision of services is widely described as patchy, with significant variations in coverage and quality around the country to impacts on the child.

A broad set of illustrative estimates suggests that additional NHS expenditure of around £280 million a year would be needed in England to bring perinatal mental health care up to the level and standard recommended in national guidance. This is equivalent to extra spending of around £1.3 million a year in an average CCG. In comparison, aggregate spending on the NHS in England is around £105 billion a year, or around £500 million a year in a typical CCG.

Put another way, the estimated cost of extra provision is equivalent to about £400 per average birth. Our estimates suggest that, in comparison, perinatal mental health problems impose costs of around £10,000 per birth for society as a whole, with costs of around £2,100 per birth falling on the public sector.

Because the costs of perinatal mental health problems indicate the potential benefits of intervention, even a relatively modest improvement in outcomes as a result of better services would be sufficient to justify the additional spending on value for money grounds.