Getting it right for mothers and babies in Scotland

Topics: Safeguarding and child protection Mental health

Closing the gaps in community perinatal mental health services

10 to 15% of women in Scotland experience mental health problems during pregnancy or the first year after birth. If untreated, these can have a devastating impact on both women and their families.

This NSPCC Scotland report, written in partnership with Maternal Mental Health Scotland, provides an insight into the current state of perinatal mental health (PMH) services in Scotland. It outlines recent developments in policy and provision and examples of innovative practice. It also highlights the considerable gaps that remain in service provision.

The report makes a number of recommendations based on a nationally coordinated systematic approach to the development of specialist antenatal and postnatal mental health services across Scotland.

Authors: Susan Galloway with Sally Hogg
Published: 2015

Key findings

  • Perinatal mental illnesses affect between 10-15% of women in Scotland.
  • 71% of health boards in Scotland do not have any midwives or health visitors with accredited perinatal mental health training.
  • Only five Scottish health boards (36%) have a specialist community perinatal mental health service.
  • 90% of NHS boards support a National Managed Clinical Network for perinatal mental health.


"Mums want help, they embrace it. At such an important and vulnerable time in women's lives, please don't leave us hanging."

Mothers with first-hand experience of perinatal mental illness from the Western Isles, Edinburgh, Lanarkshire and Glasgow


Please cite as: Galloway, S. and Hogg, S. (2015) Getting it right for mothers and babies: closing the gaps in community perinatal mental health services. London: NSPCC.