SUPPORT offered to Shropshire mothers and families is not up to standard, an investigation has revealed.

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance has published data that shows that the level of specialist support given to county women and their families is "extremely basic" and "falls short of national standards".

Healthwatch Shropshire wants to know what support people feel is needed to ensure their whole family is supported with mental health challenges during or after pregnancy.

Jane Randall Smith, chief officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, explained: "This is a real opportunity for us to gather people’s experiences and use them to look at developing a service which truly meets the needs of our families.

"By lending your story to this work we can help organisations providing care to learn as well as design services which will benefit everyone."

More than half of new mothers are concerned about their mental health and as many as one in five pregnant women and new mums experience some form of mental health challenge.

Partners can also be affected - the National Childbirth Trust research shows that one in three new fathers are concerned about their mental health and one in 10 fathers suffer from Post Natal Depression.

It is a subject that has been gathering widespread attention of late and Healthwatch Shropshire would like to know how this has affected families in the area.

Healthwatch Shropshire wants to hear how families have managed their mental health problems with the current provision and what improvements would have made all the difference to them.

Healthwatch Shropshire chairs the local Maternity Voices partnership and will share people’s experiences directly with local Maternity Leaders as well as nationally with Healthwatch England.

NHS England has announced that it will increase spending on maternal mental health support from 2019 which should hopefully mean a better level of support locally.

Ms Randall Smith added: "You can help by sharing your experience or encouraging anyone you know who might be affected to take five minutes to share their story. All information will be treated confidentially and shared anonymously."

Healthwatch Shropshire can be contacted on 01743 237 884 or at