"The Mother and Baby Unit at Bucknall was my lifeline and will always remain very dear to me"
About: North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust / Adult mental health North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust Adult mental health ST2 8LD
Posted by Cerys (as ),
It is with sadness and disappointment, I hear the mother and baby day unit at Bucknall hospital may not be re-located, and the service is under threat.
I had my first child in Feb 2000 and suffered puerperal pyschosis. I was so poorly - I had to be sectioned and hospitalised for three and a half months - the longest and darkest days of my life.
The nearest inpatient facility being Leighton hospital, Crewe - which was over an hours car journey for my partner and family to visit - at a very stressful and vulnerable time.
On discharge I was then introduced to the mother and baby day unit (then based in Charles St, Hanley). I cannot stress enough the impact the fantastic staff had on my recovery. I would not be here without them and my family. This vital service is so often overlooked.
Almost 6 years later, I gave birth to my second daughter, and as expected needed to use the mother and baby unit (now based at Bucknall). It was only with careful planning - pre and post pregnancy with the staff and sheer determination, I avoided being hospitalised. The unit was my lifeline and will always remain very dear to me.
It seems to me the service has not moved forward but is diluted further. Stoke lost the 'Pathways' inpatient unit at the Harplands back in 2003 for a supposed better, stronger service - but I fear Stoke mums yet again will suffer a raw deal. I believe the mum is the crux of the family - and if she is ill and vulnerable - the effect on the baby, siblings, partner and wider family is enormous. In my opinion, no one could deny the importance of this service.