On the 4 July 2006, our New Horizon Mother and Baby centre
opened at Southmead Hospital 10, having moved from the old Barrow
By the time staff moved into our beautiful new building and
garden, there was a great sense of relief, as they had been nomads
for 5 weeks with no base and caring for mums and babies at
home was a massive challenge in some cases.
There have been many advantages for service users being cared
for at Southmead close to maternity services and public transport
links enabling easy access to community resources, parks, shops,
and swimming pool and local mum and baby activities.
There have been a lot of changes over 10 years says Julie
Mitchard Centre Manager, "In the beginning we cared for women from
Avon both as inpatients and day patients and we admitted mums with
babies up to two years of age.
"We are now commissioned by NHS England who decide what the
service criteria are. We now admit women in late stages of
pregnancy, both for treatment and to monitor and prevent
deterioration of their mental state. The upper age that babies can
come into hospital with their mum is now under 1 year, if this is
in the best interest of their baby.
"Service users come from across the South West of England and
further afield. We're now looking at ways of expanding up to eight
beds and to meet the needs of women who have mental illness in the
period leading up to their baby's birth.
"I would like to thank all the staff and other agencies, carers
and service users who have supported the team over the past 10