The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.

Perinatal mental health has been rising up the NHS’ agenda for some time, with increasing pressure on trusts to ensure they think about the mental health needs of new mums as well as their physical ones.

But have trusts responded to this by offering the right treatments to women with birth trauma? A number have turned to therapies based on the Rewind technique, often delivered by midwives who have undergone training programmes offered by private providers.

As HSJ reports, there are concerns among psychiatrists and psychologists about this therapy – which is not recommended for post traumatic stress disorder by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. One described offering services which are not evidence-based as doing a “disservice” to mothers.

Those who deliver the therapy believe it does work and can make a difference to women’s lives – and not all women who access it would meet the criteria for other mental health services and could be left without support.

That would be a bad outcome but does raise the question of whether the NHS ought to be providing more evidence-based therapies delivered by practitioners specialised in this area to meet their needs.

Not for turning

A Tory peer has made it clear she is not backing down over the Department of Health and Social Care’s “woeful” response to a major patient safety review.

Baroness Julia Cumberlege - who led the “First Do No Harm” report on device and medicine safety– has attacked the department’s response to the report as “woeful”.

She told HSJ’s Patient Safety Congress that she will form a cross-party parliamentary group to exert “pressure” on the DHSC to adopt the review’s findings – which includes the appointment of an independent patient safety  commissioner.  

Baroness Cumberlege said the group would “[try] to open up a firmly shut departmental door. A department that doesn’t seem to get it.”