A clinical commissioning group in the North West is to part fund a £470,000 service for parents struggling to form relationships with their babies, becoming one of the first CCGs in the country to fund such a service.

Liverpool CCG is funding the new “LivPIP” scheme with charity Parent Infant Partnership UK.

The two organisations have each contributed £235,000 for the three-year contract, which will be run  by social enterprise Person Shaped Support.

Julie Rawlinson, postnatal depression service manager at PSS described attachment between parent and baby as “really crucial in a baby’s brain development”.

“Mothers who cannot form a secure bond with their baby are much more likely to experience a whole range of issues as their children grow such as behavioural problems and poor performance at school.”

LivPIP will focus on the parent-baby relationship through a combination of individual and group work. It will also offer support and training to health professionals and seek to raise awareness of LivPIP across Merseyside’s health services.

Professionals will be able to refer families to the service if they have concerns about a parent’s relationship with their bump or infant, but individuals will also be able to self-refer.

GP Dr Simon Bowers, clinical lead for children and maternity at Liverpool CCG said: “We’re pleased to be able to support such a ground-breaking service which has the potential to have a really positive impact on local families.”