A CHARITY has received a £10,000 lottery boost to provide more awareness of postnatal depression.
The Joanne (Joe) Bingley Memorial Foundation received the National Lottery award for its Perinatal Support Project.
Chris Bingley, Joe’s husband and trustee of the Foundation, said it recognises the need for more support for mothers who are at risk from suffering postnatal depression.
The Foundation was formed in memory of Joe who stepped in front of a train at Deighton in 2010. She took her own life because she was suffering from severe postnatal depression following the birth of daughter Emily, then aged 10 weeks old.
Chris, of Fartown, said: “One of the main reasons we needed the funding for the project is because the Care Quality Commission’s report earlier this year shows that there has still not been the training in the NHS two years after Joe died.
“The second reason is we’ve spoken to people at Sure Start centres and support groups in Huddersfield and their impression is that there is a need for this project.
“Support groups are there but they don’t have the support or funding to do as much as they could.”
The Foundation raises awareness of and provides information of postnatal depression to mothers, fathers and health professionals.
A coroner ruled Mrs Bingley, a 39-year-old nurse, was not neglected by health services.
But a Care Quality Commission report identified several failings at Fieldhead Hospital’s outpatient service, run by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust, which oversees local mental health services.
The report raised concerns that the “planned training in relation to perinatal mental health disorders is insufficient and is being delivered by trainers who lack experience in this area of work. There are risks that the Trust’s staff will not be sufficiently equipped to safely meet the needs of this specific service user group.”
Asked if improvements to NHS funding would solve the issues, Chris replied: “The simple answer to that is yes – 35,000 women a year suffer in silence and nothing has changed.”
Chris, who returned to the Foundation as a trustee after court action saw him use his late wife’s name to avoid speeding fines, has lined up meetings with MPs next month to push the case for greater support.
“I came back as a trustee for the charity because there’s still so much more to do,” Chris added.
The Perinatal Support Project will begin next year and will build on the success of similar projects run by charity Family Action.
By bringing it to Kirklees, Chris says it’s a first step towards reducing the postcode lottery of the NHS.
“This project is a great opportunity for mums and families in Kirklees to benefit from best practice developed and implemented elsewhere,” he added.
“There has to be a legacy that Joe leaves behind that is both positive and reflects the warmth and love for life she shared with us all.”