Joint BSCB and BSAB Multi-Agency Protocol for Perinatal Mental Health

The Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board and Bristol Safeguarding Children Board are pleased to announce the publication of a joint protocol around Perinatal Mental Health.

The perinatal period includes pregnancy and the year following birth. During this period women can be affected by a whole range of mental health problems. This can have a profound impact on the women and their families, but effective and timely detection, intervention and support can prevent and minimise harm. A good understanding of the signs, symptoms, effects and consequences that mental health can have is vital, and this is every professional’s responsibility and requires a well-defined and coordinated Multi-Agency response.

The purpose of this protocol is to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the systems and pathways in place within Bristol. It will address the importance of professionals taking collective responsibility for the woman, her baby and the family, and responding effectively to concerns around Perinatal Mental Health.

The BSCB and BSAB committed to producing this protocol as a piece of learning from the ‘ZBM’ Serious Case Review. This tragic case highlighted a need for clearer pathways across Bristol. You can read here about how the BSCB has responded to the findings of this report, and the changes that have already been made across Bristol, including the development of a specialist Perinatal Mental Health team.

This document is the culmination of months of consultation and hard work. It has been produced collaboratively with organisations from across Bristol and, most importantly, with women and families that are affected by Perinatal Mental Health. The BSCB and BSAB would like to thank all the organisations that have contributed to this.


- The Joint Safeguarding Business Unit