NHS England GP 6-8 week maternal postnatal consultation-what good looks like guidance. (Published by NHS England December 2023 and Endorsed by GPCPC)
GPCPC are delighted to see the publication of this guidance. As an organisation we have worked closely with NHS England and RCGP to make sure it will help GPs access the most recent evidence based advice to improve the care and experience of women and families after birth. It is encouraging that NHS England have undertaken to keep the advice up-to-date.
We recognise that some GPs may feel this places an impossible burden of expectation on GPs at a time when they are already so overstretched. However GPs should consider that:
- The document is aspirational
- The consultation should be viewed as a starting point. Not everything has to be discussed and managed within a single consultation
- They are part of wider teams and can signpost to others with additional skills, such as health visitors, infant feeding services, pelvic health services and maternal mental health services
- This postnatal consultation may be the only opportunity to offer contraception, health promotion advice and pre-conception care to some of the women with the greatest risks to their future health
- Every GP should be offered training to a minimum level for this consultation
- Some GPs may wish to attain a specialist expertise in this area, which may be useful in offering a service across their PCN or ICB
GPCPC hopes to be able to continue to develop these resources and is happy to work with any organisation that shares our values.