So this is the big BBC Scotland reveal today: ‘.. no Scottish health board ‘routinely’ screens for postnatal depression’ for men!
I don’t doubt, and don’t wish to deny or downplay, the difficulties some individuals may have with this form of depression. My problem is with BBC Scotland’s context- and perspective-free, daily negativity about Scotland’s health services. Given its form of reporting, I become better informed NOT from reading/listening/viewing BBC output but from being activated by it to explore other sources.
But I might have a much bigger story for BBC Scotland based on the following link to a UK Government website featuring information from the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC):
‘Screening for postnatal depression in new mothers is not recommended. This is because:
* there is no accurate screening test
* it is not known if screening and treatment would improve health outcomes for mothers or babies.’
And a British Medical Journal article on best practice states: ‘In the UK, routine screening for postnatal depression is not currently recommended.’
‘However, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that healthcare professionals (including midwives, obstetricians, health visitors, and general practitioners) should consider asking two questions to identify possible depression, at the woman’s first contact with primary care, at her booking visit (usually around week 10 of pregnancy), and postnatally (first year after childbirth).’
So ‘consider’ asking two questions of a women at week 10 of pregnancy – does this amount to routine screening and formal monitoring? If Health Boards in Scotland are failing men what’s the UK National Screening Committee and NHS organisations across the UK thinking of in not recommending routine screening for women?
Of course BBC Scotland might tell us next why (just) Scotland’s health boards are failing women in this regard so very badly!