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Care Pathways

A tool used to guide health professionals and women on what their care should look like. 

  • Clear care pathways.

  • Incomplete, confusing carer pathways​.

Clear care pathways

Care pathways that are comprehensive and clearly defined can be a facilitator. 

"…those referral pathways are pretty simple if they’re clearly articulated​."​

Evidence level: ​Moderate

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Assessment, Referral.

Key literature: ​

Nithianandan N, et al. 2016

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Incomplete, confusing care pathways​

Incomplete, unclear or confusing care pathways can be a barrier.​

"Numerous phone calls and a large amount of paperwork are required to complete the screening and referral process​".​

​Evidence level: Moderate​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Assessment, Referral.

​Key literature: ​

Boyd RC, et al. 2011


We recommend commissioners designing clear and comprehensive referral and care pathways. Examples of care pathways for NHS perinatal mental health services can be found on The Future NHS Platform for National Perinatal Mental Health:

Maternal mental health services-> MMHS Resources-> 3. Pathways & system delivery models​.

We recommend commissioners design integrated care ensuring collaboration within and between services.

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