FORMER Health Minister and South Shropshire MP, Philip Dunne, has welcomed an announcement of an extension in perinatal support services, including a new centre in Shropshire.

New services will aim to offer help to some 6,000 women, with specialist mental health support for new, expectant and bereaved mothers from 26 hubs across the country.

Around one in four mothers are estimated to face mental health issues around pregnancy.

Ten sites will be up and running within months, with the remainder opening by April 2022 and a centre in every part of the country by 2024. Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin is within the first 10 sites announced.

Mr Dunne has campaigned for better maternity support services in Parliament with women’s and baby groups, following his own experience during his time as a Health Minister with responsibility for maternity care.

“This is excellent news, and something for which I have been campaigning for years,” said Mr Dunne.

"While I was a Health Minister with responsibility for maternity care I worked closely with a number of charities doing great work with young mums in, who had suffered baby loss. So I became much more aware of the profound mental health impact of pregnancy and childbirth. It is vital women receive the support they need.”