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Trusts offering controversial trauma ‘treatment’ to new mums

Several NHS trusts are offering a ‘treatment’ for birth trauma which uses a technique which lies outside national guidelines and which is criticised by specialists as potentially causing ‘more harm than good’.

The ‘Rewind’ technique is promoted as a fast treatment for post-natal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – also known as birth trauma - which involves the “reprocessing” of painful memories.

HSJ has learned of several trusts, including East and North Herts Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust and James Paget University Hospital FT, where the therapy is being offered. It is thought there are other trusts which are providing it or have explored it. Typically, it is provided by midwives who have undergone training in the technique.

But Nick Grey, a clinical psychologist who was on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence panel which looked at PTSD, said it was “absolutely clear cut” that it was bad practice to offer the technique as a branded therapy for PTSD, although he said it could be embedded as part of other treatments.

He told HSJ: “It should not be offered to mothers with PTSD… they are being done a disservice if they are not given evidence-based treatment. There is no evidence that this [provides] treatment for sub-clinical PTSD or trauma,” he said.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 11 November 2020


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