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Our Story

Sun 8 Nov 2015

Our Story

Parent Infant Partnership (PIP) UK is a national charity (Registered Charity No: 1152802) and umbrella organisation to a network of PIPs who provide specialist clinical services to infants and their families.

PIP UK was founded in 2012 by Andrea Leadsom MP alongside the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto to realise a vision to give every baby the best possible start in life. 

The need for PIP services across all areas of the UK is acute. They provide an essential component to a preventative strategy for better mental health outcomes across the lifespan. International research clearly demonstrates the case for investing early into human potential. Currently only 1% of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) budget is spent on the under 2s, and none at all on bumps.

Our Three Main Pillars:

1.To support practitioners and organisations to set up PIP services and monitor the effective delivery of local PIPs objectives, which are as follows:

  • Create and manage a quality standard for specialist infant- parent clinical services through researched therapeutic methods and practice based evidence​
  • Create a sound data base of the outcomes for the child of specialised infant mental health services, based on a range of appropriate assessments.
  • Channel funds for the delivery of specialist infant- parent clinical services to projects that meet these objectives and standards.
  • Endorse and signpost quality training for parent infant practitioners.
  • Endorse and signpost quality training and support for the early years' workforce
  • Provide specialised training and consultation to the early years' workforce in areas where a PIP team has been established.

2. To evaluate the effectiveness of specialist infant-parent clinical services in terms of public health, social and economic outcomes.

3. To promote specialist infant - parent clinical services as a critical element of perinatal and early year’s intervention at a policy and political level, through effective lobbying and collaboration with other organisations.

The cost of not providing early help for infant-parent relationship support is considerable: babies and their families suffer, costs to taxpayers rise and society loses the potential of another individual.

• 39% of first time fathers have high levels of distress in the first year of their child’s life

• 50% of women with perinatal mental health problems are not identified or treated.

• 26% of babies in the UK have a parent affected by domestic violence, mental health or substance misuse.

A radical change is required to our approach to the 1001 critical days: conception to age 2 period to give every baby the best possible start in life. Evidence shows it is vitally important to ensure that the baby achieves its optimum development and nurturing during this peak period of growth, as the foundations of the babies’ mind are being put in place.

Economic Case

Earlier this year The London School of Economics and Centre for Mental Health carried our research in the UK on The Costs of Perinatal Mental Health which showed that perinatal depression, anxiety and psychosis carries a total long-term cost to society of about £8.1 billion for each one-year cohort of births in the UK.

Key findings in this report are:

• Taken together, perinatal depression, anxiety and psychosis carry a total long-term cost to society of about £8.1 billion for each one-year cohort of births in the UK. This is equivalent to a cost of just under £10,000 for every single birth in the country.

• Nearly three-quarters (72%) of this cost relates to adverse impacts on the child rather than the mother.

• Over a fifth of total costs (£1.7 billion) are borne by the public sector, with the bulk of these falling on the NHS and social services (£1.2 billion).

• The average cost to society of one case of perinatal depression is around £74,000, of which £23,000 relates to the mother and £51,000 relates to impacts on the child.

• Perinatal anxiety (when it exists alone and is not co-morbid with depression) costs about

£35,000 per case, of which £21,000 relates to the mother and £14,000 to the child.

• Perinatal psychosis costs around £53,000 per case, but this is almost certainly a substantial under-estimate because of lack of evidence about the impact on the child; costs relating to the mother are about £47,000 per case, roughly double the equivalent costs for depression and anxiety

Maternal depression and anxiety, which often occur together, are at least as common during pregnancy as they are in the year after childbirth. Recent advances in neuroscience and other disciplines clearly suggest that psychological distress during pregnancy is a significant risk factor for a range of adverse outcomes in the child.


Nobel Laureate Economist James Heckman

James J. Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, a Nobel Memorial Prize winner in economics and an expert in the economics of human development. Through the university's Center for the Economics of Human Development, he has conducted ground breaking work with a consortium of economists, developmental psychologists, sociologists, statisticians and neuroscientists showing that quality early childhood development heavily influences health, economic and social outcomes for individuals and society at large. Heckman has shown that there are great economic gains to be had by investing in early childhood development.

Anyone looking for upstream solutions to the biggest problems facing the UK should look to Nobel Prize-winning University of Chicago economics professor James Heckman's work to understand the great gains to be had by investing in the early and equal development of human potential.

In the UK two leading politicians, one which is a Patron of PIP UK, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, alongside Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North were seeking real solutions to real life problems and worked together to produce the report  Early Intervention: Good Parents, Great Kids, Better Citizens which calls on an early intervention and preventative strategy for our local communities.

Numerous reports have since followed which show the economic case for investing early to break cycles of deprivation, poverty and inequality in the UK. As Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer states in the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto “ The current economic situation makes early intervention seem challenging. This manifesto recognises that without a focus on prevention and early intervention the costs associate with managing these issues will continue to rise.