Studies continue to show that women who give birth in the private maternity sector are less likely to receive depression screening and psychosocial assessment as a routine component of maternity care. However, examples of successfully implemented routine psychosocial assessment programs are beginning to emerge, and there is great value in better understanding the factors that can contribute to the successful delivery of emotional health care in this context.

The aim of this study was to identify factors that facilitated successful implementation of antenatal psychosocial assessment in a private hospital setting.

This study employed a qualitative research design. Semi‐structured interviews were used to explore the views and experiences of health professionals involved in implementation of the program at the participating site.

Nine health professionals participated in the study (three midwives, three obstetricians, two managers and one mental health worker). Factors that facilitated successful implementation of the program were reflected in five key themes: (i) multidisciplinary support for the program; (ii) training and clinical supervision; (iii) allocation of sufficient resources; (iv) availability of local referral pathways; and (v) normalisation of the process.

This study shows that barriers to implementation of perinatal depression screening and psychosocial assessment are surmountable and will provide confidence to other services, that routine ‘mental health assessment’ as required under updated Medical Benefits Scheme items for obstetric services, can be successfully implemented and sustained in private hospital settings.