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Perinatal mental health service

The Community Perinatal Mental Health Service is a highly specialist service providing a psychiatric liaison service to the maternity unit at St George's Hospital.

It is also a consultation service to primary care providers in south west London for the assessment, management or appropriate signposting of women with mental health disorders during pregnancy and post-partum.  

We are a week-day only, 9-5 service.

The service is now expanding, with support from NHS England.  As staff are inducted new areas will open up to referral so that we can provide hospital and community based perinatal mental health services across Kingston, Richmond, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.

The “Who is the service for” section on this web-page will contain up to date information on our referral guidelines.

Who is the service for?

From 1 November 2018, the Community Perinatal Mental Health Service is available to:

  • Residents of Wandsworth
  • Maternity service-users at St George’s Hospital, who are resident in Merton, Sutton, Kingston, Richmond and Wandsworth.

The service can work with women who are either pregnant or in the first year following the birth of their baby and present with moderate to severe mental health problems or with high risk factors for perinatal mental health problems due to past history or family history are eligible for referral. Women with known history of mental illness on psychotropic medication are eligible for pre-conception counselling and advice.

Our team can assess and advise on the management of women who are in the perinatal period dealing with mental health problems, such as:

  • bipolar disorder
  • depression
  • schizophrenia
  • eating disorders
  • OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
  • anxiety disorders
  • personality disorders
  • puerperal or postpartum psychosis.

The service is open to clinical referrals only, using this form.  Where referral criteria are not met, the referral will not be accepted and advice and guidance will be given.

Referrals can be submitted by fax or emailed from a secure NHS email account.

Telephone: 020 3513 6577
Fax: 020 3513 4461

What we offer

  • Pre-conceptual advice, pregnancy and birth planning for women who have had a previous episode of mental illness
  • A consultation that may lead to a further assessment of risk and treatment options
  • Onward referral for psychological therapies
  • The shared development of a care plan that meets your personal needs
  • Planning for the postnatal period to promote wellness and prevent relapse
  • Advice in prescribing medication for mental health reasons during pregnancy and breast feeding e.g. anti-depressants
  • Information about other services.
  • Support for up to one year, if the problems start during pregnancy or during first six months post-natally.

Who is in the team?

The current team has specialist perinatal mental health nurses and perinatal consultant psychiatrists. We also have access to psychological services and work closely with midwifery services and health visitors.

In the future we will be a multi-disciplinary team, with additional in-house expertise. Changes in our team structure will be detailed here. 

You can read more about our perinatal services here.