The Perinatal Mental Health Team is a specialist service focused on helping women at risk of developing, or experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties, during pregnancy and during the year following childbirth or require pre-conceptual counselling.
- Service Manager Lead: Catherine Cale
- Address: Studdert Kennedy House, Spring Gardens, Worcester, WR1 2AE
- Reception phone number: 01905 734531
- Service hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm, except Bank Holidays. Out of hours, the Crisis Team (our local emergency service) is available if urgent input is required.
About the service
Pregnancy and the period after childbirth are a time of significant change and transition in someone’s life. It is more common than you might think for mothers and partners to experience a range of emotions during this time. The majority of these difficulties resolve quickly, for instance, 50-80% of women experience baby blues at around 3-10 days after delivery and this comes and goes very quickly.
Some women experience significant mental health difficulties during pregnancy or after birth, even if they have never experience mental health difficulties before.
About 10% of women go on to develop post-natal depression, which often starts around 3 months after they have given birth. A more serious condition called post-natal psychosis may develop which often (in 1-2 women in every 1000 deliveries) requires a hospital admission. This is a serious illness.
There are some women who we know have a higher risk of developing mental health conditions and we offer screening clinics at the Antenatal clinic to help us identify women who may be of increased risk. We can help them manage that risk and support them during pregnancy and after delivery.
We want to ensure that patient’s needs are met and families are supported. We work with a number of partners, including Midwives and Health Visitors, to ensure this is the case.
What we do
We are a community-based service. This means that the team see people in their home and in clinics across the County.
The team is made up of the following;
- Clinical Lead (Nurse) is a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN), as well as a non-medical prescriber. The Clinical lead manages the team and also sees patients in clinic-based settings.
- Consultant Psychiatrist is a doctor who specialises in treating mental health issues within the perinatal period. The psychiatrist sees patients in clinic settings and advises on medications.
- Specialist Psychiatrist is a qualified medical professional who specialises in psychiatry. Seeing patients in clinic and may prescribe medications or make referrals to recommended psychological therapies and support via the rest of the team.
- Psychologist undertakes assessments and formulations of patients and implements therapeutic interventions in order to help patients manage their mental health difficulties.
- Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs) undertakes assessments of women experiencing mental health difficulties in the perinatal period. From the assessment, they will either signpost to appropriate services and resources or develop a plan of care.
- Mental Health Social Worker acts as a care coordinator and also brings a wealth of knowledge in regards to local social care provision and can support patients to access community supports.
- Psychotherapist sees patients individually for psychotherapy interventions and has expertise in a variety of different areas such as Eye Movement De-sensitisation Reprocessing.
- Occupational Therapist (OT) works with patients to identify practical ways for them to overcome physical barriers in their lives and they also act as a care coordinator.
- Nursery Nurse works with women all over the county to promote the mother-infant relationship and to ensure the emotional and physical needs of babies are met.
- Peer Support Worker is a previous patient of the service who now uses their own lived experience to support women under the team.
- Care Coordinator will assess, develop and implement treatment plans and coordinate your care while under the team. They work with you to develop a recovery plan and will coordinate the professionals involved in your care to ensure your needs are met.
- Administrative Staff
We often have students join our team; you will always be asked if you are happy for a student to be present within an appointment, we are not offended if you say no.
How to refer
Health and social care professionals can refer direct to the team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via SPA: 01905 681477.
You can be referred to the service by any health and social care professional such as your GP, Obstetrician, Midwife or Health Visitor.
We accept urgent referrals and if the health or social care professional feels that you need to be seen the same day, we would recommend that they contact the team directly (01905 734531) to speak to the duty worker. All referrals are discussed by the team and we aim to respond within 14 working days.
An urgent referral out of hours should be made via the Crisis Team on: 01905 681915
Patients are currently unable to self-refer to the service.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Will everything I say be kept confidential?
Information is generally shared within the team and your GP and, if required, with your obstetrician, midwife and health visitor.
On the few occasions we need to discuss the situation with child and family social services, we will discuss this with you.
Can I request a second opinion?
Sometimes circumstances can lead to patients requesting a second opinion, this is positively responded to and supported by the team. If you would like to request a second opinion, please contact the clinical lead: 01905 734531
Can my family and friends who care for me get help?
Our team aims to provide support for your relatives and friends where appropriate. We can also provide a carer’s assessment which helps to identify the carer’s needs so that appropriate support can be accessed.
What do I do if I need help out of hours?
There is a 24 hour service which caters for those needing out of hours care. The perinatal team would usually refer you to such care if necessary.
What do I do if I need an interpreter?
The hospital will employ a translator.