Perinatal Mental Health Team
Pregnancy and the period after childbirth are times of change and transition in someone’s life. It is common for mothers and partners to experience a range of emotions around this time.
Some women experience significant mental health difficulties during pregnancy or after birth, even if they have never experienced mental health difficulties before.
The Herefordshire Perinatal Mental Health Service is a specialist service for mothers experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties during pregnancy and during the year following childbirth.
Our service is accessible to anyone living in Herefordshire. For mild to moderate difficulties, other services such as Let’s Talk offer priority assessments.
Our team consists of mental health professionals from a range of different disciplines who are all highly trained and specialise in perinatal adult and infant mental health. These include:
- Team Manager
- Consultant Psychiatrist
- Clinical Psychologist
- Community Mental Health Nurses
- Nursery Nurse
- Occupational Therapist
We are a multidisciplinary team made up of a consultant perinatal psychiatrist, specialist nurses, clinical psychologist, occupational therapist, social worker and nursery-nurses.
We will work with you to assess your needs and develop a plan to support you in meeting these. This may include psychological therapies, medication and advice and liaison with other services. We have strong links with local agencies such as Home Start, children’s centres, Hereford County Hospital, housing teams and social services.
Accessing the service
Your midwife, GP, health visitor or other healthcare professional can refer you. If you are already working with a mental health team such as a recovery team, or Let’s Talk or if you are under the care of crisis team then they may refer into our service. We can work jointly with other mental health teams to ensure that your perinatal needs are met.
Why have I been referred to the service?
There are various reasons why you may have been referred. Perhaps:
- you have been treated for a mental health problem in the past and you are planning a further pregnancy or are already pregnant.
- your GP, midwife, obstetrician or health visitor feels that you may be unwell and could benefit from our help.
- there is a family history of certain mental health problems, such as bipolar affective disorder or postpartum psychosis, which can sometimes increase the risk of mental health problems after childbirth.
I’ve been referred, what happens next?
Following your referral, you will be offered an assessment appointment with one of our team. We will contact you by letter or telephone to arrange this.
We offer appointments in a range of settings, usually at an outpatient clinic or in your home. We try our very best to be flexible when arranging appointment dates and times.
The initial appointment usually takes up to 90 minutes and is an opportunity for us to discuss your current difficulties. You are welcome to bring your baby and other children a family member or a friend if you wish.
We ask you for information about yourself so that we can give you appropriate care and treatment. This will be held on a computer and is kept together with details of the care you have received as it may be needed if we were to see you again.
What you tell us will remain confidential within the care team which may include your GP, midwife, obstetrician and health visitor or other service providers. We will explain how we keep your information safe and who we might share it with and why.
What happens if I need to cancel my appointment?
If you are unable to attend an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible, by calling 01432 842200 (ext. 287). We will do our best to reschedule to a convenient time for you.
Who can make a referral?
We accept referrals from any health professional involved in your care. Referrals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also happy to be contacted by professionals for discussion or advice about supporting someone during pregnancy or following childbirth.
The Herefordshire Perinatal Mental Health Service is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). You can contact us on 01432 842200 (ext. 287).