Location: Bethlem Royal Hospital, King’s College Hospital, Maudsley Hospital
Mode: Inpatient, outpatient, outreach
Average length of inpatient treatment:8 to 12 weeks
Referrals are accepted from: Consultant psychiatrists, community mental health teams, GP consortia, referrals for parenting assessment can be made by any healthcare professional provided it is accompanied by written confirmation of funding
Key areas: Antenatal illnesses, parenting assessment, postnatal depression, postnatal illnesses, post partum psychosis
We specialise in the treatment of antenatal and postnatal mental illnesses. Our service is for women who develop or have a relapse of serious mental illness during pregnancy, and women who have developed postnatal depression, post partum psychosis (also known as puerperal psychosis) or have had a relapse of serious mental illness following the birth of their baby.
We support the mother in developing a relationship with her infant in order to reduce the impact of the mother’s illness on the child. We offer a holistic treatment programme, and encourage the involvement of fathers or partners in the process. We admit mothers with babies where it is the wish of the mother and it is clinically safe to do so. We are also able to take mothers without their babies, and offer a programme of gradual reintroduction to the mother on the ward.
We also have a parenting assessment service, providing a unique and highly specialised service to local and national authorities across the United Kingdom. We undertake assessments of women or couples and their infant, where there is potential risk or safeguarding issues arising from the parents’ mental health problems.
Our team is committed to providing cost-effective, evidence-based treatments that reduce risk, establish a relationship between mother and baby, and prepare them for a lasting return to the community.
We work closely with the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, where there is a perinatal section headed by world renowned expert psychiatrists, who lead many of our staff in carrying out research of international significance.
I was under 24-hour care and my daughter was with me from the start, which was a huge thing…I compare it to how it might have been in old days when you’re surrounded by women in your family – people who have such great experience. When you give birth for the first time, you might not have held a child before, so it was wonderful to be surrounded these people.