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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
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The Perinatal Psychiatry Team provides a service for women who are experiencing psychological and emotional difficulties related to pregnancy, childhood and early motherhood.
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Perinatal Psychiatry Leaflet

Perinatal Psychiatry Referral Pathway

Why do we need a Perinatal Community Mental Health Team?

Although most pregnancies are uncomplicated by Psychiatric Conditions, unfortunately not for everybody is it a time of happiness.  Psychological and emotional difficulties and illnesses are common after childbirth and also during pregnancy.  The majority of these difficulties resolve quickly, for instance, 50-80% of women experience baby blues at around 3-5 days delivery.  Some women then go on to develop post-natal depression, which often starts around 3 months after they have given birth. This happens to about 10% of women.  A more serious condition called post-natal psychosis may develop which often (in 1-2 women for every 1000 deliveries) requires a hospital admission.  This is a serious illness which is an emergency.

There are some women who we know have a higher risk of developing the condition 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.

Who works in the team?

We have Community Psychiatric Nurses, two Psychiatrists,  A Social Worker,  A Psychotherapist and Administrative Staff. Sometimes Student Nurses, Medical Students and Student Social Workers will work with us.

The team is accessible Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, except Bank Holidays. When the team is not available, The Assessment Team (our local emergency service) is available for mothers who are not in hospital. If mothers are in the maternity hospital then the Perinatal Team will become involved as soon as possible. Arrangements for assessing emergencies are available in both the Worcester Royal Infirmary and Alexandra Hospital.

Who does the team see?

The team sees women who are either pregnant or up to 9 months postnatal and have been suffering from mental health problems as a direct result of the current or a previous pregnancy. We take referrals from all over Worcestershire.

Who can refer me?

You can be referred by your GP or Obstetrician. Your Health Visitor or Midwives can also arrange for your GP or Obstetrician to refer to our team is necessary. Unfortunately at present we are not able to accept self-referrals.

What will happen when I am referred?

If your situation is an emergency, the a member of the team will be in touch with you the next day.  If your situation is less urgent, the Perinatal Team meets on a Wednesday morning to discuss referrals to our team.  We would aim to contact you within 2 weeks of receiving the referral.

How can the team help me?

We have a variety of professionals who can help you.  They can help you with talking treatments, medication, and social support.  We also run baby massage groups.

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 my family and friends who care for me get help?

Our team would aim to provide support for your relatives and friends where appropriate.  We can also provide a carer’s assessment of the carer’s needs and any help that may be available.

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.