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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Perinatal mental health service

Our highly experienced multi-disciplinary team has developed a reputation, both nationally and internationally, as one of the leading providers in the perinatal mental health field.

Our aims include the following:

  • To provide a safe, high quality, family friendly, mental health service - including assessment, treatment and care - for women suffering from psychiatric disorders associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

  • To provide support and information to the families of the women under the care of the services.

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  • To provide consultancy, advice, support and an educational resource to professionals and services who provide care to families experiencing such difficulties.

  • To work in partnership with local authority social services and family teams to protect children who may be vulnerable as a consequence of their mother’s illness.


Philosophy

The philosophy of the service is to, whenever possible, minimise disruption to family life.

We believe that the women who use our services should feel respected and staff strive to maintain privacy and dignity at all times.

We aim to work collaboratively and encourage mothers to be actively involved, whenever possible, in the development of their treatment plan. 

We provide care and treatment to women experiencing:

  • Antenatal and postnatal affective disorders including depression and bipolar affective disorder
  • Antenatal and postnatal anxiety disorders impacting on pregnancy and childbirth such as tokophobia, perinatal onset OCD and PTSD arising from childbirth
  • Severe and enduring mental illness in the perinatal period
  • Postpartum/puerperal psychosis
  • Mothers experiencing bonding disorders (infants under one-year-old)

There are five distinct areas of the service:

  • Ante-natal mental health liaison clinics.

  • Inpatient service (Chamomile Suite).

  • Outpatient service.

  • Individual and group therapies.

  • Community nursing service.

 

The service provides:

  • Comprehensive psychiatric assessment and treatment (preconception, antenatally and postnatally).

  • Advice on, and monitoring of, evidence based medication.

  • Conjoint inpatient admission for women and their babies (under one year-old), for new mothers experiencing severe mental illness.

  • Comprehensive, multidisciplinary inpatient assessment and treatment.

  • Psychological assessment and evidence based psychological treatment and counselling for inpatient and outpatients.

  • Time-limited, symptom-focused, psycho-educational group work and therapeutic groups for mothers with moderate mental health problems not requiring inpatient treatment.

  • Occupational therapy assessment (inpatients only) and support including assessment and development of activities of daily living. Community nursing assessment and support.
  • Facilitation of mother infant interaction through bonding interventions and nursery nurse support.

  • Advice and support to other mental health services and social services.

  • Engagement with local authority when there are issues of child protection, including attendance at child protection conferences.

The perinatal mental health team based at The Barberry Centre (Chamomile suite) comprises a comprehensive multidisciplinary team who co-ordinate the assessment, treatment and care of women in our care. The team comprises of:

  • consultant psychiatrists,

  • nursing staff,

  • nursery nurses,

  • an occupational therapist,

  • a consultant clinical psychologist,
  • Perinatal psychiatric nurses,
  • sessional physiotherapists, sessional complementary therapists,

  • sessional paediatrician,

  • sessional health visitors and

  • administration staff.

The service takes referrals directly from primary care as well as co-working with community mental health teams (CMHTs).

The service also accepts referrals to the inpatient unit from outside the West Midlands, if clinically appropriate, and subject to bed availability.

Referrals to the service should be directed to the Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) which offers care and treatment to women experiencing:

  • Antenatal and postnatal affective disorders including depression and bipolar affective disorder.
  • Antenatal and postnatal anxiety disorders impacting on pregnancy and childbirth such as tokophobia, perinatal onset OCD and PTSD arising from childbirth.
  • Severe and enduring mental illness in the perinatal period.
  • Postpartum/puerperal psychosis.
  • Mothers experiencing bonding disorders (infants under 1 year).

 

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