Specialist perinatal mental health service
The North London Partners (NLP) Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS), is a community based mental health service providing specialist assessment and treatment for women with moderate to severe mental health problems, who are:
- planning a pregnancy and need advice
- currently pregnant
- have had a baby in the past 13 months (with follow-up for up to 24 months)
Women seen by this service must live in the 5 London Boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, and Islington.
The service consists of core members of the multidisciplinary team, including:
- clinical psychologists
- occupational therapists
- nursery nurses
- peer support workers
Women experiencing milder forms of perinatal mental health problems should consult their midwives, health visitor and GP for other support available in the NHS such as talking therapy.
What to expect
We see women and their families in one of our clinic locations and in various other locations such as antenatal clinics where women are receiving their obstetric care (if within the 5 boroughs mentioned above), children centres and home visits.
Our goal is to see new referrals within 4 to 6 weeks of receiving the referral. If the referral is urgent, we aim to see the woman within 2 weeks.
The team offers one off assessments, psycho-education and advice, assessment and information about other services. Those women with severe mental health difficulties such as Bipolar Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia may have longer term interventions under our service.
Assessment, advice and treatment may be in collaboration with the woman’s usual psychiatric team where she has one, and alongside the midwifery and obstetric teams.
The service will agree a personalised care plan that embraces what is important to the woman during her pregnancy. We aim to promote wellbeing in the woman and her family and prevent relapse in pregnancy and the early postpartum period.
Comprehensive medication advice is available for those with mental illness on psychiatric medications who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or breast feeding.
We will support mothers in developing a healthy relationship with their infants, thus reducing the impact of maternal mental illness on child development. We also encourage the involvement of fathers or partners in the process.
To improve the health and wellbeing of women who have, or are at risk of mental health problems and improve outcomes for women, their infants, partners and their families. We follow the NICE guidelines on Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health.
We are active with teaching and training other health professionals so that they can have a good working knowledge of how mental health problems affect women in pregnancy and after birth.
The North London Partners Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service accept referrals for women who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or who gave birth within the last 13 months and:
- been diagnosed at any time with a severe mental illness, (bipolar affective disorder/schizophrenia/ schizoaffective disorder/postpartum psychosis/severe depression)
- are currently open to a secondary mental health service
- are experiencing new thoughts or acts of self-harm
- have experienced a recent significant change in mental state
- have a mental illness/psychological disturbance that can’t be managed by primary care services
- have expressions of incompetency as a mother or estrangement from the infant
- would benefit from advice on/review of psychiatric medication during pregnancy/breastfeeding (this includes provision for preconception advice and relapse prevention work)
- Substance-misuse problems in the absence of mental health problems
- Women experiencing milder forms of perinatal mental health problems
In making your referral, please consider functional impairment, level of social support, substance use, safeguarding issues and if there is a need for an immediate response. (If the woman’s needs are acute and urgent referral to local crisis services should be considered).
How to refer
The following clinicians can refer to this service:
- health and social care professionals
- community psychiatrists
- health visitors
- social workers
In order for your referral to be triaged without delay, please complete the referral form (PDF, 408.29 KB) with as much information as possible.
Completed referrals should be sent via email to email@example.com.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Contact numbers - please contact relevant number listed above in relation to where the patient lives.
- Cherise Thompson
- Candice Klotnick
Professional's advice line
If you need advice, guidance, or have a query about a patient or referral, you can speak to a duty clinician on Monday's, Wednesday's, and Friday's between 11am and 12pm by calling the relevant number above, depending on which borough the patient lives in.
The service is split into 3 sub-teams based on the borough where the women lives and continues to be STP aligned covering the North Central London region of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.
South Team (Camden and Islington)
St Pancras Hospital
Team number - 020 3317 7114)
East Team (Enfield and Haringey)
Forest Road Primary Care Centre
308A Hertford Road
Team number - 020 3317 7198
West Team (Barnet)
North London Partners
890 High Road
Team number - 020 3317 7001
(*Exception to this will be if the women reside in a borough outside NCL but has GP in NCL and their local perinatal mental health team defines eligibility by borough of GP rather than address of service user)
Please note this is not an emergency service. If you are in a crisis and you need urgent help, please contact your GP or the out of hours urgent advice and crisis support:
- Barnet, Enfield and Haringey - 0800 151 0023
- Camden and Islington - 0800 917 3333