Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Perinatal Mental Health Team

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Perinatal Mental Health Team

Welcome to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough perinatal mental health team.


Perinatal Mental Health Service

Team logo

The CPFT Perinatal Mental Health Team support mums and
mums-to-be who are experiencing, or are at an increased risk of experiencing, mental health challenges during the perinatal period, from conception, through pregnancy and up to 1 year post-birth.

Who is this service for?

Women across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with moderate to severe mental health conditions who are planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant, or have a child under 12 months.


Meet the Teams

Management Team

Dominic Melton Perinatal Service Manager

Julie Hayter Perinatal North Team Manager

Georgie Holloway  Perinatal North Team Manager

Bethany Kathro Perinatal South Team Manager

Emily Scott Acting Perinatal South Team Manager


Administration Team

Cheryl Quish Perinatal Deputy Admin Hub Manager

Beena Padmanabhan Admin Lead (N&S)


South (Cambridgeshire)

Kate Taylor Perinatal Admin 

Donna Cross  Perinatal Admin


North (Peterborough)

Lesley Ann Jarvis Perinatal Admin 

Lorraine Finnegan Perinatal Admin 

Cheryl Bolster Perinatal Admin Bank Staff 


Clinical Team 

Doctors & Psychiatrists

South (Cambridgeshire)

Dr Nikolett Kabacs Perinatal Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Shimrit Ziv Perinatal Consultant Psychiatrist


North (Peterborough)

Dr Renuka Lazarus Locum Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Shobhna Sahay Locum Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Gloria Lakra Locum Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Emmeke Beltman Perinatal Senior Clinical Fellow

Dr Corina Oancea Perinatal  Senior Clinical Fellow


Therapy Team

We have a team of therapists within the Perinatal Mental Health Team. This includes psychologists, family therapists and psychotherapists. We are all trained in different ways of delivering therapy; this means we can think with you about what you are finding difficult, and give some ideas as to what type of therapy might suit you. For example, it could be cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) would be helpful for supporting you with anxiety, depression, or OCD. It might be that therapy focused on you and your family is useful; how you communicate and understand one another. It might be that psychotherapy to explore how you relate to your baby and your feelings about parenthood would be most helpful. We will start with an initial meeting with you to help us understand how you are feeling, and what you would like to work on.


South (Cambridgeshire)

Dr Rachel Clarke Perinatal Principal Clinical Psychologist

Dr Joanne Peterkin Perinatal Consultant Clinical Psychologist (N&S)

Dr Tara Pepper Goldsmith Perinatal Parent-Infant Psychotherapist (N&S)

Dr Harriet Rowe Perinatal Clinical Psychologist

Dr Carrie Baker  Perinatal Clinical Psychologist

Helen Atkins  Perinatal Family Therapist

Sophie McKelvie Perinatal Assistant Psychologist


North (Peterborough)

Dr Fiona Ram Perinatal Principal Clinical Psychologist

Dr Joanne Peterkin Perinatal Consultant Clinical Psychologist (N&S)

Dr Tara Pepper Goldsmith Perinatal Parent-Infant Psychotherapist (N&S)

Dr Eleanor Gunn Perinatal Clinical Psychologist

Dr Jana Hanchard Perinatal Clinical Psychologist

Lynne Milton  Perinatal Family Therapist


Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists (OT) within the Perinatal Team offering individual and group intervention work. We focus work on identity and role transitions during the perinatal period, routine and balance, advice around co-occupations - this may include play, feeding and sleeping, sensory needs assessments, community integration and education for both the individual and their significant others. You may be allocated an OT to work with you during your time with the team or can be referred for 1:1 or group support by your lead professional. 

South (Cambridgeshire)

Sophie Simmons  Perinatal Mental Health Practitioner & Occupational Therapist

Emily Scott  Specialist Perinatal Occupational Therapist/ Acting Team Manager


North (Peterborough)

Sarah Morrison Perinatal Occupational Therapist

Sara Teesdale Perinatal Occupation Therapist


Social Workers

South (Cambridgeshire)

Cheryl Farrell Perinatal Community Social Worker

Carolyn Gidney-Kelly Perinatal Community Social Worker


North (Peterborough)

Victoria Anne Parker Perinatal Community Social Worker


Mental Health Practitioners & Nurse Specialists

South (Cambridgeshire)

Sarah Ennis Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

Gabriella Digpal-Race Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

Courtney Bowen  Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

Lucy Nower Perinatal Mental Health Practitioner

Sophie Simmons Perinatal Mental Health Practitioner

Amy Swann  Perinatal Mental Health Practitioner


North (Peterborough)

Juli Broder Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

Debs Murthwaite Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

Laura Purran Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

Linda Donald-Osukah Perinatal Community Nurse

Emma Draper Perinatal Mental Health Practitioner

Beverley Ann Walker Perinatal Mental Health Practitioner


Nursery Nurses

Nursery Nurses within the perinatal team can work with you both on an individual basis in your home or within a group to help support you in building loving relationships with your baby. We offer support around bond and attachment, helping you adapt to the significant changes to motherhood, support your current parenting journey by helping you to identify what you are already doing well. We can work with you to help you understand what baby may be telling you through observing body language facial expressions, sounds and behaviours. By being with and watching your baby, we can support you to identify early baby communications. We can also support you to understand infant brain development and learn how new connections are made. We can work with wherever you feel support may be required, NN suport covers a wide range of topics and practical support, from feeding to sleeping advice.


South (Cambridgeshire)

Gemma Bullock Perinatal Nursery Nurse

Elizabeth Whitwood Perinatal Nursery Nurse


North (Peterborough)

Emily Murdoch Perinatal Nursery Nurse


Peer Support & STR Workers

STR workers and Peer Support Workers work from a recovery focused perspective. We can work with you to help you to discover your goals and support you in managing goal aspirations in an achieveable way. Peer support workers offer a reciprocal relationship as we have personal experiences of mental health challenges. We use these experiences to support and guide patients on their own recovery journeys. We share our personal experiences with patients, where appropriate. This helps to make patients feel at ease and supports building good rapport, patients report feeling listened to and feeling that they are not alone in their experiences. STR workers and PSW's recognise the importance of offering reassurance and evidence for patients that recovery is possible. We work to empower patients to achieve independently with gentle encouragement and guidance.


South (Cambridgeshire)

Eleanor Gardner Perinatal Peer Support Worker


North (Peterborough)

Clare Cornforth Perinatal STR Worker

Lucy Johnson Perinatal Peer Support Worker

Sarah Smith Perinatal Peer Support Worker



Our Core Services

This section provides an overview of some of the mental health challenges and daily challenges that women may face during the perinatal period, how these can present, and how the PMH team can offer support and interventions to women facing these challenges. On occasion, women may present with challenges that cannot be solely treated by our team. This section will also explore how we work in partnership with other teams and provides examples of where we may signpost and refer to other services that can offer additional support.

Post-natal Depression

Postnatal Depression (PND) can affect 10-15% of women having a baby. The symptoms are similar to those in depression at other times. PND often starts within one or two months after having a baby. About a third of women with PND have symptoms which started in pregnancy and continue after birth.  

Sometimes there is an obvious reason for PND, but not always.  You may feel distressed, or guilty for feeling like this, as you expected to be happy about having a baby. However, PND can happen to anyone and it is not your fault. It's never too late to seek help. Even if you have been depressed for a while, you can get better. The help you need will depend on how severe your condition is.


Becoming pregnant and being a new parent can be an anxious and unknown time. Anxiety is something we all experience from time to time and is a completely normal way for our bodies and brains to respond to a threat. Anxiety becomes problematic when the feeling is there a lot of the time; is too strong or when it carries on even when it is not needed.  If you feel like the thoughts and physical symptoms of anxiety are interfering with being able to enjoy this period in your life or being the kind of mum (or parent) you would like to be, then it could be an indicator to seek some help. 

Perinatal OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition that can affect anyone. If a woman has OCD during pregnancy or after birth it is known as Perinatal or Maternal OCD. 

This affects 2 in 100 women in pregnancy and 2 -3 in every 100 women in the year after giving birth. 

OCD has three main parts: 

  1. Thoughts or images that keep coming into your mind. These are called obsessions. 
  2. Anxiety - as a result of these thoughts. 
  3. Thoughts or actions you keep repeating to try to reduce your anxiety. These are called compulsions. 

Bipolar Disorder 

Women with bipolar disorder are at a particularly higher risk of relapse particularly in the first days/weeks following childbirth. Women with bipolar disorder can experience both postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis. Episodes of postpartum psychosis occur in approximately 25% of births to women with bipolar disorder. Episodes of depression also occurs in 25% with Bipolar disorder meaning that 50% of women with Bipolar disorder will experience a post partum episode. The risk can be further increased where a woman has previously experienced a post partum episode. All postpartum episodes in women with bipolar disorder must be taken seriously.

Post-partum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis can affect 1 in 500 women after birth. It is a severe mental health condition that can appear quickly. Women are usually mentally well during pregnancy but immediately after delivery or in the first few days / weeks, they rapidly becomes very unwell and this is usually very obvious to those that know her well. Symptoms may include thinking, speaking and acting very differently with bizarre beliefs and experiences related to self, others or the baby. This should be considered an emergency that requires immediate medical treatment.

There are many ways a postpartum episode can start. Women often have symptoms of depression or mania or a mixture of these. Symptoms can change very quickly from hour to hour and from one day to the next. Most commonly postpartum psychosis begins in the first few weeks after birth. Often, symptoms begin in the first few days after having a baby. Getting the right help ensures that this can be managed and women can enjoy their experience of being a mother.

Medication: Most women that have postpartum psychosis will be treated with a medication. This usually helps the person to feel well again quickly. You may stay on this type of medication for a while even when you feel well and then reduce it gradually.

Mother and Baby Units (MBUs): These are special wards where a mother can be admitted for help with her mental health and the baby can stay with her on the ward. We know keeping mother and baby together is really important for bonding and wellbeing and MBUs have staff that look after mother and baby. Partners and family can visit. Most mothers with postpartum psychosis will spend some time in an MBU.

Psychological therapy: Women with postpartum psychosis may benefit from seeing a psychologist when they are recovering from postpartum psychosis. This is to make sense of what happened and to cope with any remaining symptoms such as trauma, low mood or anxiety. 

Peer support: Often one of the most helpful things to women who have had postpartum psychosis is meeting someone else who has had this and recovered. A perinatal mental health team or an MBU may have peer support workers to meet with or charities such as APP have people with lived experience who volunteer for them.

Personality Disorders

A person with a personality disorder thinks, feels, behaves or relates to others very differently from the average person.

There are several different types of personality disorder. Symptoms vary depending on the type of personality disorder. Some common symptoms can include, strange or unpredictable behaviour, suspicion and distrust (not trusting others,) taking risks, extreme mood swings or emotional outbursts and difficulty with relationships.

A mother with borderline personality disorder may struggle with their relationship with their baby. They may not feel the way they think that they should feel about their baby. They may also find caring for the baby difficult. It can be very hard to cope when baby is crying or distressed when you have difficulty managing your own distress.

Bonding and Attachment

Some parents may not feel a connection with their baby during pregnancy or establish an immediate affectionate bond with baby early on, and some parents do. This is normal.

The process of bonding with your new-born can feel very different for each parent and their baby, and has no time limit. Bonds that are meant to last a lifetime don’t bind overnight; rather, they form gradually over the days, weeks and months following the arrival of your baby. The more time you spend with your baby, cuddling, feeding, massaging, singing and talking to your baby, the closer you will feel to them. 

You may notice that you avoid caring for your baby or avoid being left on your own with them. Some mums notice that they are easily frustrated with their babies being unsettled and irritable. You may feel like you don’t know what your baby needs or how to comfort them.  

You may notice that you don’t feel a love for your baby like you thought you would. Some mums describe a ‘disconnect’ from their baby. 

Forming that bond can take time to adjust to.  If however you find that you are continuing to have difficulties bonding with your baby after weeks or months and feeling sad, low or depressed, it could be a sign of post natal depression.

Developing the bond between you and your baby can have an invaluable impact on your mental health wellbeing and upon referral to the service, the approaches used to help support you and your bonding to your baby can include:

Baby Massage:  The benefits of massage can be invaluable in maintaining and strengthening bonds between parents and their baby. Massaging your baby may help you and your baby relax, it can reduce crying, and encourage interactions between you and your baby. It can also positively affect baby’s hormones that control stress.  

Video Interactive Guidance (VIG): Video Interactive Guidance is an intervention in which a practitioner uses video clips of you and your baby to enhance your communication and your relationship. 


Initial Assessment

What is an 'Initial Assessment'?

Your GP, health visitor, midwife or other health professional may have referred you to our team to offer you extra support for yourself, your baby, and your family.

You will be given an appointment for an ‘Initial Assessment’ with a member of the PMH team. This offers you the opportunity to express your needs from your own perspective, to help us to discover if and how we can support you. You will be asked questions that cover your current wellbeing, your past and present mental health challenges, family history of mental health challenges (if known,) questions about your history, childhood and upbringing and questions about your other children, where relevant.

Why do we have an 'Initial assessment'?

An initial assessment will be carried out as your first appointment with us. This is used to help us to build a picture of you, your background, experiences, and current circumstances to help the team to decide whether you meet the criteria for our service* and what we can offer to support moving forwards.

*Where a patient does not meet the criteria for this specific service, the team will signpost and direct to other services that will be able to better support.


Appointments are offered in person at the City Care Centre or Union House, in person in your own home and remotely via the NHS Attend Anywhere service. The team will liaise with you to ensure the location of your appointment suits your requirements.


What if I cannot attend an appointment?

If you have any additional requirements or need to change your appointment date, time or place, please contact our Admin team via email or phone and we can arrange an appointment to suit your needs.

Groups, Sessions and Interventions

In the Perinatal Team we offer a variety of groups that are led by different practitioners. Access to the individual groups is dependent on the individual care plans.

Group availability can change through altering circumstances within teams. However, if a care-coordinator/allocated worker feels that there is a group that is suitable for your care-package, they will inform you of this and make a referral on your behalf to the relevant practitioner.

Therapy Led Groups

COS (Circle of Security): 

The Circle of Security is a visual map of attachment. "Intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person's life revolves, not only as an infant or a toddler or a schoolchild but throughout adolescence and years of maturity as well, and on into old age. From these intimate attachments a person draws strength and enjoyment of life and, through what they contribute, gives strength and enjoyment to others." - John Bowlby

This is an early intervention program for parents based on attachment theory, which supports the parent-infant relationship.  It is a parenting program that we feel would benefit women who have challenges with mentalising (making sense of their child’s emotional/mental state), perhaps who have had poor model's of parenting (from personal childhood experiences), and are motivated to explore how they can promote secure attachment and positive relationships with their child. It’s a non-judgmental, ‘good enough’ model, which stresses that it’s never too late, using a structure involving simple diagrams which illustrate core ideas in a relatable way.  The facilitators base the sessions on a programme which includes a wealth of video clips, reflective discussions and opportunities for compassion between shared experiences of parenting. This is a face-to-face run group.

CFT (Compassion Focused Therapy):

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) was developed in response to growing awareness of the links between self-judgment, shame, and self-criticism and emotional distress (e.g. anxiety, anger, sadness).  It aims to help people nurture a kinder and more accepting inner dialogue, something we all need to support us through hard times and to face the things in our lives that are difficult.     

Our perinatal CFT group has been specifically designed to support women within the perinatal period, either within pregnancy or up to 12 months after giving birth.  It recognises that having a baby can be an especially difficult time – one where we need as much compassion as possible!  We see this is a unique opportunity to take part in a supportive group therapy process, alongside others experiencing the transition to motherhood.   The group runs for 8 weeks. This is a face-to-face run group.

Support and Information Group for partners, Dad’s, Extended Family and Family by Choice: 

This is a group which is currently held online, fortnightly, on a Wednesday for dad’s, partners, extended family and family by choice of people who are open to Perinatal Services. The group was set up in recognition that ‘dads get sad too’ and that supporting those closest to the Mother and baby will improve outcomes for everyone. The group has an informal structure with members sharing stories and giving support to others about mental health, their experience of the perinatal period and access to services.  You are welcome to come and initially just listen if you are unsure if the group is for you. Members report feeling less alone with the problems they are facing, and they report finding ideas about how to move forward shared in the group helpful. If you have a significant other who is open to Perinatal Services, you would be welcome to attend the group. Pleases talk to a member of the Perinatal team for more details.

OT Led Groups

Ante-natal Group:

The antenatal group is run online by Occupational Therapists over 4 sessions. The group aims to offer a safe space for peer and perinatal support. Topics discussed include; how to take care of your physical and mental health during pregnancy and during the postnatal period including 4th trimester principles, preparing for the transition into parenthood including what does my baby need in utero and beyond, and what to expect during birth and beyond. This group includes a session run by Nursery Nurses to offer practical information and support.

Post-natal Group:

The Occupational Therapists run a 6-part weekly postnatal group which includes focus on identity changes in parenthood, supporting balance and capacity, child development and a creative activity in the final session.  The groups run to support individuals who may struggle with attending groups to help them feel supported in a non-judgmental and relaxed environment. This is a face-to-face run group.

Peer Support and Nursery Nurse Led Groups

Walking Group:

The Walking group takes place during the warmer months of the year, the group is held in 6 weekly blocks at different locations. This group is peer-led and offers social connection and peer support. Being outside in the fresh open air participating in gentle excercise through walking supports wellbeing. It supports small acheivable goals of getting out of the house and participating in non-structured, purposeful activity. Babies experience sensory differences and learn to explore whilst bonding with parents. This is a face-toface run group.

Stay and Play Groups:

This is a peer-led, informal style stay and play group. This group is run in 6-weekly blocks at different Child and Family Centre locations, this group replaces the Walking Group during the winter months. The group offers social connection for women under the PMHT, which supports wellbeing. The group seeks to support women's motivation for partaking in purposeful activity. We offer the group as informal and allow participants to run the sessions as they wish, we can offer different activities based on participants wishes. We offer hot and cold drinks and a safe space to support one another whilst babies play and explore and build on their own social connections. This is a face-to-face run group.

*You may also see our Nursery Nurses and Peer Support workers co-facilitating other groups.

Support and Information for Partners and Carers

Dad’s/Partners Mental Health 

Becoming a parent can be an overwhelming time, whether it is your first child or not. It is important to know that looking after your own mental health is equally as important as getting support for your partner.

Your primary focus is likely to be on your partner and the baby, and if their mental health is suffering, it can be difficult to know how to help and support them during this time. They may find it difficult to seek support on their own. A key step you can take is to listen to them even if you don’t understand and encourage and support them in contacting their midwife, health visitor or GP, who can then refer them to the Perinatal Mental Health Team if required.

Research has shown that up to 10% of new dads can experience mental health conditions. You may experience a mixture of emotions such as having low moods, sudden change in your moods, feeling irritated or angry, having intrusive thoughts, feeling indifferent to the baby, lacking motivation, avoiding baby and your partner or even having the feeling of not being good enough.

Up to 50% of new dads, where their partners are suffering from post-natal depression, are also likely to be affected by post-natal depression. Taking the first step in talking about how you are feeling is the start of any road to recovery. We do not provided one-to-one therapy for Dads and Partners, but do encourage their involvement in the friends and family group interventions that we offer if their partner is open to the service. We can signpost to teams and services who do provide direct support to Dads or Partners facing challenges.

Information for Dad’s and Partners 

If your partner is under the care of the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service and you would like more information on how you can provide support to them, the Perinatal Service provides a Partners, Dad’s, Extended Family and Family by Choice group. This group has been developed by specialist Family Therapists.  It provides information and support to anyone with a relative open to the service and gives the opportunity to ask questions and discuss relevant issues.

Support for You

The below links will re-direct you to online support that offers information on the different support partners can acess. The second link will take you to the HAY (How are You) website for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with further resources for support. The third link i a Pamhplet outlining support for partners/carers.

⇒  Partner support network ( 

⇒  How Are You South Cambs? | New Dads – Resources ( 

⇒ Fathers Pamphlet.pdf [pdf] 456KB

Click here for the Perinatal positivity Website  - Perinatal Positivity uses the real voices and experiences of women and men who have had mental wellbeing difficulties around the time of pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

Supporting Mothers and Babies 

Mental health conditions during this time may impact on a mother’s relationship with her baby. It can reduce confidence and belief in their ability to be a good mother.

Studies show that more than 75% of mothers state that having emotional support positively impacts their mental wellbeing. It is important not to underestimate the importance of a listening ear.  Sometimes having someone there to listen can make the biggest difference. You don’t have to understand, you just have to want to understand.

Seeking Additional Support 

Mothers are often embarrassed about asking for help due to fear of being judged. Studies have found that up to half of women identified as depressed initially had not spoken to anyone about their conditions. Of those who had, the majority (63-88%) did not talk to a health professional.

Family members can find it difficult to offer support or encourage the mother to seek help due to a lack of understanding about pregnancy and mental health conditions. Getting support early is key in the prevention of mental health conditions developing.

If your family member is struggling during pregnancy or after having a baby, encourage them to seek support from their Midwife, Health Visitor or GP. They can make a referral to the PMH service.

Helpful Resources

Click here for the Perinatal positivity Website  - Perinatal Positivity uses the real voices and experiences of women and men who have had mental wellbeing difficulties around the time of pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

How Are You Cambridgeshire and Peterborough | H.A.Y. Home ( - This site offers information and support across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. How Are You (H.A.Y.) is a community engagement team working within Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust who think creatively about solutions to mental health need and connect community assets to clinical care. The team manage this set of local websites which bring together everything in the local community that is good for wellbeing.

Mother's Wellbeing:

The links below will re-direct you to useful resources that display other support available during the perinatal period.

⇒  Wellbeing padlet - Tools to Support Mothers and Mother-to-be.

⇒  Wellbeing resources pamphlet (002).pub [pub] 371KB

Patient Experience - Ellie and Emma hope by sharing what happened to them other women will also seek help from CPFT’s Perinatal Mental Health Team. 

The below films can also be viewed on the CPFT’s You Tube channel:

Being referred
Support and interventions
Video interactive guidance
Advice for others

Her story
Initial care and assessment
What is a care cordinator?
Peer support
Advice for others

Follow or download

Wellbeing for Mums: An app to provide bite-sized calm and well-being

Number one social app for Mums

Free multi-award winning interactive pregnancy and parenting guide

PND and Me. An online blog set up by a woman with personal experience of postnatal depression. Also on Twitter @PndandMe


Feedback and Reviews

“I am so thankful that you helped me navigate the postnatal period, so grateful for all the support you have given me”

“I am incredibly grateful for all of your support, I couldn’t have done it without you all!”

“The OT Antenatal group feels like a breath of fresh air, I have really looked forward to every session”

“The perinatal team is an amazing service that I have found very valuable, my care co and nursery nurse have been amazing, very grateful for all the support”

“I just want to say thank you, to be listened to and understood helped me so much and I felt so validated through your support.”

“You have been such a positive force, understanding and patient but moving me forwards. Thank you for always being there and helping me to prioritise my own needs too.”

“I always feel better after speaking with the perinatal team, I don’t feel judged at all and feel extremely comfortable talking to my care co. It takes a lot for me to trust people, so thank you”

Students and Research


We often have students and trainees join our team for short periods of time. This is so that they can get a better understanding of our service and what it provides. This supports their personal learning journey and progress in developing their careers. The NHS offers opportunities to student's and trainees to shadow different teams across trusts to ensure opportunities for vast experiences to strengthen knowledge and understanding. Students and trainees will shadow different directorates dependant on their learning, interests and career pathway. 

You will always be asked for consent for trainees/students to shadow any appointments ahead of the appointment is due to begin. 

There is no pressure to agree to this. We understand that our work with you involves extremely sensitive, personal information and will always respect your decision to refuse.

If you have any questions about students being present, please discuss these will your care-coordinator, admin staff or relevant professional.


As part of the NHS, there are often research and clinical trials on offer. As a team, we have strong links with the University of East Anglia. We work with trainee psychologists and professors on a number of specialist perinatal research projects to support much needed research aimed at improving our understanding of perinatal mental health difficulties and what works best to treat them.

If you are asked by a professional to participate in research projects, you will always be provided with all relevant information.

You do not have to accept the offer and can ask for more details before you make your decision.

"Every year we run studies with thousands of participants to learn more about conditions and find new therapies and treatments that work for different people. Our research translates the latest scientific discoveries and evidence into NHS care at CPFT."

For more information about Research in CPFT Research | CPFT NHS Trust

Perinatal Partners and Multi-Agency Working

We work in collaboration with Midwives, Health Visitors and other professionals and services to ensure you receive the right treatment and are given the opportunity to fully utilise services and support.


We work in partnership with midwives, who support us with updates about labour, hospital stays and appointments. We can best support patients to have good birth experiences by liaising with midwives to ensure they are aware of any challenges patients may face. We work closely with midwives to support pre-birth planning to ensure you have the best possible birthing experience.

What can midwives offer?

Antenatal Care:

  • Consultant-led appointments

  • Community midwife appointments

  • Antenatal classes

Labour and Delivery:

  • Induction of labour

  • Pain relief

  • Advice and support

Postnatal Care:

  • Support with caring for your baby

  • Infant feeding support

  • Newborn hearing screening

  • Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE)

  • Birth reflections/Birth afterthoughts classes and support

Please follow the below links for further information about what the midwifery team can offer:


Health Visitors

Health visitors are qualified nurses or midwives with an additional specialist Community Public Health Nursing qualification. We liaise with Health Visitors weekly through multi-discipliniary working.

Health Visitors work as part of the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme team to support you in your parenting journey, offering advice on a range of issues including infant feeding, sleep, child development and minor illnesses.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Child Programme - Health Visiting and School Nursing Service (

Mother and Baby Units (MBUs)

If we are unable to treat a perinatal-related mental health challenge at home, you may be offered a place at a mother and baby unit (MBU). MBUs are designed to keep mothers and babies together. Beds can be offered to women from 32 weeks pregnant. Your nearest MBU is Kingfisher in Norwich. Whilst every effort will be made to offer a bed at your nearest unit, you may be offered a space at a unit further afield if no beds are available at your preferred unit. The MBU also offers an outreach service that can support you with any questions you may have when considering an MBU admission. The outreach team also offer ongoing support post-admission to an MBU.

Kingfisher Mother and Baby Unit information leaflet | Norfolk and Suffolk NHS (

Other Services:

Family Hubs

Family Hubs - Peterborough City Council

Family Hubs - Cambridgeshire County Council

Talking Therapies

NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Talking Therapies | CPFT NHS Trust


Service detail | CPFT NHS Trust


About the Partnership Board | Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Partnership Board (

Accessibility and Adjustments

Our understanding of having a baby and what a family looks like is shaped by our own experiences, cultural backgrounds and the diverse types of relationships that we have.

As a service we understand the importance of providing personalised support and actively work with those accessing the service to understand their diverse family structures, how they may self-identify, and their beliefs and cultural practices around pregnancy and after having a baby.

Research shows that the number of mothers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds experiencing mental health conditions is around 13% higher than other backgrounds because of additional factors related to their culture and ethnicity.

Language, cultural differences, sexuality, gender identity or the fear of approaching mental health services shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing services.

As a service, we are committed to making reasonable adjustments to support all patients in our care. Please speak to the medical professional making your referral if you have any accessibility requirements, or emal the perinatal admin team if needed.

Some examples of the adjustments we can make are as follows:

Appointment location:

We can offer appointments face-to-face at Union House/City Care Centre, in person at home and via Attend Anywhere, the online video conferencing platform. At booking, initial appointments will automatically be requested face-to-face either at Union House (Cambridge) or the City Care Centre (Peterborough.) This is due to the time that it take for practitioners to carry out an initial assessmens and the importance of dedicating sufficient time to ensure that the consultation can be completed. Should you have any accessibility requirements that make this a challenge, we can offer alternative means via Attend Anywhere or face-to-face at home. Unfortunately, due to service demands, we cannot offer all patients a home visit for their initial appointment.

Language Barriers:

We are able to provide interpreters for EAL (English as an additional Language) patients. This service will either be provided face-to-face alongside the clinician or via a telephone conferencing service. We also have information available that has been translated into community languages.

English - Support Available During Your Pregnancy .pdf [pdf] 2MB

Hindi - Support Available During Your Pregnancy.pdf [pdf] 5MB

Polish - Support Available During Your Pregnancy.pdf [pdf] 4MB

Portuguese - Support Available During Your Pregnancy.pdf [pdf] 4MB

Romanian - Support Available During Your Pregnancy.pdf [pdf] 4MB

Urdu - Support Available During Your Pregnancy.pdf [pdf] 4MB

Equality and Diversity:

We have a dedicated EDI team within our service and make continuous efforts to ensure that our service is accessible to all families, regardless of their background and experience. We understand that there are many potential barriers to accessing the service. We make reasonable adjustments to meet individuals' requirements wherever possible. If you or somebody you know needs support from the service and has additional requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss any potential barriers to seeking support.

Useful links:

Union House | AccessAble

City Care Centre - Psychological Wellbeing Service (PWS) Outpatients | AccessAble

Home Page - Raham Project

Supporting Parents (

The Lantern Initiative

One Voice 4 Travellers – One Voice 4 Travellers

Information for Professionals


Parents and parents-to-be should contact their GPs in the first instance. GPs can refer to our service via the Primary Care Mental Health Service. We accept direct referrals from Midwives and Health Visitors.

Please download the referral form below and, once completed, return to:

PMHS-Professionals-Referral-Form-V2.docx (

If you are unsure about making a referral or question whether we are the right team for your patient, our admin team and duty workers can provide support with this and can answer any questions you may have.

Please call 0800 952 0060 and leave your name, a contact telephone number and/or email address. A duty worker will contact you at their earliest convienience during service hours: Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00. 

For urgent referrals for women experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the First Response Service on the NHS 111 helpline and select option 2.

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust