Perinatal Mental Health Team

What is the Perinatal Mental Health Team?

The Perinatal Mental Health Team is a multi disciplinary mental health service for pregnant and post natal women with complex or severe mental health illness.

The team works collaboratively with  women, their families and other  professionals to detect, prevent and treat perinatal mental health problems.

The team is operational 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

You can contact the team on 0800 952 0060 (Mon to Fri, 9am-5pm).

Women can be referred to the service via their GP, midwife, health visitor or another health professional. Details of how professionals can refer to the service can be found below. For urgent referrals for women experiencing a mental health crisis, call the First Response Team via the NHS 111 helpline and selecting 'option 2'.

Why early intervention and referral is important

Mental health illnesses during the perinatal period tend to be different in their presentation to other periods in a woman’s life. The onset of the illness is often more rapid and its course often more challenging. It is therefore important to have a service specifically adapted to this profile and able to offer prompt assessments and effective monitoring and treatment. This is especially important as suicide continues to be the leading cause of maternal death. A mother’s poor mental health during this period is additionally challenging because it can pose a risk to her child’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Prevention, early recognition and appropriate treatment of mental health problems can help to minimise this risk.

Who is the service for?

We work with women with severe and complex mental health conditions: the range of conditions includes:

  • bipolar disorder
  • postpartum psychosis
  • schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder
  • other non-organic psychotic illness
  • severe depression or severe anxiety disorder
  • OCD
  • eating disorders
  • complex mental health presentations (including personality disorder or ancillary safeguarding concerns)

What does the team offer?

  • We work with women, their infants and families in a variety of settings.
  • We liaise and work closely with other professionals who are involved in the women’s care to ensure the woman and her family receive prompt and effective care, meeting with their individual needs.

Key functions include: 

  • pre-conception advice and guidance
  • triage for the mother to assess suitability for the service
  • advice and support over the telephone
  • help and support in developing a personalised care plan
  • pre-birth care planning
  • face to face support in the local community or at home, depending on needs
  • guidance and support for her partner and family
  • medicines management
  • support around the relationship between mother and baby
  • goal-setting that fits with the family’s hopes for the future
  • sign-posting to other support services/networks including referral to Mother and Baby Unit where appropriate
  • training on perinatal mental health to the wider workforce

The team includes

  • Consultant perinatal psychiatrists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Perinatal mental health nurses
  • Occupational therapists
  • Social workers
  • Support workers
  • Nursery nurses
  • Team Manager
  • Administrators
  • Psychology Assistant

Referral information for professionals 

Our team take direct referrals from professionals. GPs however can refer via the Primary Care Mental Health Service.

You can download the referral form from the bottom of this page. CPFT teams are asked to make referrals directly to the PMHT using the Perinatal Mental Health Team Checklist below. 

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

More about the Specialist Community Perinatal Mental Health Team 

To read about the launch of the Specialist Community Perinatal Mental Health Team click here.


The page was last updated on 20 June 2019 by andrea.bateman.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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