Hertfordshire Community Perinatal Team
The Community Perinatal Team is a specialist multi-disciplinary team that supports women who are experiencing, or are at high risk of experiencing, moderate to severe mental health difficulties when they are pregnant and after having their baby.
Our aim is to help women stay as well as possible in the perinatal period and provide support and information to partners and families of women under the care of the service, as well as other professionals involved in their care.
Pre-conception counselling is also available for those women who have previously experienced a severe mental illness and would like to plan a pregnancy.
Who is this service for?
Women with a Hertfordshire GP with moderate to severe mental health conditions who are planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant, or have a child under 18 months. Care and support can be continued up to 24 months where there is an ongoing perinatal need.
Why have I been referred?
You may have been referred for various reasons:
- Your mental health may not be improving despite support from other professionals, such as your GP/midwife/health visitor.
- You may have moderate – severe mental health problems, or have experienced them in the past, such as Bi-Polar Affective Disorder or Post-Partum Psychosis.
- You may be experiencing difficulties adjusting to life as a new mum or bonding with your baby.
- You may have experienced mental health difficulties after the loss of a baby.
- You may have experienced birth trauma which is significantly impacting your mental health.
I’ve been referred, what happens next?
The team will screen your referral and if we need any more information, we will contact the professional who referred you.
We will contact you by phone to discuss the referral and plan an assessment. The assessment will be in person (in your home or another family-friendly location) or via a video link and will give you the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your mental health. We aim to support the whole family so please feel free to bring someone else along to your appointment.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
We aim to make telephone contact within a few days of you being referred and see you within 6 weeks of referral, however you may be seen much sooner than this. In an emergency, we will see you the same day.
We may have a waiting list for some of our specialist interventions, our aim is that you have an assessment for these interventions within 4 weeks of being referred for them.
What do we offer?
Offer of interventions will always be discussed with you.
- Comprehensive perinatal assessment.
- Perinatal psychiatric assessment and treatment, including advice on medication in the perinatal period.
- Pregnancy and birth planning for women who have had a previous serious episode of mental illness.
- Evidenced base psychological interventions.
- Parent-Infant therapy
- Parent-Infant practitioner support
- Occupational therapy
- Peer support
- Care coordination
- Family therapy
- Advice and support to partners, families, and other professionals