Perinatal service at ELFT (East London and Bedfordshire & Luton)


Welcome to the Perinatal Mental Health Team, delivered by ELFT (East London NHS Foundation Trust).

What we do 
Our services provide specialist care for women with mental health problems who are pregnant or in the first post-partum year, or who are considering pregnancy.

Service links
We have clinics located in the following areas (click on the area the you live in):

London

Bedfordshire & Luton

Mother and Baby Unit website 

How you can book an appointment with us
Before we can arrange an appointment for treatment, we need to receive a referral from a health professional (see more information below - How to refer).

You can obtain a referral by visiting your local GP, midwife or nurse. We will be happy to contact you once your referral has been received.

Contact us
To obtain more information about the service and what we offer, you can contact us via the following:

  • Tower Hamlets Perinatal Service: 0208 121 5425
  • City & Hackney Perinatal Service: 0208 510 8151
  • Newham Perinatal Service: 0207 363 8801
  • Bedfordshire & Luton Perinatal Service01767 223 153


It is not possible to make self referrals, however we do accept referrals from the following:

  • health and social care professionals
  • GPs
  • community psychiatrists
  • obstetricians
  • midwives
  • health visitors and social workers.

Contact your health professional listed about to make a referral on your behalf.

You will be allocated a named perinatal mental health practitioner who will be your main point of contact via the telephone number for our service. 
If you are unable to keep your appointment we ask that you give us as much notice as possible. This allows us to make best use of our clinical time. To cancel or rearrange your appointment please call us.
If you need an interpreter to be present or require any specific support to attend your  appointment please inform let us know when you receive your appointment letter.
 
Confidentiality and consent
When you talk with a health professional in private you will expect that what is said remains confidential. This principle is central to trust between patients and their doctor or other health professionals. Details of your care and treatment, including anything you tell us, remains confidential and will only be shared within our multidisciplinary clinical team (which includes health and social care staff) if necessary.

All health professionals are bound by law and professional codes of conduct to this duty of confidentiality to their patients.

Our service treat moderate to severe mental illness including:

  • severe depression
  • anxiety disorders
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • psychotic disorders and personality disorders.
Care and treatment
Following an initial assessment your care plan will be created to meet your individual needs. 
We provide advice, assessment and signposting to other services that include: 
  • Making contact with you in a timely way
  • An assessment experience that embraces what is important to you in your pregnancy and in planning for the postnatal period
  • A written letter reflecting on the points raised in your assessment
  • The shared development of a plan of care to meet your needs
  • Advice in prescribing medication for mental health reasons in pregnancy and breast feeding, for example antidepressants
  • Promoting wellbeing and relapse prevention in pregnancy and the postnatal period
  • Pregnancy planning and birth planning for women who are already working with a recovery care co-ordinator from community mental health services.

For Clinicians 
When making a referral please  provide clear information in paper and/or electronic format, to patients, partners/significant others and healthcare practitioners about the referral you are making, giving them:

  •  A simple description of the service and its purpose

  • Clear referral criteria

  • How to make a referral, including self-referral if the service allows

  • Clear clinical pathways describing access and discharge

  • Main interventions and treatments available

  • Contact details for the service, including emergency and out of hours details

City and hackney

  • Amazing staff - felt fully supported, all around a wonderful experience - Fabio was very attentive and kind - he went above and beyond”
  • “Impressed so far (only 1 consultation to date)”
  • “Helping me with my mental health”
  • It was very good, excellent. I was expecting it to be worse”
  • “I appreciated the help and constant effort from the professionals. At no point did I feel alone or that someone wasn’t there to help me throughout my difficult time. My recovery could not have happened without these amazing people. I am very grateful”
  • “I feel safe and secure of the treatment I will receive”
  • “Great help and understanding”
  • “Very good service, very blessed to have those services”
  • “Meet lovely people all through my care”
  • “The service is very helpful and has definitely helped me to look after my baby”
  • “Team are very helpful”

Tower hamlets

  • To follow through on referrals and have a process in place that means no one slips through the system - clear communication”
  • “It’s a fairly good service”
  • “For who people seem to be caring and non-judgemental”
  • “Prompt help by a specialist team”
  • “The overall care package myself and my family received was truly fantastic. I found their non-judgmental common sense approach very helpful - having regular reviews also helped me recover psychologically. My sons have also benefited from the service, my eldest is now more confident and less anxious and I have been able to bond with my second. Thank you”
  • “Thank you for listening to me, this is a big thing to listen to me”
  • “I started off with being at my worst, I am not slightly better hence why I put 20% because my doctor does everything possible with my problems”
  • “I am never going to be 'fully recovered' silly question. I've been dealing with mental health issues for 15⁺ years. Sometimes I get better then I relapse”
  • “Being seen quickly definitely avoided an admission to hospital”
  • “I don't know”

Newham

  • “Nice to see that everyone was friendly”
  • “I really appreciated the quick response, the openness in our talks and feeling at ease”
  • “I felt good. Really comfortable, she made me feel like I was in a familiar place”
  • “Help with finding address for implant”
  • “Psychologist Dr J Humphry is a wonderful person, I prefer talking to her as she keeps me calm and I see she really wants to help me, which she has”
  • “I wouldn't be doing as well as I am right now”
  • “Appointments were always available and I felt like my needs were very important”
  • “I felt included in my treatment, they felt very supportive and they figure out my need and make essential referrals with my consent very promptly. They believe me and understand what I am going through. They treat me with dignity and maintain confidentiality”
  • “Fully recovering due to the medication I am currently taking. Doctor is extremely helpful”
  • “Thanks for the help. Especially Dr Humphries she helped me recover”




Clinical

Conditions:

Anxiety
Bipolar Disorder
Depression
Low mood
OCD
Personality disorder
Phobias
Post traumatic stress disorder
Schizophrenia


Clinical speciality:

Adult Mental Health Service



Frequently asked questions

How long are the waiting times?

Our perinatal services aim to see all new referrals within four weeks of receiving the referral. If the team decides a referral is urgent, we aim to see within two weeks.

Will I be seen by lots of different people?

Our services understand that continuity of care is important and so whichever doctor sees you in clinic will remain your consultant and continue to see you while you remain under our team, unless you request otherwise. The only exception to this will be if you require an urgent appointment and your usual doctor is away, in which case you may be seen by the other consultant in our team.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, you can if you wish to, however some of our consulting rooms have limited space and so we can often only have room for one person to accompany you. We also sometimes must ask questions of a sensitive nature and so may ask to see you by yourself for a brief period.

Can I bring my other children?

If they are old enough to talk then we do not routinely encourage other children to be present, as we ask sensitive questions that they may find distressing. However, if you are not able to find an alternative option then we will generally try to accommodate them. Please note we do not have any play facilities so you may wish to bring toys or books to keep them occupied. 

Can I breastfeed my baby in the appointment?

Yes, you are very welcome to if you wish to do so. If you need to breastfeed your child either before or after your appointment, we do not have any dedicated breast-feeding rooms, however if you wish to have some privacy then ask a member of staff who will try to accommodate you if a spare room can be found.