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Meet the team
At Coombe Wood, we are extremely proud of our experienced and expert team of clinicians, nurses, therapists and support staff who deliver a high quality service to mothers, babies and their families.
Tracey Lloyd, Service Manager & Senior Psychiatric nurse
“I manage the three perinatal services based at Coombe Wood which involves ensuring a high standard of care for the parents who are referred to our services. I strive to maintain a balance that ensures the patient’s clinical needs are paramount but also organisational needs are fulfilled. I have tried to improve/maintain a pleasant environment for both patients and staff to enhance their experience of being in Coombe Wood.
I was involved in the development of the parenting assessment service and have enjoyed seeing the service evolve and flourish as well as seeing parents gain from the opportunity to learn/improve and demonstrate their parenting abilities during the assessment process.
I find the work challenging but rewarding and this has contributed to my remaining at Coombe Wood for over 20 years”.
Dr Jona Lewin, Consultant Psychiatrist
“As a consultant psychiatrist at Coombe Wood I carry responsibilities for the assessment and treatment of patients. I supervise a psychiatric trainee and support the associate specialist on the unit. The multi-disciplinary clinical team meetings are key to the success of treatment. I chair these meetings and ensure that relevant information is gathered and agreement on further treatment made.
My work with the Parenting Assessment Team is particularly exciting. I work closely with a consultant child psychiatrist and other members of the multi-disciplinary team. My role is to provide an adult psychiatric perspective to the case and in discussions with other members of the team we complete a puzzle, looking at all aspects of parenting to recommend the way forwards, always considering that the welfare of the baby is paramount.
Apart from my clinical responsibilities, I also have teaching, research and managerial responsibilities. I am involved in undergraduate teaching of students fromImperialCollege, who carry out attachments at Park Royal Centre for Mental Health. I am the principle investigator of a research project, which examines the relationship between parenting and mental health problems and have involvement in Trust wide service development projects.”
Dr Meena Patel, Associate Specialist
“I play a key liaison role between the unit, potential patients and referrers to our service. I undertake phone consultations with referrers who are looking to send a patient to us. The process of accepting a patient at Coombe Wood is not always simple and may include, as well as the telephone consultations, a pre-admission meeting with the patient and/or the referring healthcare professional, attendance at pre-birth planning meetings and planning for possible admissions post-delivery when there is a higher risk that a birth may trigger a relapse of a previous mental health condition or exacerbate an existing one.
Once a patient is admitted to Coombe Wood I undertake a comprehensive assessment and management of difficulties the patient is having, such as with mental health, physical health, practical care and attachment to the baby, family relationships or social networks. This is done with the help of the unit’s multi-disciplinary team. I also have a key responsibility to liaise with each patient’s local healthcare professionals, such as their GP, health visitor, social services team, housing team, mental health professionals and others who may already be involved.
I also attend child protection case conferences, provide medical legal reports to social services and family courts, support colleagues and develop trainees who are on placement at Coombe Wood, as well as participate in service development, research and audit.”
Elizabeth Urban, Child Psychotherapist
“I became interested in early development during my training in both child and adult psychoanalytic psychotherapy. As I became more experienced in my work with children and parents, I realised the possibilities for preventing problems in childhood by working with mothers and infants. This has led to my specialising in this area and to work at Coombe Wood.
As Highly Specialist Child Psychotherapist at the Unit, I work across the in-patient service and the parenting assessment team. I run a weekly mother-baby group with all the parents (usually mothers but sometimes fathers), the aim of which is to enhance the parents’ and babies’ enjoyment of one another. We generally use baby massage as the vehicle for mutual pleasure, but also there’s the opportunity for parents to ask questions and to exchange experiences and ideas about parenting. I also see mother-baby pairs for ‘parent-infant couple therapy’. My role includes detailed observations of the interactions between parent and baby that make up their relationship, and ‘speaking for the baby’ and ‘translating’ how they express themselves. I enjoy my work, alongside colleagues from other disciplines but with shared aims, and, most of all, working directly with parents and babies and watching their bonds grow and strengthen.
Dr Fiona Seth-Smith, Clinical Psychologist
“As the unit’s perinatal Clinical Psychologist I provide a specialist input to the community, inpatient and parenting assessment service at Coombe Wood. I am experienced in working with children and families and also in adult psychology. I carry out psychological assessments and I also provide input to the multidisciplinary assessments and treatment planning for patients within these three services. My central interest is in assessing and providing helpful interventions for mothers (and fathers) with parenting, relationship and attachment issues that often emerge during pregnancy birth and in the first year of baby’s life. I also provide psychological treatment for women with complex difficulties including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) anxiety, depression and other significant emotional difficulties. In addition I support and supervise other professionals on the unit providing psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Within the parenting assessment team, my role is to carry out assessments of psychological difficulties impacting on parenting including advising on possible interventions. The parents referred include women with learning difficulties, severe mental health problems and personality disorders.
In addition to these clinical responsibilities, I supervise 3rd year Clinical Psychology Trainees. I am also involved in service development and improvement projects. I run the service user group and contribute to research projects. The current research project is investigating interactions between babies and mothers with severe mental health difficulties. The aim of this research is to identify whether there are any common parenting difficulties with which mothers can be supported to develop and improve their skills.”
Edwina Forrester, Clinical Team Leader
“As a clinical team leader, I am a pivotal member of the unit as I communicate regularly with the multi-disciplinary team and with a wide range of people outside of the unit. I provide both managerial and clinical leadership and provide direction and support to all staff ensuring our high standards of assessment, safety and delivery of care are maintained.
It is my responsibility to ensure that all the necessary information and support is given to relatives whose family members are admitted to Coombe Wood, and involve carers in the planning of support. I also support and develop mental health students who are attending the unit on placements or as interns seeking experience.”
Debbie Hunter, Perinatal Community Practice Nurse
“As a perinatal community psychiatric nurse, I work with women in Brent and Harrow who are experiencing a moderate to severe degree of mental health problems during the last trimester of pregnancy, as well as those women with babies up to 12 months old. My role involves specialist assessment, treatment and monitoring of the mother’s mental health, parenting skills, individual and family work. A key focus is consulting and liaising with other professionals – such as community mental health teams, children’s social services, health visitors or midwives. I attend care planning and pre-birth meetings to provide specialist advice in order to develop an appropriate care package for women with a history of severe and enduring mental health problems, addressing the needs of the unborn child. Post-delivery I will then work closely with other professionals in assessing the mother’s ability to parent effectively and support her in the development of parenting skills.
Although most of my work is community-based, I liaise closely with my colleagues in Coombe Wood’s inpatient team as there are times when community patients may need to be admitted. I also take on the role of care co-ordinator for many patients when they are discharged from the inpatient unit back into the care of the Coombe Wood perinatal community team.
I have worked here for 12 years and whilst it is a challenging area, it can also be extremely rewarding to see the difference we can make to individual women, their babies and families.”
Rebecca Staub, Occupational Therapist
“As the senior occupational therapist at Coombe Wood I work across all three services: inpatient unit, parenting assessment team and community mental health service. I am able to support mothers to develop and enhance their functioning in their role as a parent. I aim to support mothers to create a balanced routine that enables them to provide practical and emotional care to their baby while still managing to engage in other important areas of their lives.
Supporting mothers in establishing and maintaining a relationship with their baby is a key component to the work I do. It is the earliest intervention that can be provided and gives children the best start in life. Seeing the bond between a mother and baby develop is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”
Fiona Foster, Senior Art Psychotherapist
“As the Unit’s art psychotherapist, I provide a form of psychological treatment in which mothers and partners have the opportunity to express (through art materials) difficult or worrying thoughts and feelings that are not easily verbalised. The aim of this therapy is to support and encourage self help and self development. It is not an art class or recreational activity.”
Pamela Bovell-Olowo, Staff Nurse
“Coombe Wood is a unique and special place to work. As staff support each other so that we can do our best to teach and support mothers with or without mental health problems how to care for their baby.
As a member of the nursing team, we observe and demonstrate to mothers how to interact with their babies.”
Emily Kinyanjui, Staff Nurse
“Working in Coombe Wood gives me job satisfaction when I work with mothers and help them in a variety of ways in supporting them towards their recovery. It is a fabulous feeling to see them leaving and ready to get on with their lives.”
Rosie Yacobi, Secretary and Administrator
“I work across all three services at Coombe Wood – inpatient, parenting assessments and community services. I process all new referrals coming in to the three services, both electronically and manually. I type most of the letters, reports and discharge summaries for the three services.
During the daytime Monday to Friday, I receive most of the telephone calls coming into Coombe Wood and deal with them appropriately. I minute meetings on a monthly basis and monitor stationery supplies and order new stock.
This is an extremely busy job, but it is also hugely satisfying and rewarding.”