Information for women, their partners and family members who are worried about postnatal depression, psychosis or other mental health/ emotional difficulties.

Coombe Wood Mother and Baby Unit can accommodate up to eight mothers and their babies at any one time for inpatient treatment, and up to two parents and their babies/toddlers at any one time for specialist residential parenting assessments. It is also our aim to use one inpatient bed for pregnant women to be admitted.

f you are experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties, you or your partner/family member can request that your GP refer you to a psychiatrist who will then be able to refer you to a specialist mother and baby unit, such as Coombe Wood.

If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health condition that requires treatment as an inpatient you can request that your psychiatrist or community mental health team refer you to a specialist mother and baby unit, such as Coombe Wood. We can ensure that wherever possible mother and baby can remain together, rather than be separated as is the case if the mother is referred to an adult psychiatric ward.

At Coombe Wood, we accept local referrals from all London Boroughs as well as national referrals. Over the years we have treated and cared for patients from across London and as far afield as Norfolk, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Essex and Devon.

Referrals to our inpatient service have to come from a mental health service.

Our community perinatal service is provided to you if you are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months and you are registered with a GP in the boroughs of Brent and Harrow. 

If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health condition and/or are in contact with your local community mental health team you can ask them to refer you. If you do not do not have any links with a psychiatric service then talk to your GP or Health Visitor who can then make a referral to our service.

Following a referral from a healthcare professional we will get in touch with you by letter or phone call to arrange an initial appointment. The assessment will usually be carried out by one or two members of our specialist team, it will last one to two hours and may take up to two appointments to be complete. We encourage all significant members of the family to be present.

The majority of treatment can be carried out in the community and we will liaise with your GP and health visitor throughout the treatment.

If you or your partner has experienced mental health difficulties and professionals are raising concerns about you being able to parent your child then a residential parenting assessment may be a way of getting an experienced multidisciplinary overview on your parenting abilities in the short and longer term.

Parenting assessments are normally requested by local authority social services teams, specialist family solicitors or the courts.

At the end of the assessment, the multidisciplinary team will produce a report that recommends whether a child or children should remain with the parent(s). It also gives recommendations for what support and/or supervision should be provided to ensure the best outcomes for the child(ren) and their families.

Coombe Wood is one of only two centres in the London area that provides a specialist mental health residential parenting assessment service within a mother and baby unit. It is the only centre to offer this service to couples with one or two children under three years old.