Coombe Wood provides a range of specialist mental health services for women in the last trimester of pregnancy or recent mothers who are experiencing mental health / emotional difficulties.

We can admit up to eight women experiencing moderate to severe mental health/emotional difficulties and their babies onto our specialist inpatient unit. One of these beds may be used for a woman in the last trimester of pregnancy who can be managed within the Mother & Baby Unit setting. We consider all requests for admission individually and in certain circumstances can admit mothers with children up to the age of two years.

Our aim is to create an environment that feels homely, welcoming and natural as an aid to a mother’s recovery and to ensure babies feel safe, secure, happy and stimulated. Partners and other family members are welcome and encouraged to visit. Staff run a regular group for fathers to meet and receive support.

Patients all have single rooms and there are facilities for their babies to sleep in their rooms where appropriate. The purpose built unit also has modern, attractive living areas, enclosed gardens, outdoor and indoor play areas, a kitchen, dining room and a laundry room.

Patients admitted onto the ward will receive a therapeutic programme that, dependent on assessment of needs, can include family/couple therapy, psychotherapy groups, baby massage, baby development groups, anxiety management, relaxation techniques and an art psychotherapy group.

Currently this service is only available for women registered with a GP in Brent and Harrow.

Coombe Wood Perinatal Community Mental Health Service provides comprehensive assessment and treatment and aims to prevent, detect and treat mental health difficulties. The service seeks to support women in their local community in managing their mental health and enhancing the care of their baby. The support can be provided by our service or jointly in collaboration with other professional agencies.

Our service promotes bonding thus aiming to minimise the risk of attachment difficulties and encourages the establishment of family and local services support networks. At all times the Service works within the framework of child protection policy and guidance.

The staff are drawn from a number of professions who each provide specialised therapeutic interventions, which includes medical, nursing, psychology and occupational therapy staff. Together they constitute a cohesive, coordinated team which meets regularly to plan an appropriate treatment and to review each patient's progress. As the patient recovers, careful discharge plans are made in partnership with the appropriate local agencies.

Up to two beds are used to offer a six-week residential assessment at Coombe Wood where our specialist team of adult and child mental health clinicians, nurses and therapists can assess the ability of a mother, or mother and father, or mother and other family member, to safely and capably parent a child.

Assessments are normally requested by local authority social services teams, specialist family solicitors or the courts. At the end of the assessment, the specialist team will produce a report that recommends whether the children remain with the mother / father or other family member together with recommendations for the level of local support and/or supervision that should be provided to ensure the best outcome for the children and their families.

The service caters for assessments of a parent or parents with infants up to 18 months old. Siblings of up to three years old are considered on a case-by-case basis.