Perinatal Mental Health Service

The EPUT Perinatal Mental Health Service is an Essex-wide specialist service and will assess and treat women with serious mental illness or complex disorders in the community who cannot be appropriately treated by primary care services. The service will contribute specialist expertise to the care of women to enhance existing perinatal mental health pathways across the health and social care system in Essex. It will operate a co-working model where women are already under the care of EPUT community mental health services, and for referrals with new or first presentations will co-work with generic community mental health teams where needs meet care coordination criteria for CPA or non-CPA. Lead professionals and Responsible Clinician should be agreed at the start of the episode of care and allocation to named practitioner.

The service will ideally assess jointly with First Response or Access and Assessment teams and together with the woman will determine whether her perinatal needs and risks can be met through the PMH Standard Care Pathway, or through Brief Intervention.

For women with a pre-existing serious mental illness before or planning conception:

  • The service will provide pre-conceptual counselling

The service will also provide a number of consultative functions to support professionals working with women in the perinatal period. Enquiries can be made directly to the service. This includes:

  • Prescribing advice to GPs
  • Advice to non-mental health professionals with specialist or lead roles in perinatal mental health such as midwives and health visitors

Where service is based

The Linden Centre
Puddingwood Drive
Ashingdon Unit
Rochford Hospital
Union Lane

Hours of operation

9am-5pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays)

How to contact service

The Linden Centre – 01245 315637

Ashingdon Unit – 01702 538170

How to access the service

The service is open to referrals from all professionals (i.e. GP’s, health visitors, midwives and specialist midwives etc.) working with women at risk of developing an episode of severe mental illness during the perinatal period and also provides counselling to women planning a pregnancy. The perinatal period includes from conception through to one year after birth.

All referrals from professionals external to the Trust should be made via the Essex University Partnership Trust single point of access within the woman’s local area of Essex.

  • Women resident in North Essex referrals are made through Essex University Partnership Trust Access and Assessment teams depending on level of urgency
  • Women resident in South Essex referrals are made through Essex University Partnership Trust First Response (FRT) or Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Teams depending on level of urgency

Referral Criteria

The service works with women with moderate to severe mental illness who are admission vulnerable and/or high risk, and in partnership with existing services in the community such as midwifery, health visiting, and other mental health services. The service enhances and does not replace existing provision for women in the perinatal period and therefore professionals should continue to refer to, work with and consider all appropriate local services.

Below is an indication of the psychiatric presentation or diagnosis that would be eligible for the specialist service:

  • Women discharged from mother and baby units with in the first year postpartum
  • Women with new episodes of serious mental illness during pregnancy and the first postnatal year


  • Postpartum psychosis, bipolar affective disorder, serious affective disorder and/or other psychoses.
  • Severe depressive illness.
  • Severe anxiety based disorders e.g. OCD and panic disorder.
  • Severe and/or complex mental illnesses including obsessive compulsive disorder

– Women during early pregnancy women who are well but at high risk of developing a serious postpartum illness, including a history of serious mental illness e.g. schizoaffective disorder, bipolar affective disorder or severe depressive illness (postnatally or at other times).
– Women with significant mental health problems and mild learning disability who are likely to be the likely to be the baby’s principal carer.
– A family history of serious mental illness.
– Mothers under the age of 18 if significant perinatal mental illness dominates their presentation and they are likely to be the baby’s principal carer.  In these circumstances the assessment, treatment and management of a young mother must be undertaken in collaboration with CAMHS and Social Services. The service will provide perinatal expertise and advice where agreed to support the lead children and young people mental health provider.
– Women with pre-existing serious mental illness in pregnancy where the service will either co-work with adult mental health teams or advise on management and treatment or, according to individual need and choice.
– The service will continue to work with women to plan onward care as appropriate to individual need who have suffered miscarriage, baby loss or had an infant taken into the care of social services.

What Response Times to expect

The PMH Service will liaise with these teams to support triage, identify appropriate referrals and arrange assessment. The service aims to complete assessment for routine referrals within 2-4 weeks.

EPUT Management responsible for service

Service Manager: Caroline Bogle
Tel: 01702 538170 / 01245 315641
Mobile: 07773485806
Director: Tsitsi Adiukwu
Tel: 01702 538038
Mobile: 07887756379
Clinical Lead North: Salena Holmes
Tel: 01245 315637
Mobile: 07773485787
Clinical Lead South: Name: Sarah Lark
Tel: 01702 538170
Mobile: 07984714183