Maternal mental health services in London
MMHS (Maternal Mental Health Services) offer psychological support for women/birthing people with moderate to severe mental health difficulties who have either experienced loss, trauma, tokophobia and PTSD associated with giving birth via four care pathways.
How to make a referral
Referrals can be made by any health or social care professional and self-referrals are accepted by some services. Not all of the services provide all four pathways.
Each service has its own referral form and criteria. Please see links and contact email adresses for each service.
Support across London
Below you will find a list of services available across London.
Maternity Trauma and Loss Care Service (M-LTC) for women and birthing people who live in North West London. Please view the following links for more information:
- For women and birthing people who live in Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster please visit Maternity Trauma and Loss Care Service (North West London) : Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (cnwl.nhs.uk)
- For women and birthing people who live in Ealing, Hounslow or Hammersmith and Fulham please visit: https://www.westlondon.nhs.uk/our-services/adult/mental-health-services/maternity-trauma-and-loss-care
The Maple service for women and birthing people who live in the boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.
- To make a referral, contact: NCL.email@example.com
The Tulip service for women and birthing people who live in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, and Havering.
- To make a referral, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ocean service for women and birthing people who live in the boroughs of City, Tower Hamlets, Newham, and Hackney.
- To make a referral, contact:email@example.com
The Helix service is for women and birthing people who live in the boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich who are experiencing emotional distress, or mental health difficulties following a perinatal loss.
To make a referral to Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham or Southwark please access referral and leaflets here: Service Detail – South London and Maudsley (slam.nhs.uk) or contact the team directly here: Helixreferrals@slam.nhs.uk
The Perinatal Trauma and Loss Team (PTLT) is for women and birthing people who live in the boroughs of Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth
To make a referral contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To speak with a member of the team or make an enquiry email email@example.com
Regional Evaluation of The London Pilot of Maternal Mental Health Services
In 2016, the independent Mental Health Taskforce published its Five Year Forward View (FYFV) on behalf of NHS England, which stipulated that women required access to specialist perinatal mental health services at the local level. NHS England recognised there was a gap in service provision for those requiring psychological intervention specifically related to their birthing experience.
In 2019, NHS England published its Long Term Plan, which set out the need to provide appropriate care to women and birthing parents who develop moderate to severe mental health difficulties due to certain maternity experiences (birth trauma, tokophobia, loss, and child removal due to safeguarding concerns) through the development of Maternal Mental Health Services (MMHS) as this had not previously been provided within existing services.
In 2020 MMHS came into being, to address the gap in provision between specialist services designed to address severe and complex maternity-related psychological difficulties on the one hand, and generalist services designed to address common mental health problems on the other.
This regional evaluation was undertaken by the McPin Foundation and was commissioned and supported by the London Regional Perinatal Mental Health Programme. Mcpin is a research charity specialising in mental health research using peer research methodology. The evaluation focuses on the personal experiences of staff working in the London pilot MMHSs and the women and birthing parents using these services. It draws on in-depth, semi-structured interview data – collected between February and May 2021 – in order to answer key questions around the needs of staff and women/birthing parents, the extent to which those needs are being met, and the lessons that can be learned from their experiences.
Read the full MMHS Evaluation Report here.