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Perinatal Unit

Early detection is key to improved outcomes for women who experience perinatal mental health problems.

Mental health mother and baby unit at St John's hospital

At St John's hospital the Perinatal Unit is made up of the following multi-disciplinary team:

  • A psychiatrist
  • A clinical psychologist
  • Nursery nurses
  • An occupational therapist
  • A social worker
  • A community psychiatric nurse
  • A health visitor

As well as working with the mother, baby and family to meet the needs of the mother and child, the staff link with community services. All of this reinforces the importance of integrated working across the range of agencies involved in the welfare and wellbeing of children, mothers and their families and carers.

Service provided

Along with the inpatient service a Lothian Community Service is being developed. Community Mental Health Nurses will work with the multidisciplinary team to assess and care for women in the community, linking with specialist services to ensure good communication and the best standard of care.


Only the second of its kind in Scotland, the unit will significantly improve the care and treatment of women suffering from a range of mental health illness, allowing them to bond with their babies while they undergo treatment. The six-bedded unit is a joint initiative between five health boards and serve women from Tayside, Borders, Fife and Highland as well as Lothian. The perinatal mental health integrated care pathway was launched in June 2006, and is available to all pregnant women.

Further information

If you are looking for further information only (it is NOT possible to self refer to this service) please use the contact details below or ask your GP.


Telephone 01506 524176 or 01506 523000