Women's Health Psychological Services (WHPS)

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Under Review — this page was due to be reviewed by Thursday, 11 November 2021. The information shown here may be outdated.

Service providing short-term, focused therapeutic consultation to parents with moderate psychological difficulties related to pregnancy and childbirth. Service delivered by multi-professional team including counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapist and trainees.

For antenatal patients, the service usually offers an assessment appointment within three weeks depending on gestation. Postnatal patients (birth trauma and bereavement only) are offered an assessment appointment within six weeks (it is not usually advisable to begin psychological processing work immediately following bereavement or birth complications).

Patients may attend 1-8 appointments including a needs assessment and signposting or onward referral to community-based services.

The team typically shares relevant information and liaises with maternity staff and GPs and, where appropriate, other care providers also, to discuss needs and care plans.

Eligibility criteria


  • Consenting women and partners who are ready to work psychologically on their distress about the pregnancy, pregnancy loss, fear of birth, serious birth complications and other pregnancy-related problems.
  • Women and partners presenting complex social issues.


  • Parents who need treatment for mild to moderate pre-existing and/or long-term mental health problems should be signposted or referred to iCope.
  • Parents with serious and/or enduring mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, personality disorders, eating disorders, psychotic conditions, OCD and self-harm and those requiring specialist advice around psychotropic medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding (should be referred to Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service). 
  • This service does not offer treatment for postnatal depression, unless the emotional difficulties are caused by pregnancy loss or serious birth complications (consider a referral to The Anna Freud Parent Infant Project).

Contact the manager for advice or to discuss a potential referral: e: jacqueline.hughes@nhs.net, t: 020 3447 2697

How to refer

The following clinicians can refer to this service: GPs

Editable PDF / Word document Download Form

Referral methods: Email

Please send completed referral form by email.

e: uclh.perinatalpsychology@nhs.net