FAQs for inpatients

How do I get to the unit?

The unit is located at Park Royal Centre for Mental Health on Central Way, NW10 7FL. It is next door to Central Middlesex Hospital. The unit is easily accessible by both bus and train – map and travel information are available on request by emailing pmhs.cnwl@nhs.net or telephone 020 8955 4495.

What do I need to bring with me?

For yourself you will need to bring in clothing, toiletries, current medications (which must be handed to the nurse on arrival) and washing powder.

For baby you will need to bring in baby’s Red Book, clothing, toiletries, nappies, steriliser and bottles, milk and any weaning food required.

Is there anything I cannot bring into the unit?

For safety reasons the following items must not be brought into the hospital: illegal drugs (or any other illicit substance), alcohol, weapons or sharp objects of any kind or offensive literature.

Who else will be in the unit?

There will be other mothers who are experiencing mental health difficulties and their babies. The unit can treat and care for up to 10 women at a time.

How long will I stay in Coombe Wood?

The length of stay is dependent on treatment plans and individual needs. On average women stay for around six weeks.

Are visitors allowed on the unit?

On weekdays, visiting times are anytime after 4pm until 10pm, and at weekends from 10am to 10pm. Please ensure that the amount of visitors at any one time is reasonable as it can be overwhelming for other mothers to have too many visitors in the unit.

What if my partner cannot visit at these times?

Your named nurse will be able to discuss any problems with visiting times with you and your partner and it may be possible to make alternatives arrangements for your partner.

Are visitors allowed upstairs?

No, on admission visitors can be escorted to take belongings upstairs to view the room in which you will be staying.

What are the meal times and catering facilities?

From 8am, breakfast is available and usually consists of cereal and toast.

At 12.30pm, lunch is provided by the hospital caterers, who can cater for special diets.

At 6pm, with the assistance of nursing staff, mothers take it in turn to cook the evening meal.

A separate fridge is available for mothers to keep any snacks, drinks or home cooked food.

How will I remember all the staff?

All staff will introduce themselves to you. All the nursing staff wear tabards with their names on. There is a photoboard in the foyer with pictures of the staff on and also a list of nursing staff on duty for each shift.

Why do I have to be supervised when I am with my baby?

This is procedure in the unit from admission until we get to know you and are able to see how you are caring for your baby. The level of supervision will be reviewed as quickly as possible and will be part of your individual care planning whilst you are on the unit.

For health and safety reasons, due to the height of changing room surface and bathing facilities for babies, all mothers are supervised when in the baby changing room regardless of the level of supervision they are currently on.

Can I have my baby in my room at night?

On admission, our procedure is that initially all babies sleep in the upstairs nursery so that mothers can have a good rest. The babies are supervised by nursing staff but it does not mean that you cannot care for you baby during night-time. It will be discussed as part of your individual care plan how much baby care you feel able to do and how long this arrangement will continue. Nursing staff are available for support/advice during the night and they also perform routine checks throughout the night ensuring the wellbeing and safety of all mothers and their babies

If I am on medication and I do not hear my baby at night will some one alert and support me?

Staff, are available through the night to supervise and support mothers with caring for their babies. If you are worried about medication affecting the care of your baby you can speak to a doctor, nurse or a pharmacist.

Can I go out with baby?

Initially, this has to be discussed with the nursing team. After a road safety assessment is carried out then arrangements to go out with your baby will be documented as part of your individual care plan

What experience does the team have?

Coombe Wood has a very experienced multidisciplinary team consisting of doctors, nurses and therapists. Many members of the team have worked in the perinatal health service for over 10 years (perinatal health describes the area of care which is for women who are pregnant or who have delivered their baby). The team also have experience of working with women who have a broad range of mental health disorders during pregnancy and in the post-natal period.

On admission you will be made aware of the name of a doctor and a nurse who will be co-ordinating your care whilst you are in Coombe Wood.

What groups are available in Coombe Wood?

There is a weekly group activity programme facilitated by our members of our multidisciplinary team who include; an art psychotherapist, an occupational therapist psychologist, a child psychotherapist, a family therapist, a nursery nurse and nursing staff. The groups include psychotherapy, baby massage, relaxation, art therapy, community meeting, floor play, family therapy. There is also a father’s group which your partner can attend.

How often will I see my doctor/named nurse?

They will see you at regular intervals throughout the week and in addition you can request to see you doctor or nurse at any time and they will make arrangements to see you.

How will I get better?

The multidisciplinary team have extensive experience of treating women who are experiencing mental health disorders during pregnancy and in the post-natal period. An individual treatment plan will be discussed with you and your family. The multidisciplinary team review your care/treatment at weekly meetings and any changes discussed with you and your family.

Contact details:

Address: Coombe Wood Perinatal Mental Health Unit, Park Royal Centre for Mental Health, Acton Lane, London NW10 7FL
Phone: 020 8955 4495

get directions