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Information for referrers

All referrals are to be via NSW Health mental health services or designated specialist perinatal mental health services.

Referral eligibility criteria:

  • Mother with complex and severe mental health problems that are unable to be managed in the community.
  • Mother must be the primary carer for their infant, or infants, under 12 months.
  • Woman who is in the last trimester of pregnancy with unstableand sever mental illness may be considered

Referrals are prioritised according to acuity of mental health problem, age of infant and availability of alternative outpatient management.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Primary clinical problem is substance/alcohol abuse or dependence.
  • We do not admit for assessment of parenting capacity and/or child protection or forensic reports.
  • There is no capacity to admit infants or mother who has significant physical health problems.
  • Women must have capacity to provide care or support the infant.

Referral process:

  • Complete referral form on the MBU Webpage.
  • The referral will be reviewed for appropriateness and triaged by the Intake Clinician.
  • Referrals will be reviewed by the multi-disciplinary team.
  • The intake clinician will make contact for further information and if required complete an assessment to discuss suitability for admission; this may be face to face or via Telehealth.
  • Intake team will inform you of the outcome.

Waiting for admission

The Mother and Baby Unit are unable to provide care in the ‘waiting for admission’ period. Parents, children, partners and their families are likely to require ongoing support from mental health and child and family health services whilst waiting for admission. 

MBU will prioritise referrals according to clinical need. For example: Women with severe mental health problems and who are breast feeding young babies have a higher priority for admission.

When a bed becomes available a MBU staff member will contact you and your patient.

During the waiting period MBU takes no responsibility for the setting up of alternative supports. It is the referrers responsibility to ensure that appropriate care is provided in the interim.


Contact Us


Address: Westmead Mother and Baby Unit, redbank House, Building D, Dragonfly Drive, Westmead 2145


Email: [email protected]