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West of Scotland Mother & Baby Unit

Scotland’s first Mother & Baby Unit was opened in Sept 2004 at the city’s Southern General Hospital site. As part of the modernisation programme the now named West of Scotland Mother & Baby Unit relocated to Leverndale Hospital in Jan 2014.

Virtual tour of the West of Scotland Mother & Baby Unit

The MBU admits women in later stages of pregnancy or women and their babies under 12 months old who are experiencing severe mental illness.  The six bedded unit enables mothers to be supported in caring for their baby whilst having care and treatment for a range of mental illnesses including postnatal depression, postpartum psychosis, severe anxiety and eating disorders. Maintaining this contact is critical to the wellbeing of both mother and baby as it not only aids the mother’s recovery but also strengthens the mother-infant  relationship and infant development.

The unit is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals including; psychiatrists, mental health nurses, nursery nurses, a social worker, psychologist, health visitor, nursing assistants, administrators and sessions from other health disciplines as required. The unit offers a wide range of medical, psychological and psychosocial interventions to women from across the West of Scotland.

Referrals to the unit are accepted from mental health professionals, general practitioners, health visitors and maternity staff for assessment by our team. For referrals from out with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, the woman should be assessed by a local psychiatrist in the first instance.

The West of Scotland MBU serves the following NHS boards

  • Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Ayrshire and Arran
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Lanarkshire
  • Western Isles

Admission can be agreed from other board areas following discussion with the team.

Inpatient care and treatment
The Mother and Baby Mental Health Unit can accommodate up to 6 mothers with their babies. It is located at Leverndale Hospital.

Our staff are specially trained to support you through your recovery and to assist you in caring for your new baby. Any decisions regarding admission and treatment will be discussed with you and, where appropriate, with your family.
The Mother and Baby Mental Health Unit can accommodate up to 6 mothers with their babies.
As well as family and group activity rooms, there is a garden area with seating.

The unit tries, as much as possible, to maintain a homely atmosphere within the context of a hospital setting. You will be allocated a single room for you and your baby. You will also have access to a range of facilities including:

  • a communal TV lounge and dining room
  • laundry facilities
  • bathroom and shower rooms
  • kitchen and baby food preparation facilities
  • family sitting room
  • group activity room
  • garden area with seating

What to bring with you

There are certain things you will need for your baby during your stay:

  • child health record
  • baby formula if bottle feeding
  • any creams or medication that your baby requires
  • nappies
  • clothing for your baby including an outdoor jacket
  • bibs
  • baby wipes if you prefer to use them
  • toiletries
  • favourite small toys
  • pram.

The unit will supply other equipment such as a cot, high chair, bath, bouncy chair, steriliser, bottle warmer and toys.

For yourself you will need:

  • day time clothing
  • outdoor jacket
  • nightwear
  • a note of medication you are prescribed including dose and timings of when you take them
  • if breast feeding, breast pads and nipple shields if you use them
  • sanitary towels
  • toiletries
  • loose change for pay phone

You should not bring:

  • valuables or large amounts of money
  • credit cards
  • glass bottles of juice etc.
  • alcohol
  • any drugs or medication that have not been prescribed.

When you arrive

A member of staff will meet you and show you to your room, the layout of the unit and answer any questions you may have. Staff will advise you of the usual routine within the unit and provide you with any equipment you may need for your baby during your stay. They will check through your belongings with you and take a note of what you have brought to the unit.

Care and treatment

Shortly after admission, you will meet with a psychiatrist. A mental health nurse and nursery nurse will be allocated to plan your care with you and provide any support you might need with your baby. As part of your assessment, and with your permission, we will usually ask to meet with your partner and/or other family member.

Staff will be available throughout your stay to discuss your treatment, progress and plans for discharge. The multidisciplinary team (all staff involved in your care) will meet on a weekly basis to review your care.

Common treatments may include medication, talking therapies, group therapies and working with you and your baby together. There is a programme of therapeutic activities on the unit and your mental health and nursery nurses will plan individual and group activities with you.

A small number of patients are admitted to the unit under compulsory provisions of the Mental Health Act. If this is the case, staff will explain your rights under the Act and help you, if you wish to appeal against your detention. Staff will also help you contact an independent advocacy service that can support you in putting across your views on your care and treatment.

Your baby’s needs

Within the first few days you will be introduced to the team GP and health visitor. They will discuss with you any medical care your baby might need during your stay, or any advice and support you might want in relation to your baby’s wellbeing and development. The GP will also ask your permission to carry out a routine physical examination of your baby. Our health visitor will be available to monitor your baby’s development and administer any immunisations your baby might require during your stay. They will also keep in touch with your baby’s own GP and health visitor.

You have responsibility as a parent to ensure that your baby is kept safe and to help them grow and develop. Our staff are there to help you with this.

Staff have a responsibility to ensure that the needs of your baby are always given priority. They ensure this happens by assessing how you are able to care for your baby and to meet your baby’s needs to grow and thrive.

Depending on how your illness affects you, they will support and guide you in meeting your baby’s needs. If there are concerns that you have particular problems in caring for your baby, this will be discussed with you and, where relevant, your partner, about how the needs of your baby can be best met.

Sometimes staff may seek help for your baby and yourself from social services if they feel you need extra support or where there are concerns that your baby’s needs are not being met. On rare occasions it may be in your baby’s best interests to be cared for outwith the hospital setting whilst you are recovering from your illness.

Booklets explaining parental responsibilities and rights are available from the staff.

Smoking policy

There is a no smoking policy and it is not allowed to smoke in the unit. If you wish to try to stop smoking during your stay we have staff trained to support you.

Visitors to the mother and baby unit 

Your visitors are welcome to come to the unit but we would ask that they telephone the ward beforehand to notify staff of their intention to visit. The numbers of visitors may be limited as it is difficult to accommodate a large number at one time.

When visitors arrive at the unit they will be asked who they have come to see. This helps us ensure no unwanted visitors can come onto the unit.

Where appropriate, and with your permission, we are happy for your partner or family member to approach staff during visits to discuss your care.

We appreciate that your visitors may have a long distance to travel. When possible we will try to be flexible in relation to visiting but ask that they visit between 2.00-4.00pm and 6.00-8.00pm in order not to interfere with your treatment programme. However, we can usually allow partners to visit for longer periods.

To ensure minimum disruption to other patients and babies in the unit, visitors are not permitted in the communal lounge/dining area. You may sit with your visitors in the garden area, your bedroom or the family room.

Children are welcome but an adult must accompany any children who visit you in the unit and visitors are responsible for supervising them at all times.

Families may have to travel some distance when visiting the unit. If your partner or other family members would like information regarding overnight accommodation in Glasgow, please ask them to speak to a member of staff. Assistance with travel costs may be available from your local Social Work Department. We can help you contact them if necessary.

Mobile telephones

Mobile phones should only be used for outgoing calls. They should be switched off or in silent mode at other times to avoid disruption to your programme of care, and to other patients and their babies

Your discharge home

After your admission we will start to plan with you arrangements for your discharge home. We will liaise regularly with the relevant health and social care teams to plan any ongoing care and treatment that you may require after discharge.

Preparation for your discharge will be made according to your individual need. To help you adjust to being home again, you may leave the unit for anything from a few hours, building up to one or more days/nights at a time.

When you return home, we will arrange for you to be seen by a psychiatrist or community psychiatric nurse (CPN) and, where appropriate, a social worker. If you live in the Glasgow area, this is likely to be a member of staff from the Perinatal Mental Health Service Community Team. We will also contact your GP and health visitor, and any other services involved in your care, to let them know about the plans for your ongoing care and treatment.

If you are prescribed medication you will receive a 7-day supply before you leave the unit. You should make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible after discharge to obtain further prescriptions for your medication.

Contact us
West of Scotland Mother & Baby Unit
Leverndale Hospital
510 Crookston Road
Glasgow G53 7TU
Tel: 0141 211 6500