The Margaret Oates Mother and Baby Unit

The Margaret Oates Mother and Baby Unit is an 8 bed specialist inpatient perinatal unit for mothers from 32 weeks of pregnancy with a serious mental illness, and their babies up to one year after birth. We are a regional unit for the East Midlands, however, as a national resource we can accept admissions from other areas of England if needed.

We aim to provide rapid and effective care for the mother’s mental illness whilst promoting the mother and baby relationship. We use the best approach to meet each woman’s needs and wishes to help them with a speedy recovery.

Based at Hopewood, our unit provides more beds than previously available in Nottinghamshire. It is one of only 17 specialist Mother and Baby Units (increasing to 21 soon) in the country and has accreditation status from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre of Quality Improvement.

Our unit is named after Dr Margaret Oates OBE who worked for our Trust for many years. Margaret set up our perinatal services in 1984 and is internationally recognised for her services to perinatal psychiatry.


All of our bedrooms are ensuite and spacious so that babies can sleep in the same room as their mothers, with room for a cot and changing table. Facilities for mothers and their families centre around a large, welcoming and homely communal open plan lounge and dining area.

There is also a quiet room, kitchen, with a separate area for milk preparation, nursery, sensory room, two bathrooms with full sized baths (one to accommodate access for patients with a disability) and a pram store. We have a private garden and being set within the grounds of Hopewood we also benefit from access to extra green space and the wider community.

The ward felt calm at all times


Our specialist and highly skilled team include consultant psychiatrists, registered specialist perinatal nurses, specialist perinatal nursery nurses and healthcare assistants. We also have a dedicated occupational therapist and clinical psychologist based on the unit and we have weekly sessions from a liaison health visitor and specialist midwife.

Caring and kind - involved in my care - aware of discharge planning. Lots of activities for ourself and self care. I felt the staff genuinely wanted to help and be at work.

What we offer

We provide a range of therapies to mothers and their babies alongside psychological therapies and occupational therapy sessions. These include anxiety management, relaxation, mindfulness, distraction techniques, distress tolerance and mental health promotion. We offer a programme of activities including colouring, arts and crafts, walking to local parks, cooking, baking, shopping, a newspaper group, manicures and hand and foot massage.

Our nursery nurses also run a programme of mother and baby activities, including:

  • baby massage
  • baby yoga
  • sensory play
  • singing
  • story time
  • tummy time
  • weaning
  • recognising cues
  • safe sleep

Local charities offer complementary therapies and creative therapies to enhance the mothers’ stay with us. We also hold a weekly peer support group, led by a former patient, which instils hope and recovery for mothers and their families.

We value patient feedback and hold a weekly community meeting with patients and nursing staff representatives, where we discuss issues and suggestions about people’s experiences and observations on the unit.

Coming to a Mother and Baby Unit is so daunting but everyone on the team was so welcoming and friendly whilst maintaining professionalism.

Take a tour of the Margaret Oates Mother and Baby Unit


We accept referrals from all professional groups. Once we have received your referral this will be reviewed by the MDT and we will return your request within a 4 hour period. We accept referrals 24 hours a day, 365 days per week. For admission and exclusion criteria please refer to the referral form on the below link.

If you would like to make a referral please complete the universal referral form on the CPMS System -



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