A maternal mental health service, provided by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), has expanded to support people in west Essex.

By Your Side, provided in collaboration with midwifery colleagues, offers therapeutic care and grief therapy for women and birthing parents who have experienced a perinatal loss.

The service launched across south west Essex last October. It expanded in January to support patients registered with GPs in south east Essex, and now also supports those with a GP in west Essex. Find more information on GP locations on the EPUT website.

By Your Side is the first specialist psychological and therapeutic service for perinatal loss in Essex. It supports women and birthing parents who have experienced a miscarriage at any stage of their pregnancy, stillbirth, neonatal death or planned termination, and have been significantly affected by the loss.

EPUT’s existing perinatal mental health service in the community works with people who are antenatal or postnatal with a baby up to one year old. By Your Side has been commissioned to bridge the gap by providing a course of therapy to those who have been significantly affected by loss.

The service offers a mix of video consultations, telephone appointments, face-to-face assessments and treatment in perinatal hubs and home visits, based on the patient’s needs.

Eligibility criteria

By Your Side is provided for people:

  • Aged 18 plus
  • Registered to a GP in south east, south west or west Essex
  • Who have experienced loss within the last year
  • Who have been significantly affected by the loss or are experiencing persisting symptoms of grief that are impacting their ability to function


Referrals to the service can be made by a health or social care qualified professional. This includes a midwife, GP, health visitor or social worker, another EPUT or mental health service and also mental health professionals working for charity organisations.

To make a referral:

  1. Complete referral form
  2. Send your referral via SystmOne and attach the referral form to the patient’s record or send your referral form to epunft.byyourside-maternalmentalhealth@nhs.net. If you are SystmOne user, please refer via Systm1

It is hoped the service will become countywide by June this year. Clinicians outside of south east, south west and west Essex can obtain consultative advice from the service, until there is a therapeutic offer available in their area. By Your Side also aims to provide onward sign posting for professionals, as well as training delivered across the system.

To find out more about the service and other support available for family members and loved ones, please visit eput.nhs.uk/byyourside