Overview

If you are in need of urgent NHS mental health support you should call our Mental Health Central Access Point on 0808 800 3302. For more information head to: www.leicspart.nhs.uk/contact/urgent-help

Service description

The Medical Psychology Department is a service for adults who are having difficulties with managing the impact of medical/physical health problems on their psychological well-being, or are finding that their mental health is having a direct impact on their physical health.

We are a growing team of Clinical Psychologists who work with a wide range of physical health difficulties. Some of us are funded to work across a range of medical specialities whilst others are funded for specific services such as renal, cystic fibrosis, HIV, pain management, adult congenital heart disease, haemoglobinopathies. We are a teaching department and regularly offer placements to trainee clinical psychologists on the local doctoral programme. We are actively involved in research and service evaluation which helps us to improve our service.

We offer specialist psychological assessment and interventions to individuals to help manage their emotional stress of living with an acute or long term physical health condition. Some of the examples are listed below (please note: this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Low mood/Stress or Anxiety associated with illness and treatment
  • Anxiety around hospital visits or procedures
  • Trauma reaction following hospital procedure
  • Coping with uncertainty about future health
  • Impact of health problem on family and relationships
  • Keeping control and independence
  • Coping with diagnosis and adjusting to everyday life with a long-term medical condition
  • Support with making decisions about treatment

Referral criteria

The service can offer assessment and treatment to adult patients from all medical specialities. Referrals can only be accepted from University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) Consultants (or a member of their team). Patient self-referrals and GP referrals are not accepted.

Assessment

Following referral patients will receive a letter asking them to telephone the service to arrange an assessment appointment. Routine referrals are generally seen for assessment by 10 -12 weeks. Please note that some medical specialities have a designated psychologist who will contact patients directly to book an assessment appointment.

The assessment appointment will be with a clinical psychologist. We also offer training placements and therefore patients may be offered an appointment with a trainee psychologist whose work is supervised by a qualified member of staff. The assessment appointment usually lasts between one and one and half hours. This appointment may take place in-person or remotely (e.g. video consultation or telephone). Patients are usually seen individually in the first instance. In some cases it may be helpful for a relative/carer to attend for part of the session if the patient requests this. Following this assessment,   a decision will be made with the patient regarding the next steps. This may include:

  • Waiting list for individual therapy
  • Waiting list for group therapy
  • Referral to another service
  • No further psychological intervention at this point

We usually see patients for between 4-18 sessions.

Who to contact if you need an interpreter or information about disabled access

Please let us know if you require an interpreter.

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