What is a clinical psychologist?
Clinical psychologists support people to understand and manage their experiences, thoughts, feelings and behaviour. We help young people and their families to cope with some of the challenges that can come from having a health condition and/or its treatment.
The paediatric psychology team
Our team is made up of a number of different clinical psychologists. We are also supported by trainee clinical psychologists, assistant psychologists and student psychologists.
We work as part of the medical team, alongside medical and nursing staff and other professionals at Evelina London.
We are all here to support children and young people who have a health condition and their families who come to Evelina London.
How are referrals made to the psychology team?
We can meet children, young people and their families whilst they are staying in hospital or prior to being admitted. You can discuss this with your child’s doctor whilst they are in hospital if this could be helpful.
We also offer outpatient appointments. If you would like to meet with one of our team, you can ask your child’s consultant to make a referral to the paediatric psychology service.
Due to a high demand, there can be a wait for outpatient support from our service. Once we receive a referral from your child’s consultant, we will write to you to let you know that you are on our waiting list. We will then contact you as soon as we are able to offer an appointment.What sorts of problems can we help with?
These are some of the things we may be able to help with:
- Preparing for and coping with medical treatments and hospital appointments, for example MRI, ECG, blood tests, injections and hospital visits.
- Coping with changes to day to day activities.
- Coping with being in hospital for long periods of time.
- Dealing with concerns regarding the future.
- Managing symptoms such as pain, breathlessness or tiredness.
- Managing worries or concerns about difference, for example surgical scars and/or reduced exercise tolerance.
- Managing the impact of a health condition and/or treatment on wider life, such as school, friendships and family relationships.
- Supporting siblings and family.
Sometimes we may not be the best team to help.
If this is the case, we can support you to access more appropriate services.
What happens when you see the psychologist?
At the first appointment, the psychologist will talk with you and your child about how things are at the moment and any difficulties that they would like some help with.
We often meet families initially together, but we also meet with parents and children separately, depending on what we all feel would be most helpful. The first appointment can be up to 90 minutes long, and following appointments are often up to 60 minutes long.
At the first appointment we will discuss with you the number and frequency of future sessions.If you would like to discuss anything before the appointment please call us.
We work as part of the Evelina healthcare team around your child and often share information within the team in order to provide holistic care for your child. If there is any information that you do not want us to share with the wider team, please let us know.
Everyone working in the Trust and the wider NHS has a legal duty to keep your child’s information secure and confidential. We do however have a responsibility to protect your child and others from harm. Therefore, there may be times in which we need to share information with other professionals. We will discuss with you and your child what information we need to share and with whom.
If we are seeing you for an outpatient appointment, we appreciate it is not always possible to attend. We would be grateful if you could let us know at least 24 hours in advance if you have to cancel an appointment, so that we are able to offer it to someone else.
We have a legal duty to hold certain information about your child. We will use this information to care for your child. It will also be used to help us run and monitor the quality of our services. Please speak to a member of staff if you would like to see, or have copies of your child’s health record.
If you would like more information about confidentiality, please ask for a copy of the leaflet, Your NHS health records.
0207 188 4640 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) We are not an emergency service. If you are concerned about risk or have urgent concerns about a child’s mental health, please contact your GP, or out of hours, your nearest emergency department (A&E).
Leaflet number: 4722/VER1
Date published: April 2019
Review date: April 2022
© 2017 Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
A list of sources is available on request