Clinical health psychologists work alongside acute medical, nursing and allied health professional (AHP) staff to support people with medical conditions in acute(physical, not mental health) hospital settings. This includes one to one work with patients and/or their families, staff advice, support and consultation, and staff training in psychological support within their roles.
Who uses our service
This services works with a wide range of medical conditions (cancer, neuro, chronic pain, cardiac, renal, burns, cleft palate, plastic surgery and reconstruction, rheumatology, trauma, inherited metabolic diseases, HIV and LMBBS) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.
We also offer support for people with cancer at Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, City Hospital and Sandwell Hospital.
We support people with HIV, Cystic Fibrosis and severe and brittle asthma at Heartlands Hospital.
We also support people with weight management issues at Heartlands Hospital or at community based services.
How we can help
The clinical health psychology service aims to work with hospital staff, patients and their families or carers to create a joint, biopsychosocial understanding of the impact of physical illhealth and its treatment on the person and their family. The aim is to improve:
- Coping with complex/demanding or invasive with medical procedures,
- coping with long term or chronic conditions,
- coping with trauma associated to the illness or its treatment,
- complex decision making related to illness or its treatment,
- coping with a sense that future is uncertain,
- coping with how illness affects close relationships,
- managing the demands of home and family life while caring for yourself,
- feelings of depression, anxiety and anger,
- feeling unhappy about body image due to illness or its treatment,
- coping with adjustment, change and loss,
- coping with pain, discomfort, fatigue and treatment side effects,
- coping with how illness affects sexual functioning,
- coping with how illness affects self-esteem and sense of self.
How to access our services
Medical patients can be normally referred by their clinical nurse specialists or medical consultant directly to the clinical health psychologist, after discussion with the person referred. The service is funded by acute hospitals (non-mental health) so only acute hospital referrals are currently possible.