Accessing the service
Referrals are accepted from Consultant Neurologists and their teams, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Allied Health Professionals such as Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists who work in Neurology Services within Royal Wolverhampton Trust or University Hospital North Midlands Trust. People referred to our service must have a GP within South Staffordshire.
What conditions do we see?
People are referred with a variety of neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), epilepsy, head injuries, or conditions with neurological type symptoms but without a clear diagnosis (conditions which may be described as 'medically unexplained').
Why are people referred to psychology when they have a physical health condition?
We know that dealing with a physical health condition affects peoples' lives in many ways. Often it affects their mood, their relationships and psychological wellbeing.
What do we do?
An initial assessment will help us identify the input that might be appropriate for each person referred. We will then develop a plan around what input we may offer to help a person tackle their difficulties and we will set goals for us to work towards.
Sometimes the plan may involve a further, more detailed assessment of a person’s thinking skills (this is known as a cognitive assessment or neuropsychological assessment). This is useful for issues such as memory or concentration problems, difficulties with problem-solving and planning etc and can lead to a better understanding of the problems that someone has. We will then work with the person to develop a plan for learning strategies and / or exercises that may help with these issues.
We also work with people to help them come to terms with the changes in their life that have occurred as a result of their neurological condition e.g. experiencing anxiety or depression, dealing with losses that have occurred such as no longer being able to work, dealing with traumatic experiences such as accidents, relationship changes etc. Sometimes we work with the partner or carer alongside working with the person who has been referred.
We may also work towards helping a person manage symptoms such as chronic pain and fatigue. Work may involve discussing past experiences that may have impacted on how a person copes with their current health condition.
Psychology input is time-limited but aim is that the person who has been referred will have new skills and techniques that help them manage and improve their psychological wellbeing.