The IPP Psychology Service exists to support children and their families to cope with the challenges of being unwell, being in hospital and being far away from home. There is a team of Paediatric Clinical Psychologists who are experienced in working with families who have come from the UK and overseas for their child to receive treatment at GOSH. Being in hospital can be stressful and frightening; even more so when the child and family are in a totally new culture. The Psychology Team work to support families to cope with what can be an extraordinarily difficult time. The Psychologists also work closely with other members of the child’s multidisciplinary team to ensure that each child and family’s psychosocial needs are identified and supported. The IPP Psychologists have developed expertise in offering psychological support in a culturally-aware way to families from all over the world, and from all faith backgrounds. The team have a special interest in the psychological needs of children and families from the Middle East facing complex health conditions
Clinical Psychologists have doctoral level, specialised training in:
- Child development and assessment of cognition, learning and memory and how these are affected by medical conditions and treatments.
- Assessment of children and families in distress and recommending/providing appropriate interventions.
- Targeted and individualised therapeutic interventions for a broad range of presenting concerns.
- Working with the support systems around the child - for example medical teams, families and schools - to build resilience and enhance emotional wellbeing.
Psychologists also undertake research, service evaluation and audit to better understand resilience and vulnerabilities within the paediatric population.
The Psychology Team are available to support any child and family who are staying as inpatients at GOSH. They also provide outpatient Psychology appointments upon referral. The Psychology Team can see children on their own, with their parents or with the whole family. Psychologists can also work just with parents or siblings.
The Psychology Team offer teaching and training to colleagues both within GOSH and from other hospitals, including Doctors, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals, to ensure that children on IPP wards receive psychologically appropriate care from all staff who come into contact with them. The team have already run one conference bringing together experts in this field (“Deconstructing Difference and Diversity: Working with Different Cultures in Paediatrics”) and are planning a follow-up conference in November 2019
Meet the team
Dr Fiona Jeffries
Dr Zoe Berger
Dr Rebecca Sweet
Dr Nancy Nsiah (not pictured)
Conditions we treat
Common themes that families talk to Psychologists about include:
- Concerns or fears about treatment
- Helping with issues around adherence to treatment
- Emotional and behavioural difficulties related to illness, treatment or long-term hospitalisation.
- Coping with pain
- Worries about the future
- Dealing with changes in friendships and relationships
- How to talk to children, siblings and family members about the diagnosis
- Concerns around death and dying, including anticipatory grief for patients, siblings and parents.