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Clinical Health Psychology

We are a team of Clinical Psychologists providing a specialist clinical health psychology service to in-patients, outpatients, children, families and carers. We see people of any age who have a physical health problem, when psychological factors are affecting their emotional wellbeing, making their health worse or affecting their ability to receive medical treatment.

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical Psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and promote psychological and physical well-being. We have specialist doctoral training in the application of psychological principles to help understand and treat clinical problems. Our extensive training allows us to conduct detailed assessments and develop a plan to help based on an individual understanding of someone's difficulties, rather than on a diagnosis alone.

Psychological Services

Why might I be referred to see a Clinical Psychologist?

A referral may be made following a life-changing diagnosis which is hard to adjust to. It may be that a physical health problem, or a long term condition, such as diabetes or persistent pain, is having an effect on a patient's emotional wellbeing and ability to get on with life. It could be that an accident or unexpected medical procedure resulted in a feeling of being overwhelmed by what happened. A psychological assessment might be needed for an inpatient, to help with treatment or discharge planning.

Paediatric Clinical Psychologists work with children who may have a physical health problem or a long term condition, such as diabetes or cystic fibrosis, that is affecting their wellbeing and family life in general.

What happens once a referral has been made?

Once a referral has been made, you will be placed on the waiting list. When we are able to offer you an appointment, we will send a letter to invite you to an initial assessment. If you are referred while you are an inpatient, we will see you on the ward.

What treatments are offered?

We provide talking therapy using a range of evidence-based psychological approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), solution-focused therapy, mindfulness, hypnosis, family work, systemic therapy, and neuropsychological rehabilitation.

The type of approach that is offered to you will depend upon the nature of your difficulties. Where appropriate, we follow guidelines for evidence-based treatment (approaches that have been shown to work) so that we offer you the most suitable option. It is also important that you tell us what you think will be helpful for you, and whether anything in the past has been of benefit.

What should I expect when I see a Clinical Psychologist?

When you first see a Clinical Psychologist, time is spent talking to you about what led to your referral to Clinical Psychology and what you think the difficulties you are facing are.

The Psychologist will ask some questions about your life at the moment, including what has brought you to the appointment, and also what is going well for you. You may be asked some questions about your background to help understand how your difficulties came about, and what life was like before you had these difficulties.

There are a number of assumptions that people often make about Clinical Psychology, so we would like to put your mind at rest. For example, Clinical Psychologists are not mind readers, we do not have a couch that we expect you to lie down on, and we do not see people because they are 'crazy' or 'mad'. Our job is to help to understand and treat psychological difficulties related to a physical health problem, and to improve quality of life.

Patients' comments

View a selection of our patients' comments

The Clinical Health Psychology team

The team delivering this service are:

  • Dr Jo Burrell - Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Head of Department (Adults; Lead for Trauma and Complex cases and QEH Staff Support Service)
  • Dr Steve Green - Principal Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist (Adults; Lead Psychologist for Stroke/Neurology Service)
  • Dr Gail Clare - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Paediatrics; Lead for Paediatrics. General Paediatrics; CF and Oncology)
  • Dr Louise Sparrow (formerly Robinson) - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Adults; Lead for Chronic Pain and Diabetes)
  • Dr Samantha Williams - Counselling Psychologist (Adults; Chronic Pain and Trauma)
  • Dr Amy Fox - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Adults; Oncology and Pain)
  • Dr Alice Rose - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Adults; General Medicine and Stroke/Neurology)
  • Dr Tracey Jansen - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Paediatrics; General Paediatrics and Young People's Diabetes)
  • Dr Kate Roberts - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Adults; Chronic Pain)
  • Dr Louise Askew - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Adults; Diabetes and General Medicine)
  • Dr Will Bratby - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Staff Support)
  • Dr Rachel Metcalfe-Hume – Principal Clinical Psychologist (Adults; Stroke/Neurology)
  • Dr Jo Spauls – Principal Clinical Psychologist (General Paediatrics and Diabetes; Adult Stroke and Neurology)
  • Dr Lauren Grainger - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Staff Support)
  • Nick Rennie - Counsellor (Staff Support)
  • Cindy Cassidy - CBT Therapist (Staff Support)
  • Dr Lucy Wigg - Principal Clinical Psychologist (Paediatric Epilepsy)
  • Hannah Cooper - Assistant Psychologist (Paediatric Epilepsy)
  • Dr Vicky Silk - Clinical Psychologist (Adults; Pain and General Medicine)
  • Sarah Gathercole - PA; Lead Secretary
  • Kate Davies - Personal Secretary
  • Emmie Briggs – Personal Secretary
  • Gemma Henwood - Data Entry and Secretarial Support

In addition to their specialities, all staff will see people with a range of physical health conditions.

Clinical and research placement are regularly provided for Trainee Clinical Psychologists from the University of East Anglia Doctoral Training Programme. Assistant Psychologists and Student Psychologists join the department for limited periods of time. 

Pain Psychology Resources

We have collected some resources that other patients have found useful, including written, audio and video information. These include resources on understanding more about persistent pain and how and why psychologists work with people who have persistent pain. We have also included some great self- help resources that may give you some ideas to try out whilst you wait for your first psychology appointment.

Understanding Persistent Pain

  • www.flippinpain.co.uk
  • The resource section of this website has links to lots of information about understanding and living well with persistent pain. It includes audios, videos, self-help guides, articles, and book recommendations.

  • Understanding Pain and What To Do About it in Less Than Five Minutes
  • This video explains what we know about pain, how it is recognised by the brain, and what we can do to help reduce its effects.

  • Tame the Beast
  • This 5-minute animated video from Lorimer Mosely looks at what pain is, how it works, and what can help.

  • Pain is really strange
  • This graphic book by Steve Haines explains what pain is and how to change your pain experience.

Understanding Pain Psychology

The Psychologist’s in these videos from Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust explain more about pain psychology, introduce how stress and pain interact. They also introduce two therapies that are often used when working with people with persistent pain; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Self-Help Resources

Both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) have been found to be helpful for people living with persistent pain and struggling with their mental wellbeing.

Here are some self-help resources using these approaches that you may find helpful. They include support with the difficult thoughts and feelings that can be related to experiencing persistent pain.

  • Chronic Pain Self-help Guide
  • This is a CBT based online self-help guide for living well with chronic pain from NHS Scotland, it includes written material and audio files.

  • Overcoming Chronic Pain: A Self-Help Manual Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques by Frances Cole.
  • This self-help book explores CBT techniques to managing chronic pain

  • Living Beyond Your Pain: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Ease Chronic Pain by JoAnne Dahl and Tobias Lundgren.
  • This self-help workbook is a step-by-step guide to using ACT techniques to live well alongside pain.

  • The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living by Dr Russ Harris.
  • This self-help book explores ACT techniques to building a fulfilling life.

  • Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust - Self Help Guides (ntw.nhs.uk).
  • This website has lots of short self-help guides for managing a variety of difficulties, including anxiety, stress, anger, depression, and sleep problems. They are all available as audio files too. (Please note the leaflets may not open in a Chrome web browser).

Guided Relaxation

Relaxation can help to reduce psychological stress and body tension and is often useful when living with persistent pain. Listening to a guided audio can be a good way to try out different kinds of relaxation exercises, here are some you can try.

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • This guided audio from Manchester University NHS Foundation guides you through tensing and relaxing different parts of your body.

  • Our relaxation audios
  • We have recorded some different types of guided relaxation that you can listen to including guided imagery and mindful breathing.

  • Calm is an app which has different types of free guided relaxation audios.

Relaxation

Please follow this link for guidance on relaxation and to download relaxation tracks

Contact and location details

Contact details

Telephone: You can contact us by telephone on 01553 613433 from Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

Email: Contact the department secretaries at either Clinical.Psychology@qehkl.nhs.uk.

Post: Our postal address is:
Department of Clinical Health Psychology
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Gayton Road
King's Lynn
Norfolk PE30 4ET

Adult outpatient services referral

Adult outpatient services referral can be made using this form. Please email it to clinical.psychology@qehkl.nhs.uk.

How to find Clinical Health Psychology

The department is located on the first floor of an outside building of the main Trust, within Area 5.

There are a limited number of parking slots available outside the department. If these slots have been taken, please park in the main hospital car park. Please allow extra time to walk from the main hospital car park to the department when you make your travel arrangements.

The following instructions are for parking outside the department:

  • From Gayton Road, take the route marked "Estates & Deliveries Entrance"
  • Follow the road round and take the first turning on the right into the car park
  • Parking for the department is permitted in bays 5 to 8 only marked in red at the far end of the car park
  • The department is situated opposite the parking bays
  • All vehicles must display a valid parking ticket with the closest ticket machine shown below

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