Children's psychology

Who are we?

Currently the Trust has clinical child psychologists working only in the Paediatric Psychology Team. They are managed by a Service Manager / Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and a Team Leader who represent them, and they meet and work together regularly to support each other’s’ work in various different paediatric teams/services.

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Psychologists reach a “formulation” about what is happening for a particular child, young person or their family by thinking with them about a whole range of issues - these include thinking about life experiences in general, the childs' development, their temperament, and their family situation, parents and how they have chosen to bring up their family, and school/college life. In this way psychologists do not “diagnose” a difficulty, but try to come to a wider and fully-informed understanding of the particular issues for the child/family, in the context they find themselves in, and adjust this understanding as things change and progress.

What type of professionals work for the service - who you are likely to see and why

We are all clinical psychologists trained to work with children, young people and their families. We are trained to Doctorate level, and have specialised in working with this population.

Psychologists are trained to work across the lifespan and with different groups of people, and so although we have specialised to work with children and young people, we have a broad understanding of adults and parents as well. A clinical psychologist is someone who has been trained to help people make sense of their difficulties and think about the best way of dealing with them. This will include thinking about the background to their situation, perhaps learning to develop different ways of coping and sometimes having to make difficult or painful changes. Discussions often involve all those people in the family who are concerned, as long as they are happy to be involved.

Psychologists will not make decisions for you, but will take your difficulties seriously and, where appropriate, offer some help in dealing with them. Clinical psychologists are not medically qualified.

Please refer to our PPS Service Information Leaflet for Families for more details (we are in the process of arranging for this to be available via the website; please contact us for a copy in the meantime).

Our services

We work within other paediatric teams (for example at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, the Princess Royal Hospital, or Robert Jones Agnes Hunt Hospital) and with some teams within the Shropshire Community Health Trust such as the Community Children's Nursing Team (CCNs).

Sometimes we meet together with colleagues from other local children's services and work on shared projects, or deliver training or supervision to other professionals.

The medical teams we work with are:

  • Diabetes
  • Oncology & Haematology
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Chronic Constipation (Telford only)
  • Muscular Dystrophy and other neuromuscular conditions
  • Children receiving services from the Community Children’s Nursing team (CCNs)

There is also some limited capacity for referrals where there is a need for a focused, discrete and short-term intervention preparing phobic children for a planned medical procedure. This work excludes detailed assessment/intervention for other difficulties falling outside our targeted paediatric remit.

The people we see

Our team works with children and young people resident in Telford and Wrekin and/or Shropshire aged 0 to 18 and their families. We also have arrangements to see some families from Powys and other areas by prior agreement with commissioners from these areas.

As a team we have developed a set of core principles and values. In the work we do with all of our teams, we:

  • Are accessible to clients and colleagues on basis of their need
  • Do not base our work on diagnostic criteria (“diagnoses”) but try to reach “formulations” which summarise the problems and pull together a range of factors which are contributing to the problem
  • Take an “interdependent and inter-relational model” (relationships drive behaviour, learning and feelings)
  • Offer input which is centred on the needs of the client and is age appropriate
  • Work using collaborative/partnership models so that everyone pulls together on the basis of a shared understanding
  • Are concerned with an individual’s functioning in cognition/affect/behaviour and not solely based on statistical cohort/categorical data
  • Offer input based on voluntary engagement, consent and a confidentiality agreement which protects privacy and dignity
  • Offer input based on a thorough and broad contextual assessment, a psychological formulation, and an intervention plan, using the available evidence base and a theoretically coherent approach
  • Understand that change can be helpful either within the client themselves, but also in their wider context - hence we sometimes work with professionals and other people to address what they contribute to the situation
  • Try to offer a flexible service that “reaches out” to engage with clients, so is not too controlled limited or hampered by missed appointments (DNA’s), solely clinic based appointments, and we believe that people sometimes need/want to see us when they are “ready” or even if they find organising getting to sessions difficult
  • Believe that it is important to think and talk about how people can be resilient, how they are coping and making adjustments to difficult circumstances, and look at their and psychological well-being not just at problems, pathology and distress
  • Try to get involved at the most helpful time, not just when things get really bad
  • We believe in reflecting on what we do all the time, and make sure we all have regular ongoing supervision
  • Provide input in an appropriate and safe environment
  • Make sure we review and audit our services with service user input where possible

We work directly with children, young people and their families, and also at times we might work instead with other professionals, contributing to the discussion and making sure that the psychological (meaning things to do with behaviour, thinking, feelings or the impact on a person of their context) issues are included in the understanding of the problems and its potential solution.

New patients

Our referrals come through a variety of routes, depending on which service we are working in. Please see the link below for further details:

Services we do not offer

The Paediatric Psychology Service (PPS) is not a mental health provision and children with primarily mental health needs would be seen by the "Bee-U" service (Emotional Health and Wellbeing Services - formerly CAMHS) rather than this service.

The PPS service does not accept referrals for areas other than the targeted ones listed above (see our Paediatric Psychology Service page).

Children or young people with learning disabilities should also be referred to the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Services (Bee-U) which are part of the Midlands Partnership Trust.

 

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and our "Local Offer"

What is the Local Offer?

The local offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place. You can find out more about information about this on our SEND reforms and Local Offers page.

Service Description

In Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust we have clinical psychologists who work specifically with children and young people who have physical health conditions treated within specific/targeted teams, and who are therefore eligible for specialist psychological input. For details please go to the Paediatric Psychology Service pages.

What do you provide to children and young people with an additional need and or disability 0-25yrs?

Psychologists may meet with children and families themselves, or may be available to work with, and support, the professionals and teams providing care. They may also provide teaching, training and consultation to bring psychological perspectives to the work of the team. When working directly with children and/or their families, psychologists will usually meet over a number of initial sessions to thoroughly understand all the relevant issues. These discussions will include thinking about what kind of help is needed, who needs it, and how/where it can be arranged. We meet with children and families in clinics, in our own meeting rooms, or sometimes in their home if this is appropriate. The service is voluntary so we never arrange to meet people unless they are happy to do so.

Do you provide support for parents and carers?

When young people have problems or are in distress it is often very upsetting and difficult for close family members too. Psychologists may offer help and support to parents and families, providing advice and helping to develop strategies for coping. For example, this may include helping parents manage the demands of children's behaviour when they are distressed or worried, helping them think about how to support brothers and sisters; helping parents who have different ways of coping try to keep working together as a couple; helping individual family members find a safe, confidential place to talk about what is happening and how it affects them.

Who can use our service? Age? Disability?

The paediatric psychology service works with children and young people who live in Telford and Wrekin or Shropshire aged 0-18 and their families. The support we offer is for young people who have:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer or Haematology
  • Life limiting conditions
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy or other neuromuscular condition
  • An allocated Community Children’s Nurse (CCN)
  • Support from the nurse-led chronic constipation service (Telford only)
  • or children and young people who are requiring preparation for a planned operation

Referral criteria include that the primary presenting problem is around physical health and its impacts - the service is not a mental health provision and children with primarily mental health needs need to be referred to the "Bee-U" service (Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service, formerly CAMHS) rather than this service.

The service does not accept referrals for areas other than the targeted ones above. Some of the above teams within the hospital include patients from Powys or neighbouring counties.

Children or young people with mental health problems or a learning disability may be best served by the Bee-U service which can offer specialist interventions for these populations. These services are delivered by the Midlands Partnership Trust. Please see their website for further details. Where there is overlap, discussion about the best service is held between the relevant teams.

How to access our service (inc. referral routes)

Please see the page for the relevant service you are interested in:

How can families contact the service?

Please see the relevant page for the service you are interested in:


For external agencies: is the service free or charged?

Free

How can families complain if they are not happy with the service?

All complaints are handled by our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and Complaints teams.

 

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