Our haemophilia counselling service is the longest operating service of its kind in the UK. The service takes a holistic approach to caring for people with bleeding disorders and their families and is run by family therapists. We work under an integrated multidisciplinary model within a systemic framework, providing a range of psychological care including psychological assessments of people with specialised rare bleeding disorders. Our assessments lead to either short-term counselling work (1:1, couple, family or group) or, using an early warning system, result in a referral to the appropriate services within the community. In addition our service provides specialized inherited bleeding disorder genetic and reproductive counselling through the genetic counselling clinic.
The service users include adults and young people with rare inherited bleeding disorders (and affected family members for haemophilia, such as carriers of the condition), and patients with von Willebrands Disease. Part of the out-patient service operates alongside patient’s medical reviews whereas other assessments/appointments are booked independently.
The genetic counselling service is an integrated service involving the lead consultants in both genetic and reproductive medicine, the departmental genetics laboratory and the genetics and reproductive counsellor. The method of referral is usually from the patient’s GP or their consultant. Patients who use the service range from teenage obligate carriers who wish to talk through the facts of haemophilia inheritance to adult carriers and/or men with haemophilia and their partners who wish to explore the diagnostic options available to them.