What is clinical psychology?

Psychology is a broad term that refers to the workings of the human mind and its effects on behaviour and health. 

Clinical psychologists are needed at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust to treat patients suffering from mental distress caused by injury, surgery or illness – or who just need psychological support in relation to their condition.

At the Royal Free Hospital, our internationally reputed clinical psychologists provide tailored care for patients by providing psychological care alongside physical care when it’s needed.

Our psychologists also help patients recover more quickly after operations, and improve their function if they have a disability.

Some of the key tasks that our clinical psychologists are involved with at the Royal Free London:

  • Psychological support and pain management for patients suffering from distress due to chronic conditions, like heart disease.
  • Clinical psychology to lessen the impact of changed appearance before and after plastic surgery.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for patients with immune system disorders, like HIV.
  • Child psychology services, for vulnerable younger patients.
  • Psychological intervention to respond to patients suffering from trauma.
  • Psychological assessment, including the assessment of patients suffering from neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.


Do you have an appointment?

Find your ward

  • All psychology services are currently run from the Royal Free Hospital site. For contact details please see links to specialist services.


Referral details

Most referrals to psychology are through the specialist services in the first instance. For example, to get an appointment with a cardiac psychologist you need to be a Royal Free Hospital cardiac patient. However some services eg plastic surgery and dermatology, accept referrals from GPs. Please check with the relevant department.

We are keen to help our colleagues develop roles for psychologists in services where there is currently no provision in line with the strategic goals of the trust. Our current priorities include a service for people who have had amputations, a liaison role to work with our psychiatrist colleagues throughout the hospital and the care and follow up of patients on our intensive care unit. We are also looking at ways to link better with our community based colleagues to support their work with people who have long term conditions.

The Team