What do clinical psychologists do?

What do clinical psychologists do?

Our team of clinical psychologists is based at the Royal Free Hospital. We provide specialist psychological services and psychological care to patients together with their physical care to improve their overall treatment and patient experience.

Many of the clinical psychologists at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust are internationally reputed experts in highly specialist fields. 

Our world class clinical psychology team focuses on treating the patient rather than their condition to give them the most appropriate care to improve their symptoms and quality of life.

The team provides support to our hospitals in a number of areas.

Health promotion and prevention of ill health:

  • to help with patients’ lifestyle improvements such as stopping smoking, increasing exercise, healthy eating, and stress management

Combining physical care with psychological care at Barnet, Chase Farm and the Royal Free hospitals to:

  • provide detailed psychological assessments after serious conditions, such as strokes, and provide the basis for rehabilitation
  • educate patients (individually or in groups) to help them make informed decisions about their care - particularly where they are weighing up the pros and cons of complex treatments
  • help people adjust to illness and identify coping skills to manage their medication or other aspects of their treatment
  • structure psychological rehabilitation programmes after long stays in hospital
  • teach patients about how they can manage mental distress such as symptoms of anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance
  • work with relatives to support a patient’s move from hospital to self-management
  • help individuals to identify relevant sources of psychological information and support in the community
  • improve patients’ self-esteem, relationships and quality of life
  • collaborate with nurses to improve psychological and anxiety management on the wards

The delivery, redesign and evaluation of psychology services:

  • Development of services and processes that improve patient care through psychological interventions, such as allowing patients to go home sooner
  • Development of psychological interventions and campaigns that are integrated with the wider NHS, such as a campaign for GPs to refer patients who want to stop smoking to our hospitals

Research is also an important part of the role of our clinical psychology team. The Royal Free Hospital is part of the UCL academic partnership and it is a strong participant in clinical research.