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Community neuropsychology service

How we can help

Our psychologists are professionally trained to assess and address the psychological effects of brain injury or neurological conditions. This may include both the immediate cognitive, behavioural and emotional effects of the condition, as well as any associated impact on your family, occupational and social functioning.

There may be a confusing array of changes related to neurological conditions or brain injuries, which can be very difficult to understand and cope with. These can range from subtle and temporary lapses in ability and behaviour, to a profound and permanent reduction in basic skills and loss of control of emotion and behaviour. The psychological impact of diagnosis and the associated loss of self-identity can also be a difficult aspect for many people with acquired brain injuries or neurological conditions.

Clinical neuropsychologists can help to you and your family find ways of lessening the impact of such problems. We may also provide advice or therapy to help with the emotional challenges of living after diagnosis of a neurological illness or event.

Referring to our service

If you are currently an inpatient receiving neurorehabilitation services you may be automatically referred to the community rehabilitation services.  If you are unsure whether you have been referred you can ask the clinicians on the ward.

If you receive regular care and review from clinical nurse specialists, out-patient hospital clinics or community services, and you have a neurological condition or brain injury, any of the people involved in your care can make a referral. Your GP can also make a referral. If you would like to talk directly to us you can contact us on 01392 676376 or email dpn-tr.EEMPsychology@nhs.net

What happens following referral to the service?

If your referral is appropriate for our service we will contact you to discuss next steps. We will give you some information about our service and carry out a brief assessment on the telephone to determine your thoughts about your psychological needs and goals. We will also consider your current mental health as part of this assessment.

What does a meeting with a neuropsychologist involve?

If you are invited to attend an appointment it will likely last between 1-3 hours depending on the aim of the assessment. A location for this meeting will be arranged to suit your needs. You are welcome to bring along someone with you. If you have mobility difficulties we may be able to visit you at home.

In the initial assessment we will aim to get a good understanding of the main issues and decide the best way forward. Possible next steps may include:

  • Further neuropsychological assessment
  • Assessment in a multi-disciplinary clinic
  • Attending a group for people with memory difficulties
  • Individual therapy for adjustment, loss and the trauma associated with your injuries
  • Interventions for changing behaviours or trying new ways of coping
  • Recommendations or referral to other services that may be helpful to you.

What if I need further neuropsychological assessment?

Neuropsychological assessment is a highly specialist assessment. It can include assessment of concentration, memory and general speed of thought, and other skills such as perception, language and the awareness of self and others. We may also assess a set of abilities known as ‘executive functions’, which includes skills in planning and organisation, multi-tasking, decision making and flexible thinking. 

Methods of assessment may involve:

  • Questionnaires completed by you and someone who knows you well
  • Psychometric tests that involve puzzles, questions and paper and pencil exercises
  • Information from other kinds of assessments such as brain scans and specialist reports.

The assessment is lengthy and may take place over a number of appointments. The psychologist will then write a report identifying the extent of any impairments, as well of areas of strengths that can be drawn upon to help compensate for lost skills. This will be shared with you and any relevant members of your care team, and will contribute to any further intervention, provided by the psychologist or by other therapists.

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