Critical Care Psychology Service
Our service offers specialist support to patients and their families to help them with the impact of an admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Who do we see?
Our service offers specialist psychological assessment, interventions and signposting to adults who have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and their family members. We know that being on the ICU can be scary, confusing, and upsetting. Research tells us that up to 50% of patients may experience severe stress and longer-term difficulties because of their ICU stay.
We offer support at all stages of a patient’s Critical Care journey, including on the ICU and afterwards on the ward. After discharge some patients might struggle with ICU memories, low mood, anxiety, and struggle to adjust after critical illness. We can also offer outpatient support after discharge. Outpatient support is provided at either Pinderfields Hospital or Dewsbury and District Hospital. We also offer appointments online via video consultation.
Who can be referred?
The service is available to:
- Those who are/were under the active care of the Intensive Care Unit within the last 18 months
- Patients over the age of 18 and their families
- Those who provide their consent to the referral
We will consider those aged 16 and 17 years on a case-by-case basis and will liaise with our paediatric psychology colleagues.
Occasionally other services may be more appropriate to meet the needs of patients and relatives.
- Where the patient is under the age of 18
- Where psychological problems are unrelated to the ICU stay
- If problems relate primarily to longstanding mental health or relationship difficulties and predate the ICU stay
- In the presence of severe mental health problems and risk concerns (e.g., active self-harming)
- If the primary problem is current alcohol or drug misuse
- Where severe antisocial/violent/criminal behaviour is an issue
- Where support/counselling is being provided by another service
- Where the primary needs are urgent mental health crisis support
Please note, this is not a crisis service for urgent mental health needs.
If you are feeling at risk to yourself, you are advised to contact your local community mental health crisis team, your GP or visit your Emergency Department.
Please see the list of local crisis team phone numbers on our clinical health psychology page.
What is an appointment with a psychologist like?
Your appointment may be on the ward if you are an inpatient or in clinic if you are an outpatient. This could be a short chat or a longer appointment (usually no longer than an hour). The first appointment will give us a chance to understand your experience on ICU and think through with you what input you would like from the psychologist. You are welcome to have someone with you for your first appointment. To best meet your needs, we may also direct you to a specialist, community, or charity service if we think they could be of better help. Appointments may be one-off or part of a longer number of sessions.
We work closely with the rest of the ICU team (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and occupational therapists). It can be helpful for us to keep them updated with how you are using the psychology service, but we will only share this information if you are okay with it. We may also need to share information about you to other services to support your safety and wellbeing but will always seek to discuss this with you first.
Meet the team
The Critical Care Psychology Team consists of Clinical Psychologists, Trainees, Assistant Psychologists and Administrative staff.
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Samaritans or call 116 123 for free
Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support: text ‘SHOUT’ to 85248
Mind Infoline: where to get help near you: 0300 123 3393
If you are in crisis and cannot keep yourself safe, ring 999 or go to your nearest A&E.