Yorkshire Spinal Injuries Centre Psychology Service

Please note: Due to COVID-19, our peer support group sessions are currently suspended.

Hospital visiting policies have also changed, for further information please see our guidance for visiting and keeping in touch on the Coronavirus website page 

Who is the service for?

The psychology service can help with adjustment to having a spinal cord injury and think about how you’re managing rehabilitation. People with a spinal cord injury can sometimes feel low, worried, frustrated and experience other difficult emotions. Sometimes, people can struggle to cope or come to terms with their injury.

Please see our webpage for more information on the normal reactions to spinal cord injury. We can help with managing pain, think about relationships and meet your family members with you to discuss any concerns. The psychology team are part of the rehabilitation service and aim to provide support at a level that suits you best.  

Meet the Team

Dr Nigel Wainwright (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) Dr Rebecca Ellis (Senior Clinical Psychologist), Melissa Potter Assistant Psychologist, Lucy Ward Assistant Psychologist

What are appointments like?

We aim to meet every new patient at the Yorkshire Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, to introduce ourselves and explain our role, and to see if you would like to meet with us more regularly. We will offer a private chat to start with, to get to know you and see if there are any areas that we might be able to support you with. 

We will then think through with you what input you would like from the psychology team; from regular weekly contact, to less frequent check-ins or you can just let us know if you would like to see us.

Our psychology team draw from a range of therapeutic models and are specialists in applying these to patients with spinal cord injuries. Most commonly, we use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) principles.

We also offer group sessions, please see our webpage here for more information. We have a social group for patients, as well as an ACT skills group and a managing pain group. As a patient on the ward, you’ll be invited to join these, if appropriate.

The psychology service can also connect you to help organisations during your admission and after your discharge, for further support.

Psychologists are not the same as psychiatrists. This means that we do not prescribe medication. If you would like to discuss medication, you should speak to your Consultant.

Our service is confidential. This means that we will not share any information from our sessions with other people without your consent (unless we are concerned about a risk to yourself, or someone else). We work closely with the rest of the rehabilitation staff and it can be helpful to share information with them, if you agree to this.

How do I access the service?

We aim to meet everyone who is admitted onto the ward. You can also let any staff on the ward know that you want to speak to any member of the Psychology team.

We work Monday – Friday, 9-5. You can also email us at midyorks.yrsicpsychology@nhs.net.

Where will my sessions happen?

Psychology sessions are usually held in a private space on the ward.

What have people found helpful about the psychology service?

The provision of psychological support enabled me to explore my emotional and mental health needs at a time of crisis for me and my family.

The Psychology Service at Pinderfields was a great help to me… the weekly meetings provided a regular focus on my progress, reporting and reflecting on recent developments, and looking towards the future. Feedback was always supportive, never judgemental, and was instrumental in helping me come to terms with my situation, and formulate my thoughts regarding decisions to be made. The opportunity to talk, to be listened to patiently, and receive a carefully considered response, was invaluable.

Useful links

  • Back-Up - a charity for people with spinal cord injuries, run by people with spinal cord injuries. Back-Up offer telephone support and support for family members, as well as practical advice, courses and workshops.
  • SPINE - a charity for spinal cord injury patients at Pinderfields Hospital, the Yorkshire Regional Spinal Injuries Centre. They have lots of helpful information and connections. 
  • Aspire - a charity offering practical advice and support for people with spinal cord injuries. 
  • Spinal Injuries Assocation - an organisation offering support and telephone counselling for people with spinal cord injuries.
  • Wheelpower - a charity that works closely with the Occupational Therapist's (OT) and the Physiotherapists departments on the ward, providing opportunities for sport and activity.  
  • Mindfulness
  • Sex and the spine

Contact details

What if I have questions?

Speak to the Psychology team on the ward or email us on midyorks.yrsicpsychology@nhs.net

Alternatively, you can speak to your Consultant.

Where to find us

Yorkshire Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, Gate 3A, Rehabilitation Department, Pinderfields Hospital

Our working hours are Monday – Friday, 9am - 5pm

We can also be contacted by email at: midyorks.yrsicpsychology@nhs.net