Surgery Psychologist

Surgery Psychologist

The Surgery Psychology Triage service provides specialist triage, assessment and brief intervention or signposting to adult patients (18+) relating to the psychological impact of their physical health condition or injury.

About us

The Surgery Psychology Triage service provides specialist triage, assessment and brief intervention or signposting to adult patients (18+) relating to the psychological impact of their physical health condition or injury. Input is offered on an outpatient and inpatient basis, based on urgency.

Initial triage is offered to patients under the care of surgical specialties within the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, including:

  • Trauma + orthopaedics
  • Plastic surgery
  • General surgery (including breast and colorectal)
  • Vascular surgery
  • Critical care
  • Urology
  • ENT
  • Oral-maxillofacial
  • Ophthalmology

Who do we see?

The service triages patients experiencing a wide range of psychological difficulties, such as:

  • Depression, anxiety, panic or a phobia associated with their medical condition and/or treatment
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or acute stress disorder
  • Medically unexplained symptoms
  • Health anxiety, related to the health condition
  • Body image and self-esteem issues associated with physical aspects of medical conditions
  • Relationship difficulties triggered by the surgical condition
  • Treatment decision making/pre-surgical assessment
  • Difficulties with symptoms management where psychological factors appear to be exacerbating symptoms (e.g. pain, breathlessness)

Referrals are prioritised for more urgent input in the following cases:

  • Where psychological barriers exist that prevent non-elective treatment
  • Where there are psychological barriers to complex discharge from hospital

Who can be referred

The service is available to:

  • Those who are under the active care of a Mid Yorkshire Consultant.
  • Patients over the age of 18
  • Patients who consent to the referral

Referral limitations

Occasionally other services may be more appropriate to meet your needs

  • Where the patient is under the age of 18
  • Where the main issues relate to a family member/relative
  • Where psychological problems are unrelated to the surgical condition/injury
  • If problems relate primarily to long-standing mental health difficulties and predate the current health difficulties
  • In the presence of severe mental health problems such as psychosis or 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 predominant needs are urgent mental health crisis support

How many appointments will I have and what will they involve?

You will initially have an assessment with a Clinical Psychologist. This may last between 1-2 sessions. You will be encouraged to talk about your difficulties, including:

  • The history of your medical care
  • The way your health impacts your life and how you currently cope with these changes
  • You may be asked about some background information about other areas of your life such as work and family
  • This will result in a shared understanding of your difficulties with some possible recommendations.
  • Options for further treatment may include brief intervention (up to six sessions) or an onward referral to a service more appropriate to address your needs.
  • Some people find that a few sessions are enough to help them feel able to cope with their difficulties on their own; other people may benefit from longer term input.
  • Clinical Psychologists are not Psychiatrists or medical doctors, we do not prescribe medication.
  • If you wish to discuss medication, we would advise you speak to your GP in the first instance.

Where will my sessions happen?

At present, due to Covid-19 we are offering telephone and video appointments. You will be asked if you have a preference for a telephone or video appointment

Visit our dedicated webpage for more information about our video consultation platform which is called 'Attend Anywhere'.