Critical care patients to get extra psychological help

Extra psychological help is being provided to critical care patients in the wake of the Covid-19 pan

Extra psychological help is being provided to critical care patients in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: NNUH - Credit: Archant

Critical care patients being treated in hospital will be able to access extra psychological help.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will provide specialist support to patients at risk of developing mental health problems and their families and carers in the wake of the pandemic.

A project has been launched by the hospital’s critical care complex and mental health liaison service, which has two clinical psychologists working in the critical care unit.

Dr John Davies, clinical liaison psychologist for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), said: “Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic alerted us to the psychological needs of patients admitted to critical care, it is important to recognise that a substantial body of evidence attests to the impact of critical illness on an individual’s mental health.

“Our aim is to work in partnership with our colleagues to optimise patients’ recovery through a holistic approach that acknowledges both the mind and the body.

“This new project is helping us to provide care to patients who might not necessarily come to the attention of mental health services.

“For us it’s also very important to have a presence on the ward so that colleagues can always approach us if they have any concerns regarding their mental health.”

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The hospital has released a video of its critical care complex on the support required to rehabilitate patients who are treated for a critical illness and support them through their time in the unit as part of their recovery.

Deborah Easby, critical care consultant, said: “Despite all the machines and technology we have to help patients recovering from critical illness, as a team we always keep in the mind that we are looking after a person first and foremost as well as their family and friends.

“That is why we place equal importance on the psychological wellbeing of patients as part of their recovery process.”

First Response, a 24/7 service for people in Norfolk and Suffolk requiring mental health care, advice and support, run by NSFT, is available on 0808 196 3494.