Supporting the mental health of critical care patients
Extra psychological help is being provided to critical care patients in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A pilot project has been launched between the Critical Care Complex and the Mental Health Liaison Service at NNUH, which has seen two Clinical Psychologists working in the unit as part of the multi-disciplinary team.
The project aims to provide specialist psychological support to patients to those considered potentially at risk of developing mental health problems and support their families and carers.
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.”
It comes as the Trust launches a new video visit of the Critical Care Complex for former patients and families giving an insight into the department and demonstrating the mechanical support required to treat and rehabilitate patients from critical illness. The video aims to help patients to come to terms with their time on the critical care complex 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 of all ages in Norfolk and Suffolk requiring mental health care, advice and support, run by NSFT, is available on 0808 196 3494.