Based at Lanchester Road Hospital in Durham, a psychology team of three working at the Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust is now working in partnership to support those impacted by COVID-19 and the pandemic. A service delivered by the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP), the psychology team has joined the COVID-19 Resilience Team, with a total of 17 dedicated members of staff.
Meet Caroline Place, Emily Arkle and Rita Abu from the psychology team. All of the team have been in post since September 2021, supporting to build a structure for how the COVID-19 Resilience Team will engage with clients and support them. The service is open to anyone who lives or works in County Durham, not in crisis, who have been emotionally impacted by COVID-19 and the pandemic. This can include social isolation, bereavement, long COVID and more – the team offer a ‘no wrong door approach’ to support.
So far the psychology team have supported the COVID-19 Resilience Team with:
Group and 1:1 clinical supervision
Supervision is provided by Dr Caroline Place on a group and 1:1 (fortnightly) basis. This provides a safe space for workers to talk about work-related issues, a time for reflection, the opportunity to seek support a and learn skills in a place to receive feedback. Debrief for workers
In the event of a difficult session or following an emotive experience, the psychology team is available for emotional support for workers. Debrief provides a space to express yourself emotionally, to think about what to do next, to consider any follow up actions and to think about your own self care needs.
Skills training for workers
Training is delivered on a monthly basis though an interactive session including areas such as 5 P formulation, trauma informed working, anxiety disorders and agoraphobia and panic.
Formulation of clients’ needs
Together with the team we summarise a client’s needs, to explain why they may be happening and to make sense of them. We work together to do this by exploring their presenting issues holistically.
Dual working for clients with complex needs
Dual working includes working alongside the team in sessions, to provide a specific clinical assessment for a psychological need. For example, the psychology team can assess a client for PTSD.
1:1 therapeutic intervention with clients
For clients who present as having specific psychological need, they can be referred to the psychology team for specialist intervention or psychological support. The team uses therapeutic informed approaches including, Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and more.
Development and facilitation of a supportive and skills based long-COVID group for clients
Since May 2022, the psychology team have been running a long-COVID group for clients. This takes place once a week providing clients with the opportunity to talk openly about their experiences and to receive peer support with other individuals who have gone through similar experiences to learn relevant skills and coping mechanisms to use in everyday life.
Conducting psychological assessment and reports
Our Assistant Psychologists score and report the psychometric assessments with clients. This is so we can evaluate the service effectiveness.
Qualitative and quantitative service evaluation
Where necessary, the team can assess for specialist psychological needs including trauma, to get a clearer picture of a client’s clinical needs and further inform how best to support the client.
Wellbeing walks and promote self-care within our team
The psychology team conduct wellbeing walks and check in with each other once a week during a team meeting.
Often our clients require more specialist support, so signposting is a key role of the psychology team. Together through the wider team, recommendations of services to best meet clients' specific needs. This includes organisations in the local area such as:
Mind Rapid Response (Rapid Response Suicide Prevention Service which covers County Durham & Darlington)
SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide)
RSACC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre)
Harbour Support Services (Domestic Abuse)
Durham Drug and Alcohol Services
How to refer into our service