The Northern Irish branch of the Faculty for the Psychology of Older People (FPoP) comprises of 8 members from the 5 trusts within Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Services, not including Assistant/Associate Psychologists or Trainees who join/contribute to the branch during their post.
Currently our meetings are hosted in Hollywell Hospital, Antrim, County Antrim, as this location is central to all travelling across the province.
Traditionally, we have met bimonthly and as noted by some of the other branches our meetings provided an opportunity to meet with colleagues from across the country to share ideas, hear about new initiatives and of course receive peer support. This is and was particularly vital as many members typically work with little or no contact from other older adult psychologists.
However, as we are evolving and hoping to take a more active role in raising the profile of OA psychology in Northern Ireland we have allocated formal roles/committee positions such as chair, treasurer, geographical convenor and a combined role for BOS/placement/academic to facilitate input and links with the local Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Training Course, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). In addition, to sharing of ideas and peer support we hope to create opportunities for new learning in setting strategy, leadership skills, policy context and mentoring.
In our relatively new inception we hope to initially help raise the profile of OA psychology
The Clinical Psychology service for older people is a small specialist Trust-wide service currently staffed by 1 Consultant Clinical Psychologist, 1 band 8a Psychologist and 0.8wte band 8 Psychologist. Funding has been allocated for 1 further band 7 psychologist in the southern sector of the Trust. Since the inception of the service in April 2007, the remit of the Consultant Psychologist has expanded to include community and inpatient direct client and carer work, the management of the additional Psychology staff and the development and management of the Trust-wide challenging behaviour service. Consequently this role now has a higher ratio of senior management and service development responsibility, with representation at Divisional, Directorate and Regional level.
Referrals to the service have steadily increased since service development in 2007. The service covers the whole of the Western Trust area, with clinics offered in Derry, Omagh and Enniskillen.
This Clinical Psychology service offers both inpatient and outpatient assessments and interventions. The psychologists are currently working with staff on the fmi and dementia assessment wards in order to ensure a more holistic assessment and treatment package is offered. This has included staff training on a biopsychosocial model, and validation techniques within the wards. In the FMI wards the two senior psychologists currently offer ward based therapeutic activities. In the future these will be fully embedded in the recovery model - Wellness recovery action planning (WRAP). The psychologists have a remit to offer individual interventions and to offer consultancy to the ward staff regarding any form of psychological intervention. The Psychology service is heavily involved in the development of the new service delivery model for psychological therapies within the CMHTs and wards.
In addition to the Older Adult Clinical Psychology service, the Consultant Psychologist also manages the Challenging Behaviour service. The challenging behaviour service currently employs 4 specialist nurse practitioners, 2 in each sector of the trust. This service is embedded in the psychology department. The team is based from Oak Villa, Gransha Park; Holly Villa, Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital and Coleshill, Enniskillen. Although the CB team currently provides support and training for staff in residential and nursing homes and the dementia admission and challenging behaviour wards, discussions are ongoing about providing this service into client homes and also the acute hospital wards. Service expansion is planned with the addition of 4 specialist nursing posts.
Older People’s Neuropsychology
The Neuropsychology Service for stroke has continued to develop over the last 2 ½ years, within the Belfast Trust.
The overarching aim is to ensure that a timely and responsive Neuropsychological service is available for all stroke survivors and their families, across the stroke care pathway (Acute, ESD & Community rehabilitation). The Service recognises that everyone will have neuropsychological needs at some point in their journey but not necessarily need to see a Clinical Psychologist. It also recognises that psychological care is everyone’s business. Therefore a key objective is to empower and support all professional staff groups working with stroke, feel competent and confident in their recognition, screening /assessment and management of neuropsychological issues.
This objective is achieved through a stepped care model of service delivery, in which consultancy, supervision, reflective practice and training for staff are embedded. Screening of mood and cognition is integral to this model and enables Neuropsychology to focus directly on the more complex emotional, cognitive and behavioural needs post stroke. Over the last year the service has focused on the development & provision of therapeutic groups for patients and carers (e.g. ACT, Memory group)
The Neuropsychology Service also works closely with the voluntary sector (e.g. Chest Heart & Stroke NI, The Stroke Association).
If you would like to know more about the service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Clinical Psychologist / FPoP Northern Ireland Convenor
CMHT Older People
Telephone: 028 71 865206