Adult Health Psychology

Clinical Health Psychology Service
Hengrave House
Torbay Hospital

Tel: 01803 654573
Email: Clinical Health Psychology Service

What is Clinical Health Psychology?

Our team works with both outpatients and inpatients at Torbay Hospital, providing a service to patients who have psychological or emotional difficulties associated with physical health problems.

We have well-established links with healthcare professionals within the hospital and across South Devon, including GPs, which helps us to provide a ‘joined-up’ flexible service to meet the specific needs of each patient.

What we do

Some of the problems we work with include:

  • Health anxiety and needle/blood phobia
  • Difficulties making decisions regarding medical treatments
  • Preparation for surgery
  • Unexplained physical symptoms
  • PTSD symptoms associated with past hospital experiences
  • Psychological consequences of physical illness

We also work with patients with long-term conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Tinnitus
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis

Being referred and coming for an assessment

Your doctor or other health professional may consider that we may be able to help you and will discuss with you a referral to our team. We will then send you a letter inviting you to decide if you want to see a clinical psychologist and to let us know by opting in to the service. You will then be invited to come to either Torbay Hospital or one of our satellite clinics, if more convenient, where you will see one of the clinical psychologists.

You will be asked to read and sign a consent form to make sure you know why you have been referred and that you agree to the assessment.

Coming for an assessment

The aim of our first meeting will be for us to get to know you a little, to understand the nature of your health-related problem, how it affects you emotionally, and for us to explore and discuss ways in which we might work together. This might, for example, involve coming to terms with a recent diagnosis, helping you cope better with symptoms, or adapting to physical changes. We can then make a plan about future therapy.

The conversations you have with your psychologist remain confidential. The only exception to this is if we have concerns about your or other people’s safety.

The psychologist will send a brief report to the health professional who referred you, your GP and yourself.

What happens after the assessment?

The psychologist will ascertain whether this is the most appropriate service for you and, if this is the case, will discuss potential therapy options with you and contract with you an initial number of sessions.

Normally, the psychologist will expect to see you at fortnightly intervals.