- Reference Number: HEY-713/2015
- Departments: Neuropsychology
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This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about the Neuropsychology Service. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.
Why have I been referred to the Neuropsychology Service?
You have been referred to the Neuropsychology Service because you have sustained an acquired brain injury, such as a traumatic brain injury (e.g. road traffic accident or assault), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain caused by a virus), brain tumour, anoxic/hypoxic brain injury (when the brain is starved of oxygen) or haemorrhage (spontaneous or traumatic). Reasons for referral often include:
- Establishing a baseline of function in order to assess future changes/improvements.
- Assessing treatment effects, including following neurosurgical procedures.
- Helping in rehabilitation and discharge planning.
- Assessing capacity and competence in specific areas (e.g. consent to treatment; return to work).
- Providing psychological interventions for any cognitive (thinking skills), emotional and behavioural problems following a brain injury.
- Providing education to patients and family/carers about the nature and cause of impairments after a brain injury.
How can a Clinical Neuropsychologist help me?
Being assessed by a neuropsychologist can:
- Help you and your family/carers understand why you may be experiencing certain difficulties.
- Give you the chance to talk about your difficulties and the effect they have on your life.
- Help you to develop ways to cope with and adjust to your difficulties in day-to-day life.
- Help your family cope better and support you with the changes you may be experiencing.
What will happen when I see a Clinical Neuropsychologist?
Your first appointment will last between 1.5 – 2 hours and will often include a family member or carer. You will be asked about your difficulties, how they affect you and some background information will be gathered. Further appointments may then be arranged, either for a more detailed assessment of your memory and thinking abilities, or to begin working on better ways of coping with your difficulties. If you require assessment of your thinking skills, a session will be arranged after the assessment is complete for the purpose of discussing the findings and planning any required treatment. The assessment process can take between 4-5 sessions.
What happens after the assessment?
You and your neuropsychologist will decide whether to meet again to talk more about your feelings, difficulties and/or diagnosis. You may then be offered some more appointments focused on treating or managing any difficulties identified. Treatment typically lasts between 7-10 sessions.
It is important to be aware that we do not see people who are more appropriate for other services or are unlikely to benefit from intervention. This includes people that have the following difficulties:
- Psycho-social stress, pre-existing or unrelated to their neurological condition (e.g. pre-existing marital problems).
- Primary psychiatric or social problems.
- At immediate risk of suicide or serious harm to self / others.
- Primary or current drug or alcohol abuse.
Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist on telephone number (01482) 461486.
General Advice and Consent
Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.
Consent to treatment
Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.
The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:
- you must be able to give your consent
- you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
- you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person
Information about you
We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.
We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.
If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.