If you are a member of staff within the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, you can access the Staff Support Psychology service.  We are part of the Department of Psychological Services based in the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology at Castle Hill Hospital; however, we cover both hospital sites. Our aim is to support staff from all departments and backgrounds who work for the Trust. The service is confidential and offers a range of support and therapeutic services to staff including: brief interventions, psychological therapy, group support and trauma debriefing.

Our team understand the pressures that acute hospital staff are working with, so we try to make access to this service as easy as possible for busy staff. If you feel that you would benefit from talking to us there are a number of ways you can refer, including a simple self- referral. Further details can be found below.

What is the offer of support?

There are two areas of the Staff Support Psychology service: General Staff Support and Critical Care Staff Support. The General Staff Support Psychology service is available to all HUTHT staff members, whereas the Critical Care Staff Support Psychology service is an integrated service into the ICU units across both hospitals. This service accepts referrals from just ICU staff.

Both service areas offer a wide range of support options to staff. The service as a whole follows the ‘stepped care’ model for the use of psychotherapeutic interventions (NICE 2004) and provides all levels of psychological assessment and support.  The support offered includes the use of evidence based psychological models such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Eye movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). The service is also linked with the Trust’s Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) Network and facilities psychological assessments after a critical incident as well as formalised interventions for individuals experiencing symptoms of post-trauma. An information video about acute stress following trauma can be found in the useful information section below.

We offer both informal and formal support to staff members. The information about these types of support is below:

Informal 1-1 support:

This consists of 1-3 sessions and is usually offered to staff members who self-refer, and/or are referred by their manager. Typically, these sessions are suitable when staff are in need of a supportive space to discuss issues that are affecting their mental wellbeing, i.e. ‘normal reactions’ to tricky circumstances. Some examples of common themes within these sessions are; burnout, stress management, and managing difficult dynamics at work. These sessions are completely confidential; only informal activity records are stored, with the aim of offering a preventative measure for deterioration of mental wellbeing that feels easily accessible.

Formal 1-1 support:

This involves structured psychological interventions for identified mental health difficulties e.g. anxiety, depression, or traumatic stress. This includes all referrals from the Occupational Health team and some self/manager referrals. Those who have received the above-mentioned informal support may segue into formalised support if it becomes evident that this stepped-up level of care is required. Secure electronic clinical records are maintained and correspondence regarding assessment, progress and discharge is provided to the referrer, the staff member, and their GP. Our records are stored securely within the Psychological Therapies Staff Support system and are completely separate from hospital or Occupational Health records.

Formal psychological interventions can vary from low-intensity interventions provided by our Assistant Psychologist (lasting between 3-6 sessions) to high-intensity interventions with one of the qualified clinical psychologists / therapists (typically lasting between 6-16 sessions, but sometimes further sessions in exceptional circumstances). These sessions tend to be an hour long though may be up to 90 minutes for particular types of psychological intervention, such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. Other common psychological models used are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. These models of therapy are evidence-based and recommended by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence).

Where do sessions take place?

Appointments are available across both hospital sites. The location of appointments varies depending on the staff members working hours and availability. Typically, appointments at Castle Hill Hospital are in the Psychological Services Department and appointments at Hull Royal Infirmary are either in Alderson House or in the Intensive Care Unit.

Who is in the team?

  • Kerry Smith, Lead Principal Clinical Psychologist – Critical Care Staff Support and Service Lead
  • Dr Claudia Myler, Principal Clinical Psychologist – General Staff Support
  • Dr Naomi Bright, Principal Clinical Psychologist – General Staff Support
  • Georgina Cross, Assistant Psychologist – General and Critical Care Staff Support

Referrals can be made from Occupational Health, Managers or the staff member themselves.

Contact Information:

Staff members can self-refer for the general staff support service by contacting hyp-tr.staffsupport@nhs.net or by calling 01482 461227.
Critical Care staff members can self-refer to the ICU staff support service by contacting kerry.smith85@nhs.net or by calling 07990 130027.

What other support options are out there?

We understand that sometimes, staff members prefer to seek support from a service outside of the Trust. You can access these services directly or you may want to talk to us first and we can help to sign post you. The different services available in the community are below:

What to do if I am in crisis?

The Staff Support Psychology service does not offer a crisis service. If you do require urgent mental health support, please contact the Adult Mental Health Advice Support Line on 0800 138 0990, or the Samaritans on 116 123.
If in imminent danger, call 999.

If you want out of hours supportive response within the hospital, you can also access the Chaplaincy Team 24 hours a day on 01482 461227.

Further Information: