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Lindsey Lodge offers a holistic approach to supporting patients and families who are dealing with the diagnosis of an end of life, or life-limiting condition.

As well as medical and nursing care, it is essential that people receive psychological support to enable them to deal with different emotions associated with end of life care.

Principal Health Psychologist Andrea Jones and Psychologist Medical Practitioner Seamar Bhullar, who are employed by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) in its Department of Psychological Medicine, visit Lindsey Lodge over two days each week to provide one-to-one psychological therapy.

Andrea Jones said: “People who are affected by cancer, or a life-limiting illness can experience difficult feelings such as adjustment problems, anger, anxiety and low mood”.

“These feelings are completely normal, but it’s important for staff to be aware if patients are having these feelings, so that we can support them in the best possible way”.

“We’ve therefore worked in partnership with Lindsey Lodge’s clinical teams including the Family Support Service, to develop an ‘Emotional Pathway’ for patients visiting Lindsey Lodge, which makes sure that patients have access to psychological assessment and intervention where needed. A specially designed structured assessment is carried out by trained nursing and therapy staff from the Wellbeing Centre and Inpatient Units.”

Andrea has been supporting specialist psychological support within Lindsey Lodge for a number of years she also provides advice on anxiety management for its Breathe Easy Enablement Programme (BEEP).
Seamar’s role is relatively new, and she brings a wealth of experience from her previous position as Clinical Nurse Specialist in Gynae-Oncology at the acute trust.

Seamar said: “I worked with cancer patients for over six years in my nursing role, so I fully understand the pathways for their care and treatment. This additional knowledge brings another dimension to the psychological service we provide to patients at the Hospice.

“In my previous role, I mainly talked to patients over the phone, here at Lindsey Lodge it’s lovely to be meeting them in person, in such a supportive environment when we are here.”

As well as working face-to-face with Lindsey Lodge patients, Andrea and Seamar provide a presence at the Palliative Care Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) for advice on psychological need. The Department of  Psychological Medicine, in which they are based,  also delivers a rolling programme of two-day ‘Level 2' Psychological Skills training in cancer and palliative care. This training covers psychological assessment, formulation and intervention and has been accessed by a number of Lindsey Lodge staff.

Andrea said: “Patients are often having difficulty coming to terms with their diagnosis or situation. We provide a personalised approach with each patient to meet their unique set of emotional needs and we draw on a range of evidence-based therapy models and techniques including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). We aim to help people to deal with the emotional challenges they are facing as a result of their physical health problem and to help them develop a sense of control. This means that they are more able to move away from a negative focus and to concentrate on their positive values and goals.”
Andrea and Seamar work in partnership with the Lindsey Lodge team, providing advice and consultation regarding referrals, as well as delivering one-to-one sessions with patients.

“Andrea said: “It can be difficult for patients to be honest with their loved ones about how they are really feeling. Our patient appointments last for one hour and provide a safe space for patients to talk openly and honestly, and enable us to support them with psychological therapies.”

She added: “Seamar’s appointment has really made a difference. She’s hit the ground running and together with the Lindsey Lodge team, we endeavour to provide the best possible psychological care and support for our patients – and each other.”

Seamar left and Andrea right
For more information about any of the services provided by Lindsey Lodge please email llh.enquiries@nhs.net
 

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