Psychological care is an important part of treatment for chronic renal failure. The patient’s personal and emotional responses to the illness and its treatments has influence on their physical health as well as quality of life and emotional well being.
Psychological care includes supporting the patient and families during all stages of the illness and its treatments in their concerns or difficulties. In particular how to integrate the treatment into daily life, changes in how a patient sees him or herself, relationships. Psychological care includes looking after the patients psychological and emotional well being.
All health care staff can and do provide some degree of psychological care. Many of the nursing staff have counselling qualifications and are more able to act as emotional supports.
There are times when a patient or carer may need specific and specialised help with a particular problem relating to their adjustment or psychological well being. Depression or anxiety can become a problem as can difficulties of personal relationships and the patient's sexual life. The Clinical Psychologist can provide talking therapy and psychological interventions which can alleviate various types of emotional and psychological problems. It is a strictly confidential service. In some cases the Clinical Psychologist works together with the Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist to provide comprehensive management of a mental health problem.
The Clinical Psychologist is employed for two and a half days a week. Referrals are made usually by the Consultant.