University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Referrals and meetings

The child psychology department can only see children or young people who are currently under the care of a consultant in the hospital. Sometimes, families phone us and ask if we can meet with them, or nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists or speech and language therapists within the hospital often ask if we can meet with a family to discuss their child's needs further. Unfortunately, we are not yet funded to work with patients from all the different specialisms within the hospital, and we cannot take referrals from GPs, schools or other people outside of the hospital.

If someone is referred to us while they are in hospital, we try very hard to see them before they go home. If children are already at home when they are referred to us, we will send a letter to arrange an appointment for them to come and see us. This letter will also explain a bit about the child psychology department.

Sometimes one meeting is enough, and sometimes we decide to have several meetings. At other times, it can soon become clear that it would be much better if someone nearer home could meet with the family and we can help to arrange that. We also speak to schools or other people who are involved with the child or young person, as we may be able to help if we can share ideas.

Where do meetings take place?

We see children and young people who are on a ward at the hospital. We also see children and young people who are not in hospital and they come in from home to meet us. Appointments usually take about an hour but may vary, and will often take place at our offices in block eight.

Families do not have to meet with the psychologist if they don’t want to. It is always their choice. If they want to meet just to hear about what psychologists do, that is also fine and we are happy to just come and say hello.

What will happen at the meetings?

We use different types of therapy depending on the child or young person's needs, but the most commonly used are cognitive behaviour therapy and systemic therapy. Regardless of the type of therapy we are using, we are always keen to work out what people are already doing that works well for them, so that we can build on that.