Background There is a growing evidence base for the role of Clinical Psychology within Palliative Care. To improve provision within their local hospice, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust secured an agreement with Marie Curie for funding a Clinical Psychologist to be physically based at the local hospice for two days a week. This change in service has now been provided since July 2017.
Aims and objectives The project evaluates the impact of having a Clinical Psychologist onsite at the hospice, I comparison to the previous service provision from the wider Specialist Palliative Care Clinical Psychology service that provides input to the two hospitals, hospices and community palliative care team from a base in the community. The project was completed with a view to informing future service development.
Summary of project Healthcare professionals at Marie Curie Hospice were interviewed about their experiences of this change in provision, with respect to the benchmarks for quality care defined by the British Psychological Society. A thematic analysis of these interviews was then conducted to provide a descriptive account of staff perceptions.
Results suggest that the greatest value in having Clinical Psychology onsite is in relation to the indirect clinical work that is provided. Respondents spoke about the importance of having Clinical Psychology present at MDTs as well as being able to approach the Clinical Psychologist for ad-hoc consultation. Themes also reflected perceived benefits in relation to the service’s safety, responsiveness, equitability and patient-centeredness. These qualitative findings are complemented by quantitative data from routine audit.
Potential impact In highlighting the benefits of having access to an onsite Clinical Psychologist, as perceived by the healthcare professionals who interface with the service, this project can inform future service developments locally as well as offering support for the adoption of similar provisions elsewhere.
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