We are a group of specialist Clinical Psychology staff working within the Older People’s Mental Health Service, which is part of the Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
We work alongside colleagues in Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT’s), In-patient units, Older People’s Crisis Teams and the Memory Assessment Service to help assess and support the needs of the people that use our services.
We work across Derbyshire, with:
- People over the age of 65 who present with significant mental health difficulties, and
- People of any age who are diagnosed with a dementia, or who present to one of our services for an assessment of their cognitive abilities where there is a possibility of an underlying dementia or neurodegenerative process.
Clinical Psychologists work with people who experience distress and struggles due to a wide range of reasons. Psychologists can help explore and work with feelings, thoughts, behaviours, environments and past experiences to help you understand, adapt to or cope with what is happening.
We take a strengths-based approach, which means we like to know about the things you have used or are using to manage the challenges you face and to develop these with you. We also like to know about the resources you have available to you in your wider community and social networks that might be useful in your day-to-day life. We will work collaboratively with you to encourage your independence and choice.
We do not accept direct referrals to our service, and people are referred through the different teams that we work with.
So, for example, a GP may refer someone to a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), and then after a conversation with someone in the team, a decision may be made to refer to Psychology.
Where we work
We are based in localities that cover all parts of Derbyshire, including
• Amber Valley
• Bolsover & North East Derbyshire
• Derby City
• Derbyshire Dales
• High Peak
• South Derbyshire
We offer clinic appointments from these bases, but depending on the reasons why we are seeing you, can sometimes offer remote appointments via video conferencing, telephone or home visits.
What we offer
- Advice and consultation
Sometimes we work indirectly, which means that we support our team colleagues (Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Medics) to work more effectively with you. That means that sometimes we will not meet directly with you.
- Assessments for a neuropsychological assessment
Some people are worried about their memory and want to understand what might be causing these difficulties. We can carry out a detailed assessment which would include talking to you about the nature of your difficulties, your background and inviting you to take part in some psychometric ('paper and pen') tasks to explore different aspects of cognitive functioning (how your brain is working). The assessment would help us to create a shared understanding of the difficulties and possible causes, and lead to appropriate support for managing these.
- Assessments for psychological therapy
Sometimes we offer an assessment, so that we can think with you about what will be the most helpful thing that we can do.
During an assessment, you will usually be asked about the aspects of your life you are currently finding difficult, what changes you wish to make and how you currently cope with/manage your difficulties (i.e., your strengths). It is also useful for us to hear about your life which could include medical, social, educational, and work history. You may be asked to complete some questionnaires which help us to explore different areas that we hope will be helpful.
An assessment usually lasts between 1 and 1.5 hours.
If we decide together that a talking therapy would be useful then we would offer you a psychological therapy. Sometimes we are not able to start this straight away, and you may be placed on a waiting list until we are able to offer this.
Qualified Psychologists are trained in at least two different therapy models. The Psychologists in our department have trained at different Universities and have had different experiences before training and since qualification. Therefore, we have a wonderful range of knowledge and skill in our department. Our Psychologists work hard to offer evidence based therapy, and to work in a way which will be most helpful to you, but our Psychologists do not all work in exactly the same way.
Some of the therapy models that our Psychologists use and draw upon are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (including Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy), Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, Narrative Approaches, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy.
You may sometimes see or hear about some of these models in their abbreviated forms:
- ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
- CAT (Cognitive Analytic Therapy)
- CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)
- CFT (Compassion Focused Therapy)
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
What to expect
We will approach you and your difficulties with respect, sensitivity and curiosity. We work with people collaboratively, which means you have a very active involvement in your care plan. We will do our best to be reliable and give you plenty of time should appointments have to be moved or cancelled. We expect the same from you.
Following the initial psychological assessment, a plan will be agreed depending on your needs and availability of all involved. We usually have a waiting list, which we acknowledge can be difficult, but we try to keep people updated as much as possible. We encourage people to contact us if they would like further information about waiting times.
The psychologist who assesses you is not always the person who will see you for longer term work.
Psychological therapy, of any kind, can be difficult. We often work with people with upsetting experiences and who might therefore find it hard to trust others including professionals. Your psychologist will talk about this with you and ensure you understand the nature of the work, and talk to you about which aspects seem manageable and what parts may not.
Within the Older People’s Clinical Psychology team we have a combination of qualified and unqualified staff:
- Qualified Clinical Psychologists
- These are psychologists who have completed their clinical doctorate and now work independently with supervision.
- Trainee Clinical Psychologists
- Trainees are undertaking a doctoral level University course and work within our services for between 6 and 12 months on clinical placement. During these placements they are supervised by qualified Clinical Psychologists.
- Assistant Psychologists
- Psychology graduates who support our work and gain experience, often prior to going on to train as a Clinical Psychologist. They are supervised by a qualified clinical psychologist.
- We are also supported by an admin team, who work in the background to support our work and help keep us organised.
All of the qualified Psychologists, Trainees and Assistant Psychologists in our team receive regular supervision. This means that they meet with a qualified Psychologist to talk about the work they are doing. This is essential and helps us to ensure that we work in ways that are safe and effective. This does mean that aspects of your care and therapy will be discussed with another person. We maintain confidentiality and do not need to share identifying information, but to get the best supervision, and enable us to help you in the best way possible, we will need to talk about some of the things that you share with us. This is standard practice, and something that we have to do to meet the requirements of our Trust and our professional bodies (the Health and Care Professions Council - HCPC, and the British Psychological Society - BPS). If you have any concerns or questions about this, please in the first instance, speak to the Psychologist that you are meeting with.
Clinical Psychology Registrations & Memberships
All qualified Clinical Psychologists within our service are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
A number of the Clinical Psychologists within our organisation are also members of the Association of Clinical Psychologists – UK (ACP – UK) and/or the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Our current team
We have a fabulous team comprising:
- Our qualified Clinical Psychologists – Caroline, Christine, Claire, Elinor, Fran, Gina, Heather, Helen, Jess, Laura, Louise, Sarah, Stephanie & Vicky
- Assistant Psychologists – Catherine, Harriet, Helen & Kris
- Administrative Support – Alison, Carole & Chris
- Plus a number of Trainee Clinical Psychologists who come to us for a placement while they are training
What we are currently working on
As a team we have been focusing on developing our skills and knowledge of working with people who have experienced trauma and have been sharing our knowledge with colleagues in the wider Older People’s Mental Health Services.
Publications & Conference Presentations
As a team of specialist Clinical Psychologists working with older people, we are keen to share our knowledge and skills, and to contribute to the development of the evidence base of working effectively with older people. Therefore, we support our team to present at conferences and to publish articles.
Hayward, L. & Campion, G. (2022). EMDR and Older People. FPOP Webinar. July 2022.
Campion, G., Cobley, C. & Page, S. (2022). Development, Delivery and Evaluation of a Trauma Informed Training for Older Adult Mental Health Services. Presentation at the FPOP National Conference. 28 June 2022.
Philpott, H, (2021) A screening measure is still a screening measure: Introducing a telephone based cognitive screening assessment in a Memory Assessment Service FPOP Bulletin, No: 154, April 2021, pp. 51-53
Philpott, H. & Chennells, L. (2021) ‘Long Covid’ is coming to a service near you: A brief overview of the cognitive symptoms of long Covid. FPOP Bulletin, No: 154, April 2021, pp. 54-56.
Lee, C. (2020) Facilitating a staff support group for an older adult community mental health team, Context 167, p6-8.
Wonders, S. & Lee, C (2019) Exploring roots and fruits: Using the ‘Tree of Life’ to help teams manage change, Clinical Psychology Forum, 315, p22-26.
Cobley, C. (2019). Menopause and cognitive functioning FPOP Bulletin 146 April 2019, pp.
Hayward, L. (2019). The legacies of loss, trauma and the hidden selves. FPOP Bulletin 146 April 2019, pp.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, please visit the Trust website to find out how to get support.
Help in a mental health crisis :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)
These links provide information about some of the commonly experienced mental health difficulties that people experience:
- AgeUK - Your Mind Matters - A guide to thinking about your mental health
- Derbyshire Mind Home - Derbyshire Mind
These links provide information about different types of dementia, and the support services that are available locally:
If you are a carer or family member, you may find some of these links helpful:
Carers in Derbyshire (includes links to groups for carers using location) Carers in Derbyshire
Derbyshire Carers Association Homepage (derbyshirecarers.co.uk)
Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust website for carers. Useful links include the Carers Handbook:
- carer-and-family-handbook.pdf (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)
- Our core care standards :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)
Universal Services for Carers in Derby City camm-service-update-may2020.pdf (derby.gov.uk)
Who Cares? Newsletter – this is sent out to carers of people using our mental health services. An example can be found here: DHNFT_Who_Cares_Newsletter_Issue49_Jan22_FINAL_WEB.pdf (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)
If you are currently receiving support from our service, we hope that you will feel able to speak directly to the member of the Older People’s Psychology team that you are having contact with, and that they will do their best to respond to and deal with your query or complaint.
If you are unable to do so for any reason, you can contact the Lead Psychologist, Dr Helen Philpott on 01332 268468 (this is the main number for the Psychology and Psychological Therapies Service).
If you wish to speak to someone outside the service, you can contact the Trust Complaints Manager on 01332 623700 (ext 33469) or email
You can visit the Derbyshire Healthcare website from the link Home :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)