Clinical Health Psychology

Helping patients cope with their disability or chronic illness.

The Royal Cornwall Clinical Health Psychology service helps patients who are having serious difficulty coping with an illness or a disability and its impact on their lives. These difficulties can affect the patient’s illness, treatment, recovery and prognosis and cause medical complications, decreased quality of life, increased need for other health care and difficulties for family and carers.
We look after patients with two broad types of problems. One is to do with acute illness and the other is to do with chronic illness and disability.

Acute Illness

Our patients with acute illness problems, usually experience such things as needle phobias, claustrophobia, or other severe anxiety, which impede or prevent medical procedures (such as MRI scans, anaesthetic procedures, surgery). We also see patients prior to elective procedures such as plastic surgery, prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction, amputations, and skin procedures.

Chronic Illness

Patients with chronic illness problems are usually facing severe difficulties managing a long-term condition, such as renal problems, chronic pain, neurological conditions, other long-term disabilities and iatrogenic conditions.

We also see patients with chronic illness problems who have psychological disorders that are secondary to physical illness or disability, for example when an illness or procedure has a negative or traumatic effects on the patient’s life and largely causes severe depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic pain syndrome.

How we help

We provide a combination of psychological assessment, guidance and treatment to help our patients manage, adjust to, or cope with their illness or disability.

The Clinical Health Psychology Team

Head of Psychology

Dr Hannah Falvey

Team Clinical Psychologists

Dr Vikki Hunkin
Dr Tracy Mayes
Dr Timothy Salzman
Dr Claire Hinton