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Information for Parents / Carers

Paediatric Liaison Psychiatry Team – Information for Parents and Carers

Information for parents and carers

Our team is made up of nurses, clinical psychologists, child & adolescent psychiatrists and a mental health paedi...

Our team is made up of nurses, clinical psychologists, child & adolescent psychiatrists and a mental health paediatrician. We work with young people who come to the children’s hospital, and have difficult feelings or problems related to their physical health issues. We also work with the families and carers of these young people.

Someone from your child’s medical team asked us to meet with you or your child. Problems with health can sometimes ge...

Someone from your child’s medical team asked us to meet with you or your child.
Problems with health can sometimes get in the way of school, friendships and other relationships. Feelings such as sadness, worry, frustration and anger can also come along with illness. For some young people, physical health issues can lead to mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression and more complex difficulties. Experiencing difficulties with mental health can make it harder to cope with ongoing medical conditions and treatment.
When a child has physical health problems this can affect the whole family in many ways. When health problems are causing upset or worry in the family, or getting in the way of treatment, it can help to talk with someone. This is the type of help we provide.

One or two people from the team will meet with you and your family. Appointments normally last between 45 minutes and...

One or two people from the team will meet with you and your family. Appointments normally last between 45 minutes and an hour.

Initially we will meet you as a family. We will the give you the opportunity to meet with one of us separately, while your child has a parallel session with the other clinician. 

We want to get to know you and your child, so we will ask you some questions and listen to you. We will ask about your child’s health difficulties and what has been done so far. We will want to find out about your child’s interests, friendships, education, the things they are good at and the things they are finding difficult. We will also ask about family life and your child’s developmental history to help us to understand him or her better.  

Sometimes we will speak to others involved in your child’s care including school, health care teams, and social work (if applicable). We will ask you for your consent to talk with other professionals if we think it would be helpful.

If your child is a patient in the hospital, we will come to the ward. If your child is at home, we will see you in...

  • If your child is a patient in the hospital, we will come to the ward.
  • If your child is at home, we will see you in our clinic at the Royal Hospital for Children.
  • Sometimes we will visit your child’s school as part of our assessment or if there are particular things they are struggling with in school. We would talk to you about this first.

After careful assessment, we aim to develop an understanding of the problems, to set shared goals and to make a plan ...

After careful assessment, we aim to develop an understanding of the problems, to set shared goals and to make a plan for moving forward.
The type of intervention that will be best for you and your child will depend on the difficulties you are experiencing. Our approach often combines individual work alongside family work.
We may support your child and/or your family to develop ways of coping with the things that are difficult. We offer talking therapies and, if necessary, medication. Where appropriate, we will liaise with your child’s health team, school, social worker, GP, and any other relevant services, so that they can provide appropriate support. Sometimes a combination of approaches works best.
How long we are involved for will depend on the needs of your child and family. Sometimes we refer families on to another team if we think this would be helpful, this would always be discussed with you.

It is often in the best interest of a young person to share information with relevant professionals. We will work alo...

It is often in the best interest of a young person to share information with relevant professionals. We will work alongside your child’s health team, and often school, and will keep them updated on progress. However, we recognise that there may be some sensitive topics you do not want discussed outside of our sessions. We will not share this information with anyone unless you say it is okay, or if there are significant concerns regarding your child’s wellbeing. We will always discuss with you before sharing sensitive information.
Our notes are kept in an electronic file, on a system called EMIS. More information about EMIS is here.

At the end of our work together, you will be asked to complete an Experience of Service questionnaire. The informatio...

At the end of our work together, you will be asked to complete an Experience of Service questionnaire. The information you provide will be anonymous. This is an opportunity to let us know aspects of your care which you have found helpful or unhelpful.
We also welcome feedback via the Care Opinion website 
For information about the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde complaints procedure, please visit our Complaints page 

The team sees a wide range of young people. For example, some of the children we see have trouble adjusting to their ...

The team sees a wide range of young people. For example, some of the children we see have trouble adjusting to their medical conditions, while others may have more specific mental health problems.

A child’s mood may change in that they might become withdrawn, tearful, agitated or anxious. They may be off their fo...

A child’s mood may change in that they might become withdrawn, tearful, agitated or anxious. They may be off their food, have disturbed sleep, have increased pain, become socially isolated or frequently fall out with family and friends. There may also be a change in attendance, performance and behaviour at school.

Some children may struggle to discuss their illness. They may be reluctant to take part in treatment such as physioth...

Some children may struggle to discuss their illness. They may be reluctant to take part in treatment such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy or dietetics. The child may become fearful of hospital. They may become less active and outgoing, and be reluctant to try new activities which can help them get better.

We will do our best to make arrangements that are convenient for you.  

We will do our best to make arrangements that are convenient for you.  

This will depend on your child’s individual situation, but seeing the Liaison Team does not mean that your child will...

This will depend on your child’s individual situation, but seeing the Liaison Team does not mean that your child will have to stop seeing their hospital doctor. We provide a different service from doctors who treat physical health problems and work with other staff in the hospital.

We usually like to spend some time with the parent(s) and child together and then some time with both the parent alon...

We usually like to spend some time with the parent(s) and child together and then some time with both the parent alone and the child alone. Often the parent has things they would like to let us know that they do not feel comfortable saying in front of their child. Likewise, it can be useful for us to spend some time with the child to understand their point of view.