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Clinical Psychology

The clinical psychology team in the South West Children's Burns service aims to work closely with all those members of staff working in the inpatient, outpatient and outreach phases of burn-care. In order to do this the clinical psychologists provide staff training, staff support, written information and most importantly psychological care for patients and their families affected by burn injuries . This support may be needed straight away or many years after the injury occurred.  This care may be provided when the patient is on the ward, when coming to outpatient clinics, when in nursery or school or in the home. The types of concerns patients and families need help with vary a great deal and may include  worries about pain and surgery, how the injury happened, feeling guilty, the effects on the family as a whole, the appearance of the scarring over time, scar-management  and concerns about the effects of scars on movement.

The physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists and other burn-care staff meet on a regular basis in order to discuss complex inpatients and outpatients, the aim being to develop therapy plans which are routinely updated and reviewed. This also helps staff to fully understand the physical and psychological needs of patients and their families which in turn improves the quality of care in the short, medium and long term.

Common reactions

Reactions tend to resolve over time, however if you are at all concerned please contact the Paediatric Burns Psychology Service.

Reactions can include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Bedwetting
  • Children may believe the injury happened because they were naughty
  • Behavioural changes such as irritability and demanding attention or special 'treats'
  • Being clingy and fear of being alone
  • Brothers and sisters being jealous of the attention given to the injured child
  • Children act younger than their age
  • Fear of the heat source which caused the injury (e.g. bath, candles, oven)
  • Nervous of people in uniform (e.g. nurses)
  • Parents may become overprotective or anxious
  • Family tensions may increase

Psychology team

Julia Cadogan- Consultant clinical psychologist

Maria Clare- Clinical psychologist

Contact details: 0117 342 7910

Useful resources

Children's Burns Trust

Fab club