In April 2020, we told you that The University of Manchester, in partnership with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, was delivering a consultation to develop best practice recommendations for delivering inpatient psychological services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The consultation - held with mental health inpatient psychologists, ward staff and service users – explored the current challenges with delivering inpatient psychology support during the COVID-19 crisis, changes to practice and views on what inpatient psychologists should be doing.
This consultation has now come to an end, and recommendations regarding what inpatient psychologists can do during the current situation have been drawn up.
You can find the recommendations document here: COVID-19 Inpatient Mental Health Psychologists Guidance - FINAL.pdf
We hope they will help to provide clarity, and support you to continue to provide expert care during these challenging times.
During COVID-19, many community services have been able to shift their ways of working; providing support which would usually be delivered face-to-face remotely. However, this is simply not always possible; particularly in the inpatient environment.
One challenge is that of technology - not all patients will have access to their own telephone, and there can be a lack of teleconferencing facilities on wards. There can also be a lack of space to run group work/meetings whilst maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Many practitioners have also expressed a concern that home working could jeopardise the team spirit amongst colleagues which is vital to providing expert care across inpatient services.
These challenges have resulted in inpatient psychologists not always being clear about their current role and a mixed picture of practice across the country.
This consultation has aimed to address this uncertainty head on, by understanding the challenges faced in inpatient wards during COVID-19, and to develop best practice guidelines for practitioners to follow.