The Importance of Neuropsychological Support

16th February 2022 0

At Richardson Care we provide person-centred care and rehabilitation with a focus on neuropsychological support. Why is this so important?

All of the support we deliver is underpinned by our core values of community engagement, choice, competence, dignity, respect and providing a positive environment. We aim to enable service users to live their best lives and fulfil their potential. At the heart of this is their emotional well-being.

If we can help someone to improve their mood and increase their self-esteem, not only will they be happier, they will engage more in the therapies offered to them. This becomes a virtuous circle.

We also aim to safely reduce reliance on drug therapies and have found this to be effective in improving the well-being of individuals, whether they have an acquired brain injury or learning disabilities. This is achieved by teamwork – the psychology team lead by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Pedro Areias Grilo, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Dr Seth Mensah and other members of our multi-disciplinary team.

Here are two examples of where reducing drug therapies have improved the well-being and quality of life of our service users:

Psychosocial approach to manage complex needs

John is a man with learning disabilities and complex needs who is now a long-term resident at Richardson Care. Prior to his admission, between the ages of seven and twenty, he had been placed in 14 different settings because of his challenging behaviour. He is now much more settled, as his relatives report:

“We are very proud of our nephew and we are extremely grateful for your expert work in moving away from drug therapy to modifying his behaviour through psychosocial approaches. John is a much healthier man because of your imaginative and professional strategies you use to manage his behaviour and we thank you for this.”

Reducing PRN medications

PRN medications are unscheduled and taken in response to changes in behaviour. When Andy* was admitted to Richardson Care with an acquired brain injury, he would present as low in mood and his ability to manage his emotions would fluctuate, particularly if he was feeling frustrated. He was prescribed a range of different PRN medications and his behaviour was described as ‘hard to manage’ without it. His parents were shocked by this and reported that Andy’s speech was slurred and it was difficult to connect with him. He appeared quite drowsy and vacant at times.

Following his admission to The Richardson Mews, staff gave Andy frequent reassurance and psychological support to help him with his emotion regulation. Additionally, he was prompted and encouraged with daily tasks.

Taking a more holistic approach, which incorporates more psychological interventions when managing Andy’s low moods and challenging behaviour continues to be effective and has enabled a shift away from PRN medications.

His parents commented: “We’re delighted with Andy’s development; we noticed a massive improvement with him receiving psychology input… He has made terrific progress.”

Multi-disciplinary team

Each of our service users has access to the members of our multi-disciplinary team of therapists, as well as managers and support staff. They are all involved in providing a person-centred care plan depending on the needs of each individual.

The multi-disciplinary team includes:

  • Consultant Neuropsychiatrist – Dr Pedro Areias Grilo
  • Consultant Clinical Psychologist – Dr Seth Mensah
  • Assistant Psychologists – Julita Frackowska, Vanessa Coeli-Jay, Rebecca Rayif
  • Neuro-physiotherapist – Guy Stewart
  • Occupational therapist – Paula Adamson
  • Speech & language therapist – Katie Wilkins

Neuro conditions such as acquired brain injury or learning disabilities are unique to each individual, complex and multi-faceted. Neuropsychological support is central to someone’s well-being, but it is only part of it. Specialist therapeutic input, consistent support of the whole care team, family, friends and the home environment all are important elements. This goes back to our core principles of community engagement, choice, competence, dignity and respect which underpin the care that we provide.

You can read John’s story here and Andy’s story here

For more information, contact our Admissions and Referrals Team on 01604 791071 or complete our online referral form.

*We have changed the name of the service user to protect his identity

Headway – Approved Care Provider

Richardson Care, The Richardson Mews, Kingsland Gardens, Northampton NN2 7PW

T: 01604 791266.

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