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Paediatric Psychology and Rheumatology

Patient information A-Z


This leaflet tells you about what the clinical psychologists in the paediatric rheumatology team do, what to expect if you see one of us, and how to contact us.

Who are we?

We are a dedicated team including a clinical psychologist and an art psychotherapist who are here to help parents and young people find ways to live more happily alongside their condition. We work with the rest of your team at the hospital, such as the doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapist and play specialists.

What do we do?

Medical and psychological care goes hand-in-hand. We are here to help young people and their families cope with the difficulties that can come from a medical condition and its treatment. We are not medical doctors, so we don’t do physical examinations, medical procedures, or prescribe medication. Sometimes we see young people and parents together, sometimes we just meet with parents, and sometimes just with children.

How might we be able to help?

We understand that looking after your health can affect you and the people around you. We know that children and families can have many different feelings about their health. Sometimes these feelings get in the way of looking after physical health, family relationships, friendships, school and everyday life.

Managing feelings

  • We offer you support with difficult feelings about having a health condition, such as sadness, worry, anger, stress.
  • We support you if you feel disappointed if your physical health care is not going to plan.
  • We help you deal with worries about how physical health may affect life at school, at home, or with family and friends.
  • We help you think about how to talk to friends and other people about your physical health.
  • Give you a space to talk about or make artwork about how you are feeling and how you are managing.
  • Helping you understand what your diagnosis means for you and how you are adjusting to it.

Managing with physical health

  • Supporting you to look after physical health and cope with the day-to-day challenges it may bring.
  • Supporting you to find ways to care for physical health when other stressful things are happening in your life.
  • Helping parents and children negotiate how to look after physical health together.


  • Helping you to understand your treatment.
  • Coping with treatments you may be worried about, for example dealing with needles.
  • Finding coping strategies to manage with injections (e.g. methotrexate) and infusions.

What happens during the first appointment?

At the first appointment we will begin to get to know each other and talk together about what you would like help with. We will talk about any concerns or worries you may have. Together we can decide what the next best step is. We may decide to meet for further appointments or it could be that we will not need to meet again. We may also decide that a different service would be more helpful.

Who will have information about your family?

We keep what you say to us confidential. We generally share important information with the rheumatology team, your GP, and if you wish, your school, to inform them of how they can support you with your treatment. However, when we first meet we will talk with you and plan what information we share.

How can you contact us?

If you would like to speak with one of us, please tell a member of the paediatric rheumatology team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Further information

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) – To make comments or raise concerns about the Trusts’ services, please contact PALS. Ask a staff member to direct you to PALS or: Telephone: 01223 216 756 Email:

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151