Psychology & Counselling Service

  • What is the Cardiology Psychology & Counselling Service?

    As a small team of Clinical Psychologists and Counsellors based at the Leeds General Infirmary we are dedicated to supporting patients and families around life with a heart condition. We are trained to support patients and family members from pregnancy to adulthood by offering a safe and confidential space in which difficult thoughts and feelings can be shared, processed and worked through together.

    What can the service help with?

    We see lots of different people every day with different needs such as;

    • Anxiety surrounding surgery or procedures
    • Difficulty coping with complex treatment
    • Coping with diagnosis
    • Avoidance of certain activities
    • Health anxiety
    • Support in preparing for surgery or procedures
    • Managing emotions that come from dealing with a heart condition

    Who is the service for?

    Our service can offer to support from anyone who is currently under treatment of a Leeds Teaching Hospitals consultant and may benefit from input around their emotional wellbeing to support their cardiac health regardless if they live in the Leeds area.

    We do not provide input with decision making and we may not be able to offer support if other teams (such as CAMHS, IAPT, Mindmate) are involved.

    Who is part of the team?

    • Dr Sara Matley, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

    • Dr Kat Bilbrough, Senior Clinical Psychologist

    • Jayne Slack, Senior Counsellor

    • Sandie Allison, Counsellor

    • Charlotte Mackney-Hudson, Assistant Psychologist

    We have a dedicated member of the team who provides neonatal ward support on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

    What to expect in an appointment?

    When referred to the team you will attend an initial assessment or have a telephone assessment where we will talk with you about any current difficulties. The aim of an assessment is to gain a shared understanding of the difficulties which is then used to develop the most helpful intervention for you. Sometimes this means coming back for further appointments to support you during this time. Decisions are made collaboratively with you / your family.


    Everything you disclose in a session with a member of the team will be kept confidential unless we feel that you or your family members are at risk. As we work within a medical team it may be useful to share information with team, but we will always ask for your consent before sharing with another professional.

    How can I contact the team?

    We can be accessed Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm on 0113 392 6796. Please note, we are not an emergency/ crisis service so if you require urgent professional support request an urgent GP appointment, contact NHS Direct by dialling 111 or attend your local Accident & Emergency.

    We also accept referrals via email at leeds-tr.ccpt@nhs.net, please include your name, date of birth and a telephone number that we can contact you on. Or you can ask your nurse specialist to refer you on to us.

    We discuss all referrals at a weekly team meeting and allocate referrals according to the need of the patient. At times there may be a short wait for an appointment, but we will endeavour to meet your needs.