Our services are provided by a range of staff from different professional backgrounds, working together as one is often described as a 'multidisciplinary team'.
In this section of our website you can find out more about the kinds of staff who are involved in providing care and treatment at South London and Maudsley. These staff include nurses, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.
Nurses are the largest of the health professions and the biggest staff group in the Trust. They provide care 24 hours a day, seven days a week and, along with those who support nurses, have more contact with patients than any other professional group.
The way nurses deliver care can be as important as the actual care and treatment they provide. Often, when people using our services describe 'excellent care', they are talking about the way nurses have spoken and behaved with them.
The contribution nurses make is a crucial part of providing high quality care and treatment.
An occupational therapist is someone who will work with you to develop your skills and confidence in everyday life. At times they also work with people’s families and carers to achieve this. Occupational therapists work with people to feel more self-confident and can support them to gain employment or training and take part in the social and leisure activities that are important to them.
Occupational therapists play an important part in the process of recovery, helping people to learn a range of skills and strategies to make the most out of their lives. They work in community-based teams and in hospitals.
Occupational therapy training programmes are university-based degrees. They have to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (previously called the Health Professions Council) in order to work in the UK.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with specialist experience and qualifications in mental illness and emotional disorders. Your psychiatrist has overall responsibility for your care. This includes any medication you may take, and any activities you may be involved in whilst in hospital or in the community.
A psychologist is someone who has done a psychology degree, then further training in helping people with emotional or psychological problems. Psychologists can offer you therapy which involves talking about your difficulties and working with you to overcome them. They are different from psychiatrists in that they are not medically trained and do not prescribe medication.
A social worker is someone who can help with you with practical aspects of life, such as benefits and housing issues. They will also often have had training in psychological help and will be able to offer you emotional support. They work closely together with other organisations which are also able to provide you with help.
Art psychotherapists and music/drama therapists are psychological therapists who have arts-based experience plus training in psychological interventions using drama, music or art as their primary mode of communication (Health and Care Professions Council, 2015).They use art media and expressions to help people who might be struggling to communicate verbally or to express their emotions and feelings.
Art psychotherapist, drama and music therapists will have undertaken approved training at postgraduate level, and be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which is a legal requirement in order to practise in the UK.
Our psychological therapists are registered mental health professionals who may come from a range of clinical backgrounds. They are trained to listen and provide a safe place to talk about emotional and psychological problems that impact on your life with a view to helping you manage these difficulties more effectively.
Psychological therapists are qualified to use specific approaches and techniques depending on the type of psychological therapy. They will be happy to talk to you about the model of therapy that is being offered to you as well as their professional registration and qualifications to deliver this therapy.
As the trust contains a number of teaching hospitals you may be offered therapy with someone who is in training but is closely supervised by an appropriately qualified clinician. Your therapist will discuss this with you as part of your assessment.
There are many approaches to psychological therapy with various degrees of evidence underpinning them. We aim to provide access to evidence based talking therapies recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Evidence (NICE). Where novel therapeutic approaches are offered, for which clinical evidence is yet to be established, this will take place under tightly scrutinised research governance protocols.
Speech and language therapists - also known as SLT or SALT - assess and manage people's communication and swallowing difficulties, and provide direct communication/swallowing therapy when appropriate. They also provide support, training and information to carers and staff.
Communication difficulties can affect a person’s self-esteem, relationships, and educational or work attainment. Swallowing and eating and drinking difficulties can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and aspiration pneumonia and can also affect quality of life.
Speech and language therapy training programmes are university-based bachelor or masters degrees. They have to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council in order to work in the UK.