Clinical neuropsychology is based on the science into brain-behaviour relationships, and it examines how the structure and function of the brain relate to psychological processes. Neuropsychological assessments are an objective way of quantifying and characterising the cognitive, behavioural and emotional effects of the changes in brain function that can occur after damage, or with disease, affecting the brain. In addition to assessment, neuropsychologists can provide information and advice to patients and their families to help them understand and adapt to the changes that can result from brain damage. An assessment can provide important diagnostic information, although often there are specific concerns about the impact these changes are having on everyday functioning, such as working, driving, managing finances or self-care. Neuropsychological tests assess a variety of cognitive abilities, including intellectual function, memory, language, visual perception and visuospatial skill, planning, reasoning and decision-making, and attention and concentration. Whilst neuropsychological tests are a core component of a neuropsychological assessment, the assessment also focuses on a person's psychological, personal, interpersonal and wider contextual circumstances.
The department of clinical neuropsychology is within the neurosciences directorate, and we are based at The Grove at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. However, some of our clinicians are based at our satellite unit at the Royal Free Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre in Edgware.
Clinical neuropsychology out-patients
The out-patient service provides specialist diagnostic neuropsychological assessment and advice for patients with suspected or known brain pathology. Out-patient clinics are currently offered at the Royal Free Hospital on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and at the Royal Free Neuro-Rehabilitation Unit on Tuesdays.
The current waiting time for an appointment is approximately six weeks, although this can vary depending on patient need and service demands.
In-patient clinical neuropsychology
We provide specialist clinical psychological and neuropsychological assessment, intervention and neuro-rehabilitation for in-patients with cognitive, behavioural and psychological issues secondary to a wide variety of neurological conditions, including stroke. We also offer support and advice to families and carers, and provide a weekly one-hour carer's support group which is open to relatives or friends of patients who have suffered a stroke. The aim is to provide information to enhance understanding about the neuropsychological consequences of stroke, as well as practical advice for patients and their families following stroke. The group also provides an opportunity to share and hear from others facing the same issues.
Community clinical neuropsychology
Our community-based neuropsychology service provides specialist clinical psychological and neuropsychological assessment, intervention and neuro-rehabilitation to patients with a wide range of long-term neurological conditions. Working within multi-disciplinary teams, we offer in-patient and community outreach rehabilitation, and long-term condition management. The service is based at the Royal Free Neurological Rehabilitation Centre in Edgware.
Referrals can only be accepted from senior neurologists of the Royal Free Hospital.