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Working Psychologically in Neonatal Units: Intensive care for families and those who look after them

03 March 2022 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Over 100,000 babies are admitted to neonatal care in the UK every year (Source: Bliss). There are a growing number of psychologists who specialise in working on neonatal units to support these families, their infants and those that look after them. 

This presentation will contextualise the admission of an infant to a neonatal unit, outlining important statistics about this population, and what we know about the psychological impact on parents & infants in the short and long-term including case examples and the perspective and knowledge of parents who are Experts by Experience.  

It will show the varied nature of the work in an intensive care setting both with individuals and systems and how psychologists embedded in neonatal units, as well as the new consultant network roles aim to improve integrative working with mental health and other health services.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop awareness of issues and themes to consider when working with babies and families whilst on the neonatal unit and after discharge.
  • Develop knowledge and skills relating to working with the parent-infant relationship whilst a baby is in neonatal care
  • To reflect on the impact of the work on neonatal staff and how we equip them to support families and each other
  • To learn from Experts by Experience about the impact of a neonatal admission, and how Family Integrated Care (FiCare) places critical important on a culture that values parents as partners in care from the very beginning.

Target Audience

Faculty members, BPS members and other professionals working with families who have experience of neonatal care, both acutely and in the community.

The presentations will each draw on clinical experience, recently published data from third sector organisations surveys, case studies and existing literature as well as the experience of Experts by Experience.

This webinar is being recorded and will be distributed to all attendees within 30 working days after the event.

12:00 Welcome and Introduction

What do neonatal psychologists do? - An overview of the nature of the work in its unique context with parents, babies and neonatal teams.

Dr Rebecca Chilvers & Dr Jacinta Cordwell


Consultant psychologist ODN roles: A new opportunity supporting the development of equitable psychological care in neonatal units in England - A journey through the development and scope of these new roles created for each Operational Delivery Network (ODN) in England, alongside specialist leads for AHPs and care coordinators.

Dr Jacinta Cordwell & Dr Rebecca Chilvers

13:05 Experts by experience - Two parents talk about their journey through neonatal care and its impact.

Working with parent-infant relationships in a neonatal setting An exploration of the barriers to forming relationships for babies and parents in the neonatal setting and working to overcome them.  

Dr Sara O’Curry

13:45 Q&A session with all speakers
14:00 Close


Dr Rachel Mycroft


Dr Jacinta Cordwell

Dr Jacinta Cordwell is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist for the Thames Valley and Wessex Neonatal ODN and service lead for Neonatal Psychology at Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She has experience of working clinically with families, infants, and staff within neonatal care and paediatrics. She has a special interest in working with trauma within this context, and regularly delivers supervision, teaching and training.

Dr Sara O’Curry

Dr Sara O'Curry is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Service at Addenbrooke’s where she has worked with parents on the NICU since 2016 and in paediatrics with expectant mothers and parents of babies with new medical diagnoses since 2013. Before that, she worked in cardiology and Cardiac Intensive Care at GOSH. She is former Director of the Brazelton Centre UK and has a passion for facilitating parent-infant relationships and helping parents to learn to read and respond to their babies needs

Dr Rebecca Chilvers

Dr Rebecca Chilvers Consultant Clinical Psychologist or the East of England ODN and lead for Neonatal Psychology at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust. She has worked with families and staff on the NICU since 2016 following many years working both clinically and in research in the neurodevelopmental field. She is currently the neonatology representative for the DCP Faculty of Perinatal Psychology and passionate about developing equitable and accessible psychology provision across every neonatal unit.

All rates listed are inclusive of VAT at 20%. 



PER Members


If you are a PER Member but the discount isn't automatically applied please enter the code 'PERMEMDISC' in the promotional code box on the basket page then click 'update'

BPS Members £30
Non-Members £60

Returning Customers (Members and non-members)

In order to register for the event, you will need to sign in using your BPS website log in details. We have inplemented a new Membership Database (CRM) recently and if you haven't received your pre-registration email please contact [email protected] to request a re-send and follow the instructions received. Once pre-registrered on the CRM use your USERNAME and PASSWORD to log in to register for the event.

Non-returning customers (Members and non-members)

If you are not a returning customer, you will need to create a free account. Once set up use your USERNAME and PASSWORD to log in to register for the event.

Joining instructions will be sent the day prior to the event, these will be sent to your BPS registered email address.

Have a query?

Contact us at [email protected] 

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