The Division of Neuropsychology exists to support its members with training and advice, and to keep them apprised of ongoing news and developments within the field.
Overview of systems
The aim of this document is to describe commissioning concepts structures and systems and to make this knowledge accessible and useful for clinical psychologists at all levels, including trainees.
Service specific guidance
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- Download the Clinical Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Services for Adults with Acquired Brain Injury (June 2005) (Members only)
This document explores acquired brain injury services, outlines a service model, makes recommendations and looks at the contribution of Clinical Neuropsychologists.
This document looks at the role of Child Neuropsychologists.
- Download the Clinical Neuropsychology Services - delivering value for the NHS: A briefing paper for NHS commissioners and policy makers (March 2015)
Written for commissioners, this document looks at the role of Clinical Neuropsychologists.
Competency FrameworkShow content
This document reports the development of a competency framework for the UK profession of Clinical Neuropsychology.
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- Download the Competency Framework for the UK Clinical Neuropsychology Profession (May 2012) (Members only)
This report describes findings and the Division of Neuropsychology (DoN) Executive Committee response to Consultation on the implementation of the competency framework for training the future UK clinical neuropsychology profession.
Functional and dissociative neurological symptomsShow content
- Download the Management of patients with neurological medically unexplained symptoms within clinical services in NHS Scotland: The role of neuropsychology
This paper describes the role of clinical neuropsychology services in the specialist assessment and management of patients with medically unexplained neurological symptoms.
Events were held in 2017 and 2018 relating to Functional and dissociative neurological symptoms
MND pathwaysShow content
Developing Pathways in the UK for the assessment of cognitive and behaviour change in people with MND
Cognitive and behavioural changes occur in approximately 50% of patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) which can manifest as deficits in executive and language functions and poor social cognition. Up to 15% also suffer from a frontotemporal dementia (see for review (Goldstein and Abrahams 2013). These deficits can impact caregiver burden, adherence to life-prolonging interventions and care planning.
NICE Guidelines on the Management of MND
The new NICE guidelines on MND (NICE 2016) state that
1.3 “At diagnosis and if there is a concern about cognition and behaviour, explore any cognitive or behaviour changes with the person and their family members and/or carers as appropriate. If needed refer the person for a formal assessment”.
The guidelines continue to state 1.3.2“The multidisciplinary team should assess, manage and review the following areas… Cognition and Behaviour”
And most importantly: 1.5.5“The multidisciplinary team should have established relationships with, and prompt access to the following: Clinical psychology and neuropsychology”
Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen
People with MND have a range of physical disabilities which can make it difficult for them to undergo standard clinical neuropsychological assessment. In response to this Professor Sharon Abrahams and Thomas Bak from the University of Edinburgh have developed the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS screen (ECAS), a multi-domain brief assessment, which is designed for people with motor dysfunction and has been validated against extensive neuropsychological assessment (Abrahams, Newton et al. 2014, Niven 2015). The ECAS provides a brief assessment of executive functions, fluency, language functions, memory and visuospatial functions and can be undertaken in written or spoken form, making it suitable for physical disability. In addition it provides an informant behaviour interview based on the latest diagnostic criteria for behavioural variant FTD.
Within Scotland, routine assessment of MND patients using the ECAS has been implemented through a dual pathway method. The first pathway involves direct referral from the MND team (consultant neurologist) to local clinical neuropsychology services who undertake an ECAS as part of their assessment. Where at all possible these patients are given priority status as long waiting lists are often inappropriate for this rapid neurodegenerative condition. The second pathway (which is applicable for those people with MND who do not or cannot access neuropsychology services) is for a member of the multidisciplinary team (usually the MND nurse specialist) to undertake an ECAS, with supervision on interpretation and possible intervention from local clinical neuropsychology services. As such the clinical neuropsychologist provides regular supervision of MND health specialists and indirect input into the multidisciplinary team with less time committed.
MNDA: Developing Pathways in the UK for assessment of cognitive and behaviour change in people with MND
The Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) are funding a project led by Professor Sharon Abrahams at the University of Edinburgh to develop pathways to a UK national assessment programme for the identification of changes in cognition and behaviour in people living with MND. Part of this process is to encourage the development of local links between MND Teams and local clinical neuropsychological services.
Throughout 2017, across the UK, the MNDA and Professor Abrahams will be delivering Advanced Masterclasses in ‘Using the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS) to assess change in Motor Neurone Disease’. This training programme is accredited by the European Network to Cure ALS and is aimed at health professionals working in MND teams.
At these meetings trained health professionals will be encouraged to make contact with their local clinical neuropsychology services to develop local care pathways.
Abrahams, S., J. Newton, E. Niven, J. Foley and T. H. Bak (2014). "Screening for cognition and behaviour changes in ALS." Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration 15(1-2): 9-14.
Goldstein, L. H. and S. Abrahams (2013). "Changes in cognition and behaviour in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Nature of impairment and implications for assessment." The Lancet Neurology 12(4): 368-380.
NICE (2016). "National Institute for Health and Care Excellence."
Niven, E., Newton, J., Foley, J., Colville, S., Swingler, R., Chandran, S., Bak, T.H. & Abrahams S. (2015). "Validation of the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis SCreen (ECAS): A cognitive tool for motor disorders." Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener 16(3-4): 172-179.
Mapping of Neuropsychology ServicesShow content
A Briefing to further understand the nature of neuropsychology services in other areas of the country in the absence of official data.
The evidence presented in the briefing refers to the current arrangements of neuropsychology services located within neuroscience centres many of which have different regional contexts. The Division of Neuropsychology has not taken a position on appropriate staffing levels or how services should be funded in general. As a result care should be taken in presenting or sharing the data to external audiences.
Where information from the report is presented or shared it should be referenced as internal Division of Neuropsychology mapping as the report has not been approved by the BPS Professional Practice Board or externally published.'
Population data for regional neuroscience centres was sourced from individual trusts websites and associated publications.
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Mental capacityShow content
Parliamentary DebateShow content
The House of Commons debated Acquired Brain Injury, on the 18 June 2018 for an hour, considering a ranges of issues, including: the incredible toll on families and carers of caring for someone with ABI; the potentially devastating impact of even a mild TBI; the need for a joined up approach for children with ABI from Health, Social Care and Education in care planning; the significant financial cost savings to health, social care and the justice system when neuropsychological rehabilitation is provided; and the potential vulnerability of ABI sufferers to offending and, if unrecognised and untreated, re-offending.
Both the Society’s Policy team and the DoN’s own Policy Unit have worked hard – on behalf of BPS and DoN members but also on behalf of all your patients with neurological conditions - to make connections with MPs and to really raise awareness of the widespread impact of this issue. And the debate was notable for the very real understanding shown by the speakers about the consequences of, not just TBI, but of AB,I across the life span. Some MPs spoke movingly and with amazing candour about their own personal family experiences of ABI. This must be the first time ‘neuropsychology’ has been mentioned in Hansard.
Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care opened the debate with an excellent encapsulation of the definition and prevalence of ABI.
As part of the debate, Clinical Psychologist, and now Member of Parliament for East Kilbride SNP, Dr Lisa Cameron, spoke specifically and knowledgeably about the cognitive and psychological effects of brain injury, and the importance of timely access to Neuropsychology as a key part of rehabilitation, saying“Access to Neuropsychology is a key part of rehabilitation”.
Chris Bryant, Member of Parliament for Rhondda Lab, said, “Acquired brain injury is an invisible epidemic in this country”.
Practice GuidelinesShow content
This document was produced by a working group drawn from the range of Member Networks across The Society whose members are engaged in professional practice, as well as representatives from relevant expert reference groups of The Society.
Psychological services for people with Parkinson’s diseaseShow content
This document is now over 5 years old and, in line with BPS policy, has been archived. After this time documents are no longer regarded as reflecting the Society's current position. Referral to or use of documents after this time should be with the caveat that the legislation and evidence bases referred to may be outdated or incorrect.
Research Excellence FrameworkShow content
Expert panels for the REF 2021 exercise are made up of senior academics, international members, and research users. Psychological research falls under the remit of the Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience Sub-Panel. Members of the BPS Research Board have expressed some concerns that the composition of the new REF 2021 panel does not reflect the diversity of research models used in psychological research, in particular concerns have been raised that the new panel may not have sufficient expertise to evaluate the value of qualitative research. The BPS has written to the chair of REF Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience Sub-Panel to express these concerns and has received assurances with respect to the value of all research methodologies. The REF panel welcomes submissions from ALL areas and methodologies in psychology and ALL submissions will be treated equally and fairly.
- Find out more about the Society recommendations on the 2021 REF being accepted
- Read the Letter from Sarb Bajwa BPS Chief Executive to the Chair of the REF Sub-Panel for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience (members only) (please note that you must be signed-in to access the following material)
- Read the Reply from the Chair of the REF Sub-Panel (members only) (please note that you must be signed-in to access the following material)
WHO Classification of InterventionsShow content
International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI) is the new classification system developed by the World Health Organisation, which compliments the existing International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).
The interventions contained in the ICHI are closely based upon the ICF, which includes for example, a large section on mental functions and associated limitations. The ICHI codes the assessment and intervention (rehabilitation) of these mental functions, therefore it is of great relevance to neuropsychology.
This classification system will have many and wide ranging applications in the research, planning and organisation of health services.
One possible use for example, is by NHS coding. This is the system by which clinical services in the UK are monitored, planned and paid for. This is another reason why neuropsychologists should pay attention to the ICHI, to ensure that our activity is appropriately captured.
Through 2016 and 2017 the DoN has contributed to the development of the ICHI. Through 2018 the first phase of beta testing has been completd, which will be followed by a second phase of beta testing up to September 2019.
Other Relevant Resources
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Useful linksShow content