A woman takes a lateral flow covid test


Our objective is to maximise our contribution to society, services and individuals to promote wellbeing, working in partnership with people and organisations in a way that is grounded in our core purpose and strategic objectives.


Our scope of implementation will depend crucially on the effectiveness of coproduction and partnership working but also our DCP officers and members' capacity and wellbeing.

Download a copy of the DCP Covid-19 Strategy live document.

Long Covid

Long Covid is the name coined for post-viral illness experienced by patients who continue to have symptoms more than four weeks after initial infection with Covid-19. Symptoms can vary in severity and duration, and enduring post-viral illness is a
disease that society and the NHS will need to address for years to come.

Read Long Covid - reflections on post-viral illness: implications for patients and psychologists by Louise Kenward.

Long Covid symposium

The Long Covid symposium held at the recent DCP conference was well received, and we are pleased to be able share link the slides which accompanied those talks.

The presentations generated a lot of discussion, highlighting the need to fully understand the lived experience of this issue, and the importance of service responses to this growing problem.

DCP Covid bulletin

Key articles from the DCP Covid Bulletin

Staff support by psychologists during Covid-19

We asked six of our previous contributors to update us on their staff support initiative for our February 2022 Covid-19 Bulletin.

Read them all, alongside a summarising table.

Clinical psychologists supporting NHS staff

Supporting staff in an ICU in Scotland - Dr Sharon Mulhern (May 2020)

Dr Mulhern works at Crosshouse hospital in Kilmarnock She has pioneered a staff service which focuses on providing the physical and psychological space needed for staff to find respite from the necessarily hectic, stressful and sometimes traumatic atmosphere arising from providing an intensive care service for COVID patients. The service was established with full Board-level support from her senior medical colleagues and has been featured on BBC and ITV news

Support for staff in primary care - Dr Renuka Jena (January 2021)

Dr Jena is the professional and strategic clinical lead for the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies service in Waltham Forest which already had good staff support systems in place pre-pandemic. They developed a range of strategies to adapt these systems for the new circumstances, including informal and formal meetings and check-ins, peer support, supervision, training and webinars. They adapted further in the wake of the death of George Floyd to address issues of racism and equality

Support for staff across a large acute NHS trust - Dr Harriet Conniff (February 2021)

Dr Conniff has been lead for staff support from a psychological perspective at Evelina Children's hospital (part of Guys and St Thomas' Trust) in London since 2018. She had already developed a series of approaches including a 3 stage debriefing process following serious incidents, and a 1 stop shop for staff support across the Trust. She was well integrated and supported by the Trust's Executive team. During the pandemic, there was a significant increase in levels of staff stress. The appointment of another consultant clinical psychologist as Trust Lead for staff wellbeing in Occupational Health meant that they were able to combine to form higher level strategic interventions within the organisation particularly involving applying psychological thinking to communication with staff, redeployment and COVID resource development. They also worked closely together to maximise the reach of the resources available.

Support for staff in Intensive care - Dr Rachel Clarke (February 2021)

Dr Clarke has worked as a single handed psychologist for the past three years in the ICU at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, She has developed a patient- and staff-centred approach, including psychoeducation, individual support, informal and brief therapeutic interventions and group based staff support. She has obtained her own support from Psychologists in Intensive Care UK (PINC-UK).

NHS staff wellbeing during the pandemic - Dr Keith Miller & Dr Julie Highfield (February 2021)

A resilient NHS workforce which has its psychological needs met is vital if the quality and quantity of clinical care is to be maintained and improved. At present, having psychologically-informed input at Board level is the exception rather than the rule in NHS organisations. Julie Highfield has developed a wellbeing initiative to provide free psychological resources on a national level aimed at both managing staff struggling at work as well as investing in the core conditions necessary for staff to thrive.

Intensive care psychologists and Covid-19. Dr Dorothy Wade (May 2021)

Dr Wade is co-chair of the BPS COVID-19 psychological care and rehabilitation task group. She is also co-chair of Psychologists in Intensive Care (PINC-UK) and chair of the COVID Recovery Psychology Network (CORE-psychnet) which bring together psychological staff working in Intensive Care. She writes about the psychological impact on patients – post-intensive care syndrome and Long COVID - and about the work that psychologists can do. She also considers the stress of the role and how staff can best be supported.

A Resilience Hub for all NHS staff - Dr Jo Jordan (July 2021)

Dr Jordan is consultant clinical applied psychologist working in the Humber, Coast and Vale Resilience Hub, one of a number of such interventions developed by NHSE during the pandemic and based on the Resilience Hub established in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing. It offers a single over-arching point of contact, which allows access to free, confidential and anonymous well-being support to all staff and their families. Using a trauma informed model of care, they have developed a wide range of psychological approaches for individuals and teams.

Clinical psychologists in senior leadership roles in the NHS

Clinical Psychologists as Leaders in the NHS - Claire Maguire, Mandy Irvine and Sarah Dexter-Smith (September 2020)

Drs Maguire, Irvine and Dexter-Smith are heads of psychology services in different parts of the UK but they share an immensely positive ability to show thoughtful leadership qualities and devise a set of highly effective responses to the pandemic based on psychological models of service development. The services they have developed (often targeted on staff support) have resulted from their forming close working relationships at Board level within their respective NHS Trusts. This in turn has resulted in their being put in charge of projects which have rapidly delivered effective services.

Working as the Scottish Government's Psychology Advisor - Dr Lynne Taylor (February 2021)

Dr Taylor's influential new post as the Scottish government's psychology advisor affords an opportunity for clinical psychology to have a positive impact at a national level. Lynne's role is a conduit between the Heads of Psychology Scotland (HOPS) group for lead psychologists in Scotland on the one hand and ministers and civil servants on the other. Her early priorities are advising on future planning and renewal plans due to the impact of Covid, working with colleagues on priorities for allocated monies for mental health, psychological support for Lon COVID, advising about the needs of children and young people and advising on population-wide initiatives around psychological wellbeing.

Clinical psychologists designing and delivering Long-Covid services

Developing a Long Covid service in Liverpool - Dr Mark Griffiths (May 2021)

Dr Griffiths is the head of clinical health psychology services at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. He has developed a psychological assessment and treatment model for Long COVID which is being implemented by the Cheshire and Merseyside Healthcare partnership. Long COVID is presenting huge challenges both to people affected by it and to health services who are trying to develop an effective response. Developing an appropriate service model that can deliver integrated needs assessment and integrated care is essential and psychological principles need to be at its core. In the early months of the service some 35% of people referred to the Long Covid service were referred to psychology services which are now being expanded in the light of this demand

An App providing remote services for Long Covid sufferers - Dr Stuart Linke (May 2021)

Dr Linke is a consultant clinical psychologist working in the digitally-enabled rehabilitation programme for people experiencing Long COVID. A digital clinical pathway has the potential to support healthcare professionals to provide a good standard of care to many more people than can be done through conventional clinics. Crucial to the whole project is the contribution of people across the country who have or have had COVID to provide first-hand experience of current services. The team has developed a Living With app that can be accessed via Trusts who are participating in the programme.

Developing a Long Covid service in North West London - Dr Ruth Dennis (July 2021)

Dr Dennis is head of psychology for psychological medicine at the West London NHS Trust. She has been developing integrated care services which link the complex patchwork of acute, community and mental health providers who are offering Long COVID services in North West London. This approach enables patients to receive a joined-up service with psychological principles at its core. Challenges remain, not least of which is that national funding has prioritised assessment and signposting but is not supporting treatment but, nevertheless, the service offers a promising model which can be adopted elsewhere

Psychology assistant input to a Long Covid service - Lily Bowditch (July 2021)

Lily Bowditch is a psychology assistant working in a post-COVID assessment service in Norfolk. The Norfolk Post-COVID Assessment Service was established by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust working with the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. Her role as an assistant psychologist is to help assess mental health and cognitive abilities, support sufferers to develop an understanding of the psychological experiences of living with Long Covid and identify onward pathways and future interventions.

IAPT and Long Covid - Dr Heather Salt (October 2021)

Dr Heather Salt is a consultant clinical and health psychologist working in an IAPT setting. She is the IAPT-LTC lead and much of her work involves developing links with Long-Term Conditions (LTC) commissioners, joining LTC project boards and linking with service leads and multidisciplinary healthcare teams to embed IAPT clinicians into LTC pathways (Cardiac, Diabetes, Respiratory, Chronic Fatigue, Long COVID). She writes about her role in supporting IAPT staff undertaking work with Long COVID sufferers

Update on the Living With app for COVID sufferers - Dr Stuart Linke (October 2021)

Since launching the basic version of the programme 12 months ago, the app has undergone considerable development. The programme is now available in 16 NHS trusts across England and Wales and in 23 clinics. Data provided by users at assessment indicates that the level of disability is very high. Over 1300 patients are enrolled and recruitment continues to rise steadily.

Other contributions

New guidelines for clinical psychologists working in inpatient mental health wards during the Covid-19 - Professor Katherine Berry (July 2020)

Professor Katherine Berry is a health service researcher and clinical psychologist working in Manchester. She is co-director of the Complex Trauma and Resilience Research Unit (C-TRU) at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The guidelines demonstrate how working practices need to be modified to enable consistent psychological input to be offered on psychiatric wards during the pandemic.

CoSpace study - Covid in children and families - Professor Cathy Cresswell (November 2020)

Obtaining data on the experiences of families is vital if we are to develop effective support systems which, over time, will mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic. This study examines a large group of children and families and charts the emotional impact of COVID along with subsequent lockdowns and school closures.

Long-Covid and Other Viral Illnesses – Louise Kenward (October 2021)

Dr Louise Kenward is a clinical psychologist with personal experience of post viral illness. She writes about the history of these conditions and shows how Long COVID is one in a line of energy limiting conditions such as ME which have often produced a series of unhelpful and often damaging interventions from health professionals.

Covid-19 Resources & Support

Racial and Social Inequalities in the times of Covid-19

Racial and Social Inequalities in the times of Covid-19 - Posiition Paper

This position paper is intended to begin conversations and engagement with stakeholders to co-produce a change strategy to counter racial and social inequalities.

It offers initial thoughts on the risks and impact of Covid-19 on pre-existing racial and social inequalities and structural racism.

Read the full document on Racial and Social Inequalities in the times of Covid-19.

Racial and social equalities in action - what can possibly go right?

What can possibly go right is an invitation to embody voices spoken at our listening events and consider action.

Whilst we are hopeful that this will stimulate generative thinking to move forward, we are aware of the risk of this report becoming part of the plethora of publications and media reports on the subject.

We want to go beyond blaming the individuals and look at structural issues. We have noted two key aspects through our observations and work in this area:

  1. The conversation stops at the acknowledgment of deprivation and racism. There is often a sense of giving up with the implications that it is too big and difficult rather than seeking to understand systemic factors that contribute to deprivation and racism.

  2. Where systemic factors are understood, there is a lack of concerted and sustained action plans to address and change these alongside regular evaluation of impact.

Read the full racial and social equalities in action document.