The Stroke Psychology team provide psychology input after stroke on the inpatient wards at Aintree University Hospital site and Broadgreen Hospital, as well as community input to patients under the Liverpool Stroke Recovery Partnership (LSRP) Early Supported Discharge (ESD). A small outpatient provision exists for patients under an Aintree consultant.

The service uses a variety of psychological therapy models, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), compassion focused therapy (CFT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), to support adjustment to stroke and the changes it may bring, helping people to move forward into a valued life. The team also support the assessment and management of neuropsychological and cognitive changes common after stroke and can help to develop rehabilitation and compensatory strategies. Support is available for families and carers of those affected by stroke, if their loved one is open to the Psychology team.

More information

Referrals can be made to the team via ICE, or by the referral forms already available. Please note that only patients accessing LSRP ESD can be referred for community stroke psychology input, and that only patients with an Aintree stroke consultant can be referred for outpatient psychology.

All referrals are subject to an opt-in process, where patients will be contacted prior to being offered an appointment.

Waiting times vary, however, generally all patients will be offered an appointment within eight weeks of referral. Face-to-face, telephone and video appointments are offered.

Dr Róisín Cunningham, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Psychology lead for Stroke, PYL30258

Róisín has worked in stroke, alongside Major Trauma, since qualifying in 2010. She has undertaken additional neuropsychology training and has an interest in the relationship between cognition and emotion and how this impacts adjustment post-stroke. She uses a variety of therapeutic approaches to support adjustment post-stroke.

Dr Hannah Traynor, Principal Clinical Psychologist, PYL36005

After qualifying as a Clinical Psychologist in 2018, Hannah has worked in stroke and ED services at LUHFT. She supports people to manage the challenges following stroke and difficulties associated with persistent physical symptoms which can lead people to seek help from ED. She has a particular interest in positive psychology principles and supporting people to explore their potential when living with health conditions. She has completed extra training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is currently completing additional neuropsychology training.

Dr Helen Niccolls, Principal Clinical Psychologist, PYL37418

Helen completed her clinical training in 2019 and has worked at LUHFT with a primary focus in stroke and ED services ever since. She has a keen interest in looking at adjustment to stroke and management of persistent physical health difficulties, through a biopsychosocial lens. She strives to support people holistically to make meaningful change and explore ways to improve quality of life whist living with a physical health condition. She is currently completing some additional neuropsychology training.

Dr Clare Rooney, Clinical Psychologist, PYL042932

Clare had a background in neuropsychology prior to starting clinical training and has worked in the department since qualification. She has worked across multiple services in her time with the team, but has always been involved in stroke services, both in inpatient and outpatient roles. She has an interest in the caregiving relationship in stroke as well as the neuropsychological outcomes. She uses a variety of therapeutic approaches to support adjustment post-stroke.

Dr Louise Sheppard, Clinical Psychologist, PYL041676

Louise completed her clinical psychology doctorate in 2022. She has always had an interest in supporting people living with physical health conditions, including those who experience acquired brain injuries, such as stroke. Louise works across inpatient stroke wards at Aintree and Broadgreen hospitals. She uses different therapeutic models, including Compassion Focused Therapy. She has recently completed training in the use of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and hopes to undertake clinical neuropsychology training in the near future.

Dr Ciarán Foley, Senior Clinical Psychologist, PYL039939

Ciarán completed his doctorate in clinical psychology in 2021. Following this he worked in Older Adult mental health services, before joining the clinical health psychology team early in 2023 where he works across the inpatient stroke wards in Aintree and Broadgreen hospitals. Ciarán is interested in the relationship between the brain, emotions and behaviour and draws on a variety of therapeutic approaches to support people to understand their symptoms and adapt following a stroke. He is currently undertaking advanced training in clinical neuropsychology.

Dr Gillian Hunt, Senior Clinical Psychologist, PYL26640

Gill has worked with people with long-term physical health conditions, since qualifying in 2010. This has included people living with cancer, diabetes and following a stroke. She currently also offers support to inpatients with traumatic physical injuries – which can include brain injuries. She draws upon a variety of therapeutic models to inform her work, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She has completed EMDR training – which is a therapy often used for treating trauma/Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and she takes a trauma-informed approach to her clinical work.