Post Covid Psychology Service

CHP - Post Covid Psychology Service - Top Image
Service lead: Dr Laura Varnes

Who is in the team?

  • Dr Laura Varnes - Lead Psychological Therapist and Health Psychologist

Who do we provide services for?

We are a specialist psychological support service for people with post-covid syndrome in Haringey and Islington.
We understand that post-covid syndrome can be distressing and may influence the persons mood, their relationships, activities, spirituality, or other areas of life. The Post-Covid Psychology Service works with people who are struggling with the impact of post-covid syndrome upon their lives. Psychology input focuses on helping people to live with the impact of their physical health condition, to build on their existing strengths and resources, to explore ways of coping and to learn and practice new strategies.
Key areas of input:
  • Supporting management of frightening breathlessness
  • Strategies to help manage fear, anxiety and/or low mood associated with a diagnosis of post-covid syndrome
  • Overcoming adjustment difficulties to post-covid syndrome and/or the ongoing impact
  • Helping people with problems with the self-management of post-covid syndrome.
The post-covid psychology service strives to be an inclusive and respectful service that supports people of all ages and from all walks of life. Our psychology team have experience of working with individuals (and their significant others) with a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and life experiences, perspectives, and priorities. We commit to adapting our input as needed to meet the needs of minoritized sections of our communities (e.g. ethnically minoritized groups, LGBTQ+ communities).


Please note, we only accept referrals from members of the Community Post-Covid Service and Respiratory teams at Whittington Health.
Referrals can be made by any member of the Community Post-Covid Service or Respiratory team (e.g., Occupational Therapist, Nurse, Consultant).
Prior to the referral, it is important that the referrer discusses the option of psychological input with the individual in order to explain how this could benefit them and to obtain consent for a referral.
If patients do not feel able to wait until their next appointment, they (or someone on their behalf) can contact the pathway coordinator / administrator of their relevant team. The administrator can inform the most recently seen healthcare professional of this request for a referral. The healthcare professional can then arrange this referral (unless there are clear reasons why they think this is not appropriate).
Post-Covid Community Service: 020 3074 2426 or
Whittington Hospital Respiratory Team: 020 7288 5353
The healthcare practitioner makes a referral through the electronic system. The referral will include the main reasons the person is wanting psychological support, what they hope to gain from the sessions, and their contact phone number and email.

What happens after we receive the referral form?

Once we have received the referral, our team will triage the referral and then contact the patient to either book them in for an assessment or let them about other services which might better suit their needs.
In the assessment we will ask a bit more about the personsí current difficulties, their life in general and a bit about any relevant history. We will then agree a plan based on what best suits the personsí individual needs and hopes for any psychological therapy. If we think this service is best placed to help the patient, then we will add them to our waiting list for therapy sessions. If we think another service would better suit their needs, we will discuss the options with them.
We offer around 6 therapy sessions with a psychologist in the team. Currently, we offer face to face and, where appropriate, virtual/phone sessions.

I am not sure about whether the service is right for me - how can I find out more?

We understand it can feel difficult to ask for help sometimes. If you would like to know more about our service and what to expect from the assessment or therapy sessions, please call us on 020 7527 1538 and ask to speak with a member of the post-covid psychology service, or email us at (please note: all members of our team work part-time and so it may take a few days for us to get back to you).
Please also find more information about our service in the Post-Covid Psychology Service leaflet

I have post-covid syndrome, but am not under the Respiratory or Post-Covid Community Services - how can I get support?

The Community Post Covid Service is a multidisciplinary service that supports people with Long Covid in Haringey and Islington. They use a personalised care approach to help people to learn more about their symptoms and develop skills and strategies to support their recovery and reduce the impact of living with ongoing symptoms that affect day to day function.
If you feel you would benefit from support from the Post-Covid Community Service, please discuss your current difficulties with your GP.
To find out more about the Post-Covid Community Service and how to be referred, please visit the Community Post Covid Service web page.

Advice leaflets

To find out more about the Post-Covid Community Service and how to be referred, please visit the Community Post Covid Service web pages.
Last updated19 Sep 2023
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