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Tom’s Trust New Service at Alder Hey Hospital

We launched the new service in July at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and now have a full team of three psychologists we fund.

Tom’s Trust have been able to help an additional 100 children, and their families, as well as helping to continue and expand support for 65 families who the department were already helping.

Tom’s Trust’s service

Before Tom’s Trust provided funding to the department, only children with high-risk brain tumours benefited from mental health care at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Approximately 65 patients were seen each year for neuropsychological assessment and/or psychological therapy. But 75%-80% of patients are children who are five years post-treatment at Alder Hey, and before the service began, they would only receive help after seeking it for significant difficulties.

Tom’s Trust’s funding has meant an additional 100 children can be helped each year, to support their long-term improvement in quality of life, and cognitive and psychological wellbeing. The funding has allowed the hospital to move from offering intervention only to those with significant clinical concerns to a new model that supports all children with brain tumours to achieve their full potential, improving the lives of long-term survivors.

As well as one-to-one sessions, the hospital offers group-based interventions to all families, including patients, parents/carers and siblings. A family’s Tom’s Trust psychologist will explain all the options available to a patient and their family.

How their psychologists help

The clinical psychologists assess a child’s individual needs and form an understanding of their emotional state, their cognitive abilities and needs, what they are struggling with and what causes them anxiety. A brain tumour will affect a child’s thinking skills, such as attention, memory and processing speed. They can monitor this through neurocognitive assessments and will advocate for a family’s needs to the rest of their healthcare team and the child’s school.

Tom’s Trust’s services help children and their families cope with a massive life change and get the very best from their treatments. The team will offer one-to-one psychological support for all family members and facilitate workshops and support groups. A family psychologist will help them to navigate any disabilities, and we also provide support for palliative care and bereavement for families who sadly lose a child.

The team of psychologists at Alder Hey

Every family we help will be assigned a clinical psychologist from our expert team, who can meet with the family at any time – from when the child first comes to the hospital and is diagnosed to their move back home and into school again. Their psychologists are flexible with sessions, meeting at the hospital, at home, in a community setting, online or on the phone.

You can read more here and here.  They have recently been informed that the wait time for families is now down to two weeks from six months and their psychologists have already set up new groups to support families including ‘end of treatment’ groups and anxiety groups.

If you would like to know more about Tom’s Trust please check out their website If you would like to be involved in their fundraising activities or volunteer your time, please email or ring 07812 377 110.

They have 10 places remaining in the Liverpool Half Marathon if you like running and will be organising various events throughout the year and would love to hear from you.