Orthognathics psychology service (OPS)

Our specialist clinical psychologists are embedded within the orthognathic surgery multi-disciplinary team at Barts Health NHS Trust working alongside consultant maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists to provide psychological support to patients undergoing orthognathic treatment. The service is based at two hospital sites, the Royal London hospital site in Whitechapel and Whipps Cross hospital, Leytonstone. Our aim is to provide a psychological pathway of care for patients undertaking the orthognathic surgery process, from preoperative consultation through to after surgery follow-up. This may involve assessing body image and appearance concerns, expectations and understanding of surgery, as well as any mental health concerns that may impact on the treatment process.

Where necessary, we can provide tailored support to patients and their families in advance of and along the surgical and treatment pathway. This is in the aim of promoting adherence to treatment and postoperative adjustment to the changed appearance which will improve psychosocial outcomes for all patients.

We welcome referrals for new patients at the beginning of their treatment, as well as patients at other points along the pathway.

Meet the team: Charlotte Priestley, clinical psychologist

I am a Clinical Psychologist currently working within the new Orthognathic Psychology service based at the Royal  London and Whipps Cross hospitals. I trained at the University of Sheffield and qualified in 2014. I have worked across a range of settings including older adult and adult mental health, Eating Disorders and Bariatric and Weight loss services. I have a keen interest in supporting people who experience appearance-related distress and use a variety of psychological approaches to address the issues they face, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Analytic informed Therapy (CAT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). I am particularly interested in how body image and adjustment can be influenced by physical illness and surgical procedures, and how psychological interventions can be used to improve mental health outcomes throughout people’s healthcare journeys. 

Meet the team: Emily Kenefick, clinical psychologist

I am a clinical psychologist specialising in supporting patients with long-term physical health conditions. My research and clinical background is in acute hospital settings working with patients with conditions such as respiratory illness, diabetes, cancer and traumatic injuries. My special interest is in working in surgical settings. This includes a focus on assessing and treating body image and appearance-related distress, as well as supporting patients through surgery in terms of preparation and postoperative adjustment. I currently split my working week between a plastic and reconstructive surgery service and our new Orthognathic Surgery psychology service.

Meet the team: Dr Russell Jacob, clinical psychologist

Following an earlier career as a musician, I then trained as a Clinical Psychologist. I completed the Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London in 2011. In addition to previously working within forensic settings and with individuals with rare genetic conditions, I have a strong interest in the psychological aspects of living with common long-term health conditions.

I have worked within acute NHS hospital settings offering a clinical psychology service supporting individuals living with diabetes and also sexual health related difficulties. Additionally, I have helped develop community based psychological support services for people living with diabetes. 

Currently, in my role within the NELFT Clinical Health Psychology Team, I am part of a newly established group of psychologists developing a service for individuals referred for Orthognathic Surgery. 

Clinically I have a specialist interest in the use of so-called ‘Third Wave’ therapeutic approaches, in particular the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).

Meet the team: Jamie Kapoor, assistant psychologist

Graduating in 2017 for my BSc (Hons) I have been working towards doing my doctorate in clinical psychology as soon as I can. I have worked in many areas of psychology to gain experience to help me along my journey. I did lots of voluntary work with the NELFT service helping with research and attending different therapy sessions and helping out where I could.

I have been working in the dementia section of a care home for a while putting my psychological knowledge to good use in helping staff and families understand dementia a bit better.

I have had a huge passion for clinical psychology that only grows larger each day. I have a personal interest in the orthognathic side of psychology as I myself have gone through the treatment and personally understand the toll it can take on one’s psyche. I intend to put my full amount of passion and knowledge into attempting to help as many people suffering as possible.

Meet the team: Suraj Mehan, assistant psychologist

My background is in clinical psychology graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2013 and an MSc in Clinical and Abnormal Psychology in 2015. I have worked in various settings within the voluntary, charity and NHS sector including brain injury, bereavement, mental health and spiritual and pastoral care.

Ever since gaining this NELFT post in November 2016 my passion for clinical health psychology has grown exponentially. Hence, I am involved in various roles within the trust from admin support, service research and development to assisting in support groups and therapeutic mindfulness groups. I also work in partnership with BHRUT in shadowing and co-facilitating behavioural couple therapy sessions within the psycho-oncology service. In addition, I work in partnership with BARTS Health NHS Trust within the Orthognathics service providing support in the psychological screening of patients and in research and service development.