A new Consultant Clinical Psychologist has commenced employment with the Gibraltar Health Authority. Dr Louise Barber will be based at Ocean Views Mental Health Facility, where she will provide psychological interventions for in-patients.

The services will be audited in order to allow for further development, in line with the most effective treatment approaches.

Dr Barber held the post of Consultant Clinical Health Psychologist at Salford Royal Foundation Trust in Manchester and, therefore, comes to Gibraltar with a wealth of experience. Dr Barber led the chronic fatigue syndrome service at the Trust, assisting in the safe discharge of in-patients. During her career, she has formed an important part of Multi-Disciplinary Teams, playing an active role in development of Mental Health Services. Dr Barber also has experience in drug and alcohol services.

The appointment, for which the recruitment process was initiated in May of this year, follows the recent announcement of the new Child and Adolescent Psychology Service (CAMHS), which will commence in January 2019. The new CAMHS service is set to significantly bolster mental health services in Gibraltar. Its introduction follows advice received from the GHA’s Mental Health Team, charities and associations. This is the first time the GHA will offer such a service, which has been designed specifically for the mental health needs of children and adolescents.

General Manager for Mental Health Services, Mr Chris Chipolina said: “The Mental Health Service, as a whole, are extremely excited with the introduction of a Consultant Psychologist for in-patient services. This new, invaluable addition to our team will see the introduction of a number of new psychological interventions in a consistent and structured manner. These will include essential one- to-one and group psychological therapies being offered to our in-patients from the start of their admission.

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa welcomed Dr Barber’s arrival: “I would like to warmly welcome Dr Barber to the GHA family. I am certain she will be a great addition to the team. She brings a wealth of experience in psychology, having played key roles in the development of services with her previous employers. This appointment is further indication of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar’s commitment to continue to expand and improve our mental health services. I would like to sincerely thank the Mental Health Services teams for their hard work, diligence and expert advice, which has resulted in adding much-needed resiliency. Further to the CAMHS services commencing in January and first announced in July of this year, and the announcement today in relation to Dr Barber, I very much look forward to making additional statements in respect of planned measures to our Mental Health Services.