Meet trainee health psychologist Giulia Spaltro  

Giulia Spaltro, trainee health psychologist with Argyll and Bute HSCP

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NHS Highland has appointed its first trainee health psychologist in Argyll and Bute.

Health psychology aims to understand patient’s changing thoughts, emotions and behaviour related to health, illness and healthcare.

Part of Giulia’s role is working with the dietetics team to introduce health psychology and patient support to weight management services. Behaviour change takes into account a patient’s physical health and mental health to get a clearer idea of their overall health and social context before tailoring treatment to meet their needs.

Health psychologists work in a variety of settings, for example, working directly with patients or groups, supporting other staff doing so, or developing remote ways of working, such as online support and awareness campaigns.

Giulia said: ‘I’m really enjoying my first few months in my new role, working closely with the dietetics team to tailor patient support.

‘It’s a very exciting opportunity, to develop on a professional and personal level. I’m also really enjoying being based in the beautiful Argyll and Bute and I’ve got lots of trips planned in my spare time to get to know the area better.’

Prior to this role Giulia was an assistant psychologist at The Donaldson Trust in Edinburgh. She also worked in social care for some time, supporting young adults with learning disabilities within her local community.

Jennifer Dryden,  health improvement lead at Argyll and Bute HSCP, said: ‘I’m very happy to welcome Giulia to our team. It’s excellent to have our first ever trainee health psychologist based at Argyll and Bute HSCP. She brings with her great experience and enthusiasm, she will be an excellent asset to the teams.’

Giulia’s role is funded by NHS Education for Scotland and Argyll & Bute HSCP for two years. She will work jointly between the public health and dietetics teams, and her work will focus mainly on weight management and Type 2 Diabetes management and prevention.