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Principal Clinical/Counselling Psychologist

Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
£58,079 to £67,177 a year Includes fringe HCAS
Closing date
1 Jun 2023

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Job summary

Our older peoples community mental health services provide specialist care to older people with mental health problems and/or dementia, across Surrey and North East Hampshire. Across the Surrey Downs and East Surrey area of our Trust where this post is based, we have two community teams, each with Psychologists working as part of the MDT.

We are seeking an experienced, enthusiastic and innovative Principal Clinical or Counselling Psychologist to provide strong clinical leadership to our psychologists and to work alongside other senior operational and clinical leads to maintain a culture of compassionate, person-centred care, where staff feel appreciated and valued.


With a good grasp of current literature, you will ensure our team of qualified Clinical Psychologists and Assistant Psychologists are providing evidence-based, high quality care. As a compassionate leader, you will develop strategies around recruitment and retention to ensure the team feel engaged, valued, and supported to develop in their roles.

Across all community teams there is a strong MDT approach, where psychology is seen as a valuable resource. You will be working collaboratively with multi-disciplinary teams and the senior leadership team where you will be expected to develop the role of psychology within the service, as well as play a key role in the shaping of culture and processes in our teams.

Main duties of the job

Your role will involve delivering high quality, evidence-based psychological assessments, and interventions to older people with mental health and/or dementia. Your clinical input will primarily be within the Mid CMHTOP, but we would require some flexibility to deliver these interventions in the appropriate team as need arises.

As a senior psychologist, you will contribute to the leadership and development of the wider OPMH Psychology department, an active group of 35 qualified Clinical Psychologists, Neuropsychologists and Assistant Psychologists.

The service has strong links with the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program at the University of Surrey, where we regularly provide placements and contribute to teaching on the program. You will be well supported within the psychology team, where continuing professional development and staff support are highly valued.

About us

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is the leading provider of health and social care services for people of all ages with mental ill-health and learning disabilities in Surrey and North East Hampshire. We also provide social care services for people with a learning disability in Croydon and ASD and ADHD assessment services in Hampshire.

We actively seek to engage people who use our services and our communities in improving the mental wellbeing of the local population. We work closely with other NHS and voluntary sector organisations who provide services and support people who use services and carers.

Surrey is a beautiful county lying just 30 minutes away from Central London and from the South Coast.

Our historic market towns and bustling districts are enveloped in wonderful countryside, and our excellent road and rail networks bring the rest of the country within easy reach.

For international travel, both Gatwick and Heathrow airports are nearby.

Please note that we reserve the right to close posts as soon as sufficient applications are received.

Working from home contracts do not attract high cost area payments.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Job description

Job responsibilities

My job makes better lives by promoting health and independence for people by providing clinical leadership, supervision and guidance to psychologists and MDT colleagues, and delivering psychology assessments, interventions and consultation. This will be undertaken within an accessible, non-stigmatising service that contributes to the specialist mental health care of people using the service.

Job Overview

This role will be responsible for providing clinical leadership to the older peoples psychology service across the Surrey Downs and East Surrey Older Peoples community mental health teams. The post holder will ensure that standards of service provision are set, monitored and maintained, relevant clinical supervision is provided to staff and that people who use the service, and their carers, are involved in decisions about their care and service development/delivery. This role will involve working closely with operation and clinical leads to ensure our services are meeting local need and are achieving ambitions set out in relevant local and national guidelines.

The clinical base will be in the Surrey Downs CMHTOP - Epsom, though regular travel across the county will be required. The post holder will be expected to work flexibly within services, as need arises.

Suitable for someone who is passionate about ensuring a high quality, holistic approach to the care and support provided to older people with mental health problems and/or dementia using our community services.

Key Responsibilities


To plan and deliver a highly specialist psychology service and to oversee its clinical governance, ensuring that the practice of all Psychologists is evidence-based and adheres to the relevant national guidelines/best practice.

To be responsible for the clinical leadership and continued development of psychologists within community services.

To lead in the supervision and contribute to Individual Performance Review/Appraisal of all psychology staff.

To ensure that the healthcare needs of people using the service are communicated to service commissioners and providers. To positively contribute to team, service and divisional developments in relation to psychology practice. To advocate and represent the service.

To be responsible for the development and implementation of appropriate policies, protocols and care pathways.

Contribute to appropriate staff recruitment and contribute to the wider strategic plans regarding psychology recruitment.

To ensure that the needs of people with protected characteristics are addressed within local services and future developments.

To support services in developing and embedding psychologically informed practices.


To demonstrate highly specialist expertise and specialist psychological skills such as specialist psychological assessments, formulation, therapeutic interventions and consultation to support people with specific needs e.g. behaviours that challenge, dementia, mental health issues, psychological and emotional difficulties.

To actively involve people and/or their carers in developing and agreeing their own care plan, to act as an advocate and ensure that there is proper regard for their dignity, choice, self-esteem, racial, cultural, sexual and religious needs and preferences.

To undertake comprehensive risk assessments and develop effective risk management plans.

To work in partnership with acute and primary care services and other healthcare providers.

Establishing and maintaining effective relationships with colleagues, other agencies, people who use services and their families.


To be professionally and legally responsible and accountable for all aspects of clinical work and care. To maintain high standards of care in all areas of practice in accordance with the HCPC Code of Conduct, professional guidelines and Trust Policies and Procedures. To act within the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act (2005).

To be aware of and implement Safeguarding Adult and Child Protection Policies, Procedures and legislation. To carry out professional responsibilities under the Mental Health Act 1983 and other relevant legislation.

To act as practice assessor/supervisor/teacher in teaching, facilitating and supporting pre-registration students and junior personnel and to participate in the audit of educational placements. To participate in new staff induction.

To research national best practice and enable services to benchmark practice against nationally recognised standards

To participate in developing and conducting clinical audit and research, maintaining current knowledge of research findings and development within the field.

To lead in quality assurance activities as required.

To develop, implement and monitor interventions driven by government initiatives.

Develop and provide a range of specialist teaching/training packages which can be delivered to a range of multi-disciplinary audiences.

Person Specification



  • Doctorate in Clinical or Counselling Psychology qualification or equivalent
  • Completion of an appropriate clinical supervision course to enable supervision of trainees


  • Additional academic clinical qualification relevant to area of work
  • Additional leadership/management study



  • Extensive post qualification clinical experience in relevant clinical setting, including conducting neuropsychological assessments for dementia
  • Experience of leading in clinical practice, service development or project work.
  • Experience of supervising trainees, assistant psychologists, qualified clinical/counselling psychologists and others providing psychological therapies
  • Experience of implementing change following audit and service evaluation
  • Demonstrable experience of developing complex formulations drawing on multiple psychological models
  • Experience of advising other professionals on complex psychological issues and risk

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