Psychologist Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
£41,659 to £47,672 a year pro rata
Closing date
3 Jul 2023
This is an exciting opportunity to join our highly regarded award-winning Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS) which operates over the whole of Sussex.The Specialist Perinatal Mental Service (SPMHS) which sits within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust now requires a Psychologist in Perinatal Mental Health. This is a part-time post for 30 hours a week and is open to clinical and counselling psychologists.Days of the week are negotiable but are likely to include Tuesdays and Thursdays.The post holder will be based in North West Sussex and will be expected to travel across Sussex. The post holder will report to the Senior Clinical Psychologist within their team. Covid-19 full vaccination may be a condition of employment for this role, unless an exemption applies. The successful applicant may have contact with vulnerable service users and we will therefore seek proof of being fully vaccinated during the recruitment process.

Main duties of the job

The post holder will have a training in Clinical Psychology and will be responsible for delivering NICE concordant perinatal psychological therapies to women, their babies and their families.The Psychologist in the specialist community perinatal mental health service will work with the main community service treatment pathway and will contribute to the bereavement pathway (neonatal loss and still birth) once it is set up.Within the larger community service, the post holder will be responsible for typical and atypical perinatal mental health presentations, alongside formulation of parent-infant mental health. The post holder will need to have an up to date knowledge of adult and infant safeguarding practices and thresholds. A working knowledge of DBT is desirable. The post holder will be responsible for contributing to complex case discussions and staff training.Within the Bereavement Pathway, the post holder will be responsible for providing a highly responsive individualised therapy and support for women and their families who have experienced the death of a baby from 24 weeks gestation to one month after birth. A knowledge of bereavement and trauma informed interventions for individuals, couples and family would be desirable.The post holder will be given regular supervision and close support from highly skilled professionals within the service as well as opportunities for professional development.

About us

The Long-Term Plan for Mental Health sets out national and local ambitions to improve care for people in pregnancy through the first stages of the babies' life who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, mental health difficulties.One in five women experience post or ante natal depression, anxiety or in some cases psychosis, during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth.Perinatal community mental health services provide specialist care for women (and their babies) with moderate to severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or severe depression. The long-term benefits of this kind of specialist care offers early help and support to parents and babies to help with a range of perinatal issues including parent infant bonding.Bereavement Pathway (BP) are one of the key 'flexible deliverables' in the LTP and each iteration is designed to meet local needs and wider maternal health pathways, while at the same time, forming a continuity of care the national design of BP cohorts. Our BP will be focussed on providing high calibre individualised care to women and their families who have experienced neonatal loss or still birth, defined as loss at 24 weeks.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Our four multidisciplinary teams include Psychiatrists, Administrators, Nurses, Clinical Psychologists, Early Years workers, and some specialist Midwives and Health Visitors who are all trained in adult and infant mental health. The Service has extremely good working partnerships with a wide range of primary and secondary care professionals, including Midwives, Health Visitors, Social Care, CAMHS and Adult Mental Health Services across Sussex and is a key member of the South East Coast Strategic Network.You will join a multi-disciplinary service, comprising four separate teams, providing specialist care for women with moderate to serious mental health crisis such as perinatal psychosis, bipolar disorder or severe uni-polar depression whilst they are pregnant or in the first 12 months after birth. This is a rare opportunity to provide significant clinical consultation and contribute to the skilful delivery of psychology and psychological therapy (PPT) interventions to the new Bereavement Pathway. These are likely to be individual, couple and family-based therapies for trauma and loss.Within the main service you will offer the four core PPT offers birth trauma, maternal OCD, post MBU interventions and parent infant psychotherapy (PIP). Our PPT group also offers DBT and Circle of Security, and CFT which is under development. You will also join an active perinatal research and audit group who have already had two publications accepted.Experience of working with trauma will be highly desirable.Please see job description for outlines of the main duties and responsibilities of this post, and the person specification which lists the requirements necessary to perform the job. Candidates will be assessed according to the extent to which they meet the specification.

Person Specification



  • Post-graduate doctoral level training in applied psychology [or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996 or outside the UK], including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology as approved by the HPC.
  • Professionally registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Professions Council (HPC)

Knowledge & Experience


  • Experience of specialist psychological working (assessment, formulation and treatment) with a wide variety of client groups, across the whole life course and presenting with the full range of clinical severity across the full range of care settings including outpatient, community, primary care, inpatient and residential care settings, maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse.
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research design and methodology, including complex multivariate data analysis as practiced within the field of applied psychology.
  • High level of knowledge and skills in neuropsychology and evidence of further practice and/or training since qualification.
  • Experience of the application of applied psychology in different cultural contexts and experience of working within a multicultural framework.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development as required by the HPC.

Disclosure and Barring Service Check

This post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions Order) 1975 and as such it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as CRB) to check for any previous criminal convictions.

UK Registration

Applicants must have current UK professional registration. For further information please see NHS Careers website (opens in a new window).

Employer details

Employer name

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


New Park House

North Street


RH12 1RJ

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