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Principal Clinical Psychologist/ Principal Psychological Therapist

Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Sutton, Surrey
£64,408 to £73,961 per annum inc. Outer HCAS
Closing date
2 Oct 2023

View more

Mental health, Psychologist
Band 8B
Contract Type
Full Time
The Health and Justice Services Directorate of CNWL NHS Foundation Trust is passionate about working with committed staff to provide an excellent service to those in prison, often a vulnerable and poorly served group.

We aim to deliver quality, patient-focused care and are recruiting to a new role a highly motivated, innovative & enthusiastic Senior Psychologist or Psychological Therapist to join our expanding Mental Health Teams in the five Surrey prisons. You should have a passion for working with people in custody, those who have experienced trauma, adversity and offending and with the staff teams and systems around them.

Psychologists and psychological therapists in H& J have excellent development opportunities, and an exciting career structure. High quality supervision and continuing professional development are integral to our approach and to our intent to support and retain an excellent team. Focused training which contributes to your own development and to our service need will be supported.

Previous applicants need not apply

Main duties of the job

Leadership of psychological services within integrated mental healthcare teams.

Strategic oversight and leadership experience - strong communication skills.

Provision of psychological assessment, intervention and treatment and of advice and consultation on psychological thinking and approaches to colleagues. Working with complexity & delivering compassionate care in the context of risk and safety planning.

Clinical supervision and professional management of qualified psychologists & therapists. Passion for supporting and developing others and able to provide containment and clinical development.

The post will be supervised by a Consultant Psychologist and nominally based at HMP Downview or HMP High Down. It will hold psychological leadership and supervision responsibility for 2 of the 5 prison sites, attending weekly and holding clinical caseloads there with travel to other sites for meetings & cover. Base sites to be determined dependant on clinical expertise and interest.

About us

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust offers its staff ongoing career progression through:
  • Minimum of monthly supervision
  • Annual personal development plans/appraisals
  • Access to exciting internal and external training opportunities.

Excellent progression through various career pathway opportunities such as but not limited to:
  • Preceptorship Programme
  • Support and guidance with Revalidation
  • Hidden Gem and annual award ceremonies

Excellent staff benefits, our benefit packages are amongst the best in London and include:
  • Health and wellbeing services
  • Season ticket loans
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Relocation package

The trust alsovalues its staff and you are entitled to become a member of MyTrustBenefits. MyTrustBenefits is an online portal for all CNWL staff, as well as their family and friends. It offers over 1400 discounts at hundreds of retailers nationwide. Save money on your weekly food shops, toiletries, cosmetics, cinema, meals out, holidays, travel and entertainment. You can also access free online courses on a variety of topics, professional and personal, ranging from business management, languages, law and teaching.

All of our sites in Surrey offer free use of the onsite leisure facilities and free parking for staff.

As an NHS Trust we strongly encourage and support vaccination as this remains the best way to protect yourself, your family, your colleagues and of course patients and service users when working on our healthcare settings.

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • To develop psychological pathways, assessment processes and treatment interventions across all levels of our trauma informed pathways.
  • To liaise with other therapists within the mental health team, in third sector partner organisations and with other counselling providers within the prison to ensure robust referral pathways and appropriate division of cases.
  • To provide specialist psychological assessments to those referred to services based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration of complex data from a variety of sources including psychological and neuropsychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct and indirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews with clients and others involved in the clients care.
  • To formulate and implement plans for the psychological treatment and/or management of a clients mental health and personality problems based upon an appropriate conceptual framework of the clients problems, and employing methods based upon evidence of efficacy.
  • To develop individual formulations and to lead team formulation planning applying theoretical models of the psychology of mental health, behavioural difficulties and offending, to observed behaviour, cognitive, emotional and interpersonal patterns.
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of psychological interventions for individuals and groups in the prison, employed individually and in synthesis, adjusting and refining psychological formulations drawing upon different explanatory models and maintaining a number of provisional hypotheses.
  • To evaluate and make decisions about treatment options taking into account both theoretical and therapeutic models and complex factors concerning historical and developmental processes that have shaped the individual.
  • To exercise autonomous professional responsibility for the assessment, treatment and discharge of clients whose problems are managed by psychologically based care plans.
  • To integrate specialist knowledge of complex mental health disorders within the psychological formulation.
  • To understand the role of physical treatments for complex mental health disorders, and to offer appropriate advice to the clients, carers and clinicians in the light of such understanding.
  • To liaise closely with other members of the multidisciplinary team, giving authoritative specialist advice on psychological aspects of care, contributing directly to formulation, diagnosis and treatment planning.
  • To contribute directly and indirectly to a psychologically based framework of understanding and care to the benefit of all clients of the service.
  • To undertake risk assessment and risk management for individual clients and to provide advice and training to other professions on psychological aspects of risk assessment and management.
  • To communicate in a skilled, persuasive and sensitive manner, information concerning the assessment formulation and treatment plans of clients, and to monitor progress during the course of their multidisciplinary care.
  • To develop networks and contacts to update the policy and practice of clinical psychology, particularly as applied to mentally disordered clients in prisons, to support professional and service development.
  • To contribute to the development and maintenance of the highest professional standards of practice, through active participation in internal and external CPD training and development programme, for self and staff you supervise.
  • To contribute to the development and articulation of best practice in psychology across the service, by continuing to develop the skills of a reflexive and reflective scientist practitioner, taking part in regular professional supervision and appraisal and maintaining an active engagement with current developments in the fields of clinical and forensic psychology and related disciplines.
  • To maintain the highest standards of clinical record keeping, including electronic data entry and recording, and report writing and the responsible exercise of professional self-governance, in accordance with professional codes of practice and Trust policies and procedures.
  • To maintain up to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and issues in relation to both the specific client group and mental health.
  • To ensure that all aspects of professional activity (e.g. communication with clients, relatives, colleagues as well as in the assessment, development/delivery of interventions) issues of diversity such as race, culture, identity, gender and sexuality are sensitively considered and incorporated to reflect individual differences appropriately.
  • To ensure that clients are appropriately consulted about relevant aspects of their care and are empowered to express their views in a responsive environment enabling such views to be assimilated / incorporated into continued service development and improvement.

** Please see attached job description for full details of responsibilities **

Person Specification

Education & Qualifications


  • oDoctoral level training in clinical, counselling or forensic psychology or equivalent, including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology, equivalent to that accredited by the BPS.
  • oHCPC Registered as a Practitioner Psychologist.
  • oOR....A recognised post graduate qualification in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (or equivalent).
  • oAccreditation with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP) (via having a recognised qualification in one of the core mental health professions e.g. nursing, psychology, medicine, social work, occupational therapy or evidence of having achieved the Knowledge Skills and Attitudes (KSA) route).
  • oOR....A recorded/registered qualification in counselling or psychotherapy and further post accreditation qualification in a nice recommended or evidence-based therapy (e.g. CBT EMDR).
  • oAccreditation with a Professional Standards Authority recognised Accreditation Body.
  • oEvidence of significant post-qualification specialist training, experience and developing expertise in a specialist area of clinical practice relevant to this role.
  • oCompletion of supervisor training course


  • oOther relevant CPD qualifications, pre- or post-training. Especially training in working with people with trauma, neurodiverse presentations, research methodology, staff training and/or other fields of applied psychology.

Previous Experience


  • oSubstantial assessed experience of working as a qualified psychologist, psychological or CBT therapist including at a highly specialist level or an alternative agreed by the Chief Psychologist
  • oExperience of specialist psychological assessment and treatment of clients across the full range of care settings, including outpatient, community, primary care and in patient settings
  • oExperience of working with a wide variety of client groups, across the whole life course presenting problems that reflect the full range of clinical severity including maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse
  • oExperience of teaching and training.
  • oExperience of representing psychology within the context of multi-disciplinary care
  • oExperience of working effectively in multidisciplinary settings.
  • oAdvanced knowledge, experience and expertise in at least one relevant specialist area of clinical practice gained through specialist training and supervised practice (e.g. psychotherapy, neuropsychology, risk assessment, clinical supervision).
  • oExperience of leading on projects of service design or improvement.
  • oExperience of leadership, management and supervision of trainees and qualified staff including those from other disciplines
  • oExperience of working together with service users to ensure that they are equal partners in service design, evaluation, research and training
  • oExperience of working within a multicultural framework


  • oAwareness of institutional dynamics
  • oResearch/publications on relevant issues
  • oExperience of working indirectly with staff groups
  • oExperience of working within secure environments and/or forensic mental health and of supporting and developing psychological services in such
  • oExpertise in delivering gender sensitive services
  • oExperience and expertise in in the specialist area of learning disability and/or neurodiversity.


Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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