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Principle Clinical Psychologist

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
£58,972 to £68,525 per annum pro rota
Closing date
2 Oct 2023

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Mental health, Psychologist
Band 8B
Full Time
**This is a 12 month post to cover maternity leave at 22.5 hours a week and we are open to requests for different working hours**

We are excited to recruit to the senior post of Band 8b Principal Clinical Psychologist to join us at The Darwin Centre for Young People. We are a trauma-informed 14 bed acute inpatient psychiatric unit for young people aged 13-18. The role is to work closely with Home Treatment Team to create a 'Psychology Hub' of skilled clinicians that can follow young people's treatment across both Tier 4 services.

The role is offered at 18.75 hours (5 sessions) at the Darwin Centre and 3.75 hours (1 session) for Home Treatment team each week.

As a senior psychologist, alongside fellow 8b clinical psychologists, you lead the Darwin psychology team in the implementation of high-quality care. The team consists of trainee psychologists, youth intensive psychological practitioners, and a research assistant.

Please call Dr Sally McMullen, Clinical Psychologist, or Georgie Holloway, Ward Manager, on 01223 534430 if you would like an opportunity to find out more about this post or, if possible, to arrange an informal visit.

Main duties of the job

  • To provide specialist psychological assessments of adolescents referred to the team 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, family members and others involved in the client's care.
  • To individually formulate and implement plans for the formal psychological treatments and/or management of a client's mental health or other complex psychological problems based on an appropriate conceptual framework adapting/utilising several psychological models and employing methods of proven efficacy.
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of psychological interventions for individual clients, families/carers, and via groups, adjusting and refining psychological formulations drawing on different explanatory models including developmental, cognitive, learning theory, biological, and neuropsychological, and maintaining a number of provisional hypotheses. Treatment interventions include systemic, CBT, DBT and mentalization-based approaches.
  • To provide highly specialist child neuropsychology assessments, advice and consultation to CAMHS and other agencies.

About us

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust is a health & social care organisation dedicated to providing high quality care with compassion to improve the health & wellbeing of the people we care for, as well as supporting & empowering them to lead a fulfilling life.Our clinical teams deliver many NHS services not only via inpatient and primary care setting but also with the community. These services include Children, Adult & Older Peoples mental & physical health, Forensic & Specialist mental health, Learning Disabilities, Primary Care & Liaison psychiatry, Substance misuse, Social care, Research & Development.To achieve our goal, we look to recruit high calibre candidates that share our vision & values. As an equal opportunities employer, we encourage applications from all sectors of the community, particularly from under-represented groups including disabled people & members of our ethnic minorities & LGBTQ+ communities.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Please refer to the attached job description and person specification for full details of responsibilities.
  • To provide highly specialist psychological advice, guidance and consultation to other professionals contributing to the clients formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • To evaluate and make decisions about treatment options, taking into account both theoretical and therapeutic models and highly complex factors concerning historical and developmental processes that have shaped the individual, family, carers or group.
  • To exercise autonomous professional responsibility for the assessment, treatment and discharge of clients, and manage and maintain a caseload in line with service guidelines.
  • To provide highly specialist psychological advice guidance and consultation to other professionals contributing directly to clients formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • To contribute directly and indirectly to a psychologically based framework of understanding and care to the benefit of all clients of the service, across all settings and agencies serving the client group.
  • To develop and sustain a strong therapeutic model of care for the unit.
  • To communicate, in a highly skilled and sensitive manner, information concerning the assessment, formulation and treatment plans of young people under their care.
  • To produce reports on clients, in a timely manner, that convey the key findings of psychological assessment and formulation and treatment outcome in a way that does justice to the complexity of the problems described, but that are understandable to the recipients of the reports, including clients and referrers.
  • To regularly deal with family breakdown, serious mental illness and child abuse
  • To work together with the senior leadership team and MDT to develop and implement a therapeutic model of care at The Darwin Centre.
  • To work closely with Home Treatment Team to create a Psychology Hub of skilled clinicians that can follow young peoples treatment across both Tier 4 services.
  • To lead a highly skilled clinical psychology service to young people and families at the Darwin Centre, across all areas of care providing highly specialist psychological assessment and therapy from a variety of models. Young People present with complex mental health challenges including complex trauma, neurodevelopmental difficulties and looked after children.
  • Offer advice and consultation on young peoples psychological care to non-psychologist colleagues and to other, non-professional carers.
  • To utilise research skills for audit, policy and service development and research within the area served by the team/service.
  • Supervision of qualified, trainee and assistant psychologists.
  • The post does not have any budgetary responsibilities,
  • The work is primarily based at the Darwin Centre and involves exposure to high levels of distress in teenage patients, including aggressive and self-harm behaviour.
  • Some work will be based in the Home Treatment Team with young people within their own home. Risk of exposure to physical and verbal aggression.
  • Exposure to high levels of distress in others on a daily basis.

Person Specification



  • Postgraduate doctoral level training (or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996) psychologist accredited by the BPS, including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, two or more distinct therapies and lifespan development psychology.
  • Undertaken training in the supervision of trainee clinical psychologists.
  • Registered with the HCPC as a practitioner psychologist.


  • Chartered clinical or counselling psychologist.
  • Undertaken post-doctoral training in one or more relevant additional specialised area of psychological practice.
  • Training in psychometrics relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders and learning disability such as the ADOS, ADI and Vineland.
  • Training in therapies such as such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).



  • Experience of specialist psychological assessment, formulation and treatment of clients across the full range of care settings, including outpatient, community, primary care and in-patient settings.
  • Experience of exercising full clinical responsibility for clients' psychological care and treatment, both as a professionally qualified care coordinator and also within the context of a multidisciplinary care plan.
  • Demonstrates further specialist training / experience through having received a minimum of 50 hours clinical supervision working as a highly specialised psychologist.
  • Experience 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.
  • Experience of the application of clinical psychology in different contexts including CAMHS or Children's Services.
  • Experience of working with young people who have complex and serious mental health problems.


  • Experience of representing psychology within the context of multi-disciplinary care.
  • Experience of teaching, training and/or supervision.
  • Experience of working within a multicultural framework.
  • Experience working with children and adolescents with eating disorders and/or trauma.
  • Experience of working on an inpatient unit.

Skills & Abilities


  • Able to demonstrate commitment to high quality care and service provision.
  • Excellent skills of assessment, formulation, evaluation and treatment, using complex methods frequently requiring sustained and intense concentration. This requires the use of highly developed analytical and judgement skills.
  • Evaluation and audit skills.
  • Skills in individual, group work and family work and in programme planning.
  • Well-developed skills in the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, complex, highly technical and/or clinically sensitive information, including contentious and highly distressing information, to clients, their families, carers and other professional colleagues both within and outside the NHS.
  • Good understanding of other professionals' theoretical perspectives of this client group.
  • Ability to identify and employ mechanisms of clinical governance, including regular supervision, to support and maintain clinical practice in the face of regular exposure to highly emotive material and challenging behaviour.
  • Highly developed knowledge of lifespan developmental psychology and models of psychopathology and learning relevant to children and young people.
  • Must be capable of being individually accountable for own clinical interventions and to take on responsibility for working with even the most complex clients.
  • Skills in working with complex systems and networks around a young person.


  • Highly specialist skills for offering live supervision of multi-disciplinary colleagues.
  • Ability to teach and train others, using a variety of complex multi-media materials suitable for presentations in public, professional and academic settings.

Knowledge & Understanding


  • Highly developed knowledge of lifespan developmental psychology relevant to clients in CAMHS.
  • Good knowledge of psychological evidence-based interventions applicable to referred clients.
  • Knowledge of legislation in relation to the client group and its implications for both clinical practice and professional management in relation to the client group.
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research methodology, research design and complex, multivariate data analysis as practiced within the clinical fields of psychology.


  • High level of knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult to treat groups (e.g. pe
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