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Lead Psychologist for Neurodevelopmental Services

South West London & St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust
£78,163 to £88,884 per annum inclusive of inner London HCAs
Closing date
2 Oct 2023

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South West London and St George's Mental Health (SWLSTG) NHS Trust is provides mental health services to the population of South West London, specifically the five boroughs of Richmond, Kingston, Wandsworth, Merton, and Sutton. The Trust also provides a range of specialist and highly specialist services to a wider regional and national catchment area (e.g., OCD/BDD, Trauma, Forensic, and Deaf National Services). The Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDD) pathway within the Trust's Specialist Service Line provides services to people with learning disabilities and mental health problems (MHLD) and people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are currently MHLD services in three, and ASD services in two, of the five boroughs listed above. The Trust's headquarters and senior leads' offices were in December 2022 moved to brand new purpose-built facilities (Trinity Building) at Springfield Hospital in Wandsworth, South West London.

We are looking for a highly experienced and motivated clinical psychologist to lead the psychology and psychotherapy (P& P) staff working across the NDD pathway. Suitable candidates will have deep expertise and experience in either of two clinical areas, which are (1) assessment and treatment of adult patients with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties using evidence-based assessment tools and psychological interventions, or (2) assessment and support for patients with ASD. For the clinical part of their role, the successful candidate will be based in one of the learning disability or ASD community teams.

Main duties of the job

The postholder will be providing monthly professional supervision to one 8b and three 8a psychologists, and they may also provide clinical consultation and supervision to other clinical colleagues working across the NDD pathway. The successful candidate will lead on psychology recruitment for NDD and will be responsible for the development of a robust continuing professional development (CPD) programme for their P& P staff. In collaboration with the Head of P& P for Trust Specialist Services and the Clinical Manager for NDD, the postholder will work to ensure excellent governance of psychological assessments and therapies provided by the P& P staff under their remit, and to support other staff working across the pathway who provide psychologically-based care and treatments. Finally, the postholder will be contributing to wider P& P / NDD initiatives and improvement projects across the Trust on an on-going basis.

About us

We are Proud to Belong at South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.

We have expert services, a rich history and a clear commitment to providing the best quality care for those with mental ill-health. The Care Quality Commission already rates our services as 'good' - we aspire to be 'outstanding'.

This is a great time to join us. We are transforming the way we care for our communities to support our mission of Making Life Better Together. We have built two brand new mental health facilities at Springfield University Hospital, which are amongst the best in the world. More developments are planned across our sites and services.

We are inclusive and diverse and strive to be actively anti racist. We want to attract people from all backgrounds and experiences to enrich the work we do together. We are proud to co-produce and involve our local communities in all that we do.

We offer flexible working, career development and a variety ofbenefits to enable a positive, welcoming environment in which our people and their careers can thrive.

Come and join our inclusive teams and help our patients on their recovery journey.

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • To work within the context of the pathways Mental Health and Learning Disabilities (MHLD) or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Services, providing highly developed specialist psychological assessments of clients 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 clients care.
  • To formulate plans for the formal psychological treatment and/or management of a clients mental health problems and / or severe challenging behaviour based upon an appropriate conceptual framework of the clients problems, and employing methods based upon evidence of efficacy, across the full range of care settings.
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of highly specialist psychological interventions for individuals, carers, families and groups, within and across teams employed individually and in synthesis, adjusting and refining psychological formulations drawing upon different explanatory models and maintaining a number of provisional hypotheses.
  • To make highly skilled evaluations and 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 or group.
  • To exercise full responsibility and autonomy for the treatment of and discharge of clients whose problems are managed as a psychologically based standard care plan, ensuring appropriate assessment, formulation and interventions, communicating with the referral agent and others involved with the care on a regular basis.
  • To provide expertise and specialist psychological advice, guidance and consultation to other professionals contributing directly to clients formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • To ensure that all members of the clinical team have access to a psychologically-based framework for the understanding and care of clients of the service, through the provision of advice and consultation and the dissemination of psychological knowledge, research and theory.
  • To undertake risk assessment and risk management for relevant individual clients and to provide both general and specialist advice for psychologists and other professionals on psychological aspects of risk assessment and management.
  • To act as care co-ordinator, where appropriate, ensuring the provision of a care package appropriate for the clients needs, co-ordinating the work of others involved with care, arranging clients care reviews as required and communicating effectively with the client, his/her family and all others involved in care and to monitor progress during the course of multi-disciplinary interventions.
  • To communicate in a highly skilled and sensitive manner, information concerning the assessment, formulation and treatment plans of clients under their care and to monitor and evaluate progress during the course of both uni- and multi-disciplinary care.

  • Person Specification

    Training and Qualifications


    • Post-graduate doctoral-level training in clinical psychology (or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996) as accredited by the BPS, including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology.


    • Post-doctoral training in one or more additional specialised areas of psychological practice.



    • Assessed experience of working as a qualified clinical psychologist for a minimum of six years, including at least 2 years post qualification experience within the designated specialty where the post is located.
    • Experience of working 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, in-patient and residential care settings 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 exercising full clinical responsibility for clients' psychological care and treatment, both as a professionally qualified care co-ordinator and also within the context of a multi-disciplinary care plan.
    • Experience of teaching, training and/or professional and clinical supervision in the area of learning disabilities.


    • Experience of professional management of qualified and pre-qualified clinical psychologists
    • Experience of multi-professional management of teams or services within the designated specialty
    • Experience of representing the profession in local policy fora
    • Experience of the application of psychology in different cultural contexts.

    Knowledge & Skills


    • Doctoral level knowledge of clinical psychology including highly developed knowledge of lifespan developmental psychology, models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, and two or more distinct psychological therapies
    • A high-level ability to communicate effectively at both a written and oral level complex, highly technical and clinically sensitive information to clients, their families, carers and a wide range of lay and professional persons within and outside the NHS.
    • Highly developed knowledge of neuropsychological theory, and skills in neuropsychology assessments and interventions for older people with mental health problems and/or dementia.
    • Doctoral level knowledge of research design and methodology, including complex multivariate data analysis as practiced within the field of clinical psychology
    • Knowledge of legislation and its implications for both clinical practice and professional management in relation to the client group and mental health
    • Skills in the use of complex methods of psychological assessment intervention and management frequently requiring sustained and intense concentration
    • Formal training in supervision of other psychologists.


    • Highly developed knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult to treat groups (e.g. personality disorder dual diagnoses, people with additional disabilities and severely challenging behaviours etc)
    • Highly developed knowledge of the theory and practice of highly specialised psychological therapies

    Employer details

    Employer name

    South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust


    Springfield University Hospital

    15 Springfield Drive


    SW17 0YF

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