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Consultant Clinical Psychologist Oncology/ Palliative Care

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
Wednesbury, Walsall
£70,417 to £81,138 per annum, pro rata
Closing date
1 Dec 2023

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Mental health, Psychologist
Band 8C
Contract Type
Part Time
We are pleased to offer this exciting and challenging opportunity to join Walsall Cancer Services. The role will involve leading the Psychology Service in Oncology and Palliative Care. The post holder will plan, co-ordinate and deliver psychological services to individuals with cancer and others with palliative conditions through to the end of life. The service is integral across the cancer pathway from diagnosis with acute oncology teams, acute cancer CNS's, to palliative and end of life care services both in the hospital and the community. The post holder will provide consultancy, clinical supervision, teaching and training and research skills.

The Psychology Service in Oncology and Palliative care is well established and has been widely developed. The post holder will continue to build on this work and lead the service with future developments, encompassing and implementing national and regional guidance. Emphasis will be on timely and equitable provision of psychological care, integrated psychosocial support across the acute and community pathway and psychosocial education and support for healthcare professionals. Psychology has harnessed and fostered good working relationships within the service.

You will be joining the Clinical Health Psychology Service, consisting of a friendly group of psychologists working in various areas of physical health in the trust.

Main duties of the job

To work in collaboration with the Head of the Clinical Health Psychology Service and Lead Cancer Nurse regarding the strategic development of psychology provision in the cancer pathway across acute and community settings. To be responsible for the operational management of the psychological service provision to oncology and end of life care for patients with cancer and other palliative conditions as well as their families both at the Manor Hospital and in the community.

The post holder will be responsible for co-ordinating and providing direct clinical service provision to oncology and end of life care patients across the acute and community settings, both in group and individual settings. To clinically supervise the psychological work of less experienced therapists and other health professionals. They will act in a consultancy capacity with regards to the psychological aspects of cancer to other professional colleagues. They will carry out teaching and training. To be responsible for service development, in consultation with the Head of Clinical Health Psychology, to ensure that the service can meet the needs of clients with Long Term Conditions, at the end of their lives. They will also lead on promoting equality and valuing diversity by ensuring that the service is equitable in meeting the needs of disadvantaged groups including Black and Minority Ethnic groups.

About us

Walsall lies nine miles north of Birmingham and on the edge of South Staffordshire. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust provides local general hospital and community services to around 270,000 people in the surrounding area. In recent years, the Trust has been working more closely with the neighbouring Royal Wolverhampton Trust to develop services across both areas. The Clinical Health Psychology Service lies in the Community Division and adult community services were rated as 'Good' by the Care Quality Commission in 2019.

Walsall is fortunate to have a purpose built, Palliative Care Centre with a facility for a number of community palliative care services as well as an in-patient hospice unit, providing high quality care for local people.

The Clinical Health Psychology Service works in various areas of physical health, including stroke, community neurological rehabilitation, pain management, sexual health and Long Covid. The post holder will work alongside the existing Counselling Psychologist in Oncology and Palliative Care.

Job description

Job responsibilities

1. Clinical

1.1.Provide a highly specialist clinical psychology service to patients and their families/carers at any stage of cancer or palliative/end of life care including diagnosis, recurrence, or advanced stage of the illness, on an out-patient, in-patient basis or through home visits as required.

1.2 Provide highly developed specialist psychological assessments based on the interpretation and integration of complex data from a variety of sources including psychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, structured observations and semi structured interviews with clients, family members and members of the MDT involved in the clients care.

1.3 Develop trusting and empathic relationships with patients and families/carers and be able to communicate highly emotive information in a highly skilled manner, with clarity and sensitivity.

1.4 Formulate plans for formal psychological treatment or management of a clients psychological needs based on a highly specialist assessment and taking into account relevant information from team members and other organisations.

1.5 Be responsible for implementing a range of highly specialist psychological interventions for individuals diagnosed with cancer as well as carers and their families. Review formulations and adjust interventions accordingly to accommodate additional information.

1.6 Employ psychological practices based on evidence of efficacy where evidence is available.

1.7 To liaise and work in an integrated manner with multidisciplinary teams, providing highly specialist psychological guidance on matters relating to patient care and the management of complex psychological and social difficulties, including risk reducing assessments for breast cancer patients.

1.8 Provide risk assessment and management for relevant clients and provide specialist advice to multi-disciplinary team members and other professionals on the psychological aspects of risk assessment and management.

1.9 Responsible for prioritising work activities according to service and patients needs and resources as well as managing the waiting list for Oncology/ Palliative and end of life care referrals.

1.10 To provide consultancy as appropriate, to staff within a variety of settings, including the NHS, Social Services, the Voluntary Sector and carers groups, on matters relating to patient care and in particular the management of complex psychological difficulties, and mental health needs.

1.11 Liaise and work collaboratively with other psychologists in cancer services in the region e.g. West Midlands Cancer Alliance.

2. Management, Policy and Service Development

2.1Work collaboratively within the NHS and multi-agency groups to advance good working relationships with local health, social care and palliative care centre staff to ensure integration of initiatives and services.

2.2 In collaboration with the Head of the Clinical Health Psychology Service, to develop the service offered by psychologists within the oncology and palliative care services provided locally.

2.3 Be responsible for service development involving project bids and business plans including costings, in conjunction with the head of service.

2.4 Ensure that new local and national guidance on psychological care in the field of oncology and palliative care is interpreted and implemented by service managers and teams.

2.5 To ensure that service developments agreed by the West Midlands Cancer Alliance are implemented across all psychology areas within cancer and palliative/end of life care taking into account local conditions.

2.6 To represent the Psychology Service on relevant Trust decision-making bodies, and provide highly specialist psychological consultancy to the Trust on Palliative and End of Life care strategies as appropriate.

2.7 Be responsible for developing the service and associated policies and procedures to cater for the psychological needs of palliative care patients with a range of Long Term Conditions.

2.8 Ensure an equitable and accessible psychological service exists for the local population, particularly for disadvantaged groups including BME populations.

2.9 Responsible for maintaining satisfactory patient records and records of service operation in accordance with agreed trust and psychology service protocols, regularly auditing data and ensuring security of confidential data.

2.10 To be accountable to the head of Clinical Health Psychology for clinical governance e.g. issues of quality, clinical effectiveness and clinical risk.

2.11 Participate in regular professional supervision and appraisals.

3. Supervision, teaching and training

3.1 Provide leadership and direction on psychological issues to Clinical Nurse Specialists, Macmillan Nurses, District Nurses and other Allied Health Professionals.

3.2 Ensure appropriate systems of clinical supervision for qualified and unqualified psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors working in Oncology and Palliative Care.

3.3 Provide highly specialist clinical supervision for Clinical/Counselling Psychologists and Assistant Psychologists in the psychology service as well as Clinical Nurse Specialists, Macmillan nurses and other Allied Health Professionals where appropriate, thereby meeting the requirements for Level 2 practitioners as recommended by Pan Birmingham Guidance.

3.4 Organise and allocate clinical placements in Oncology / Palliative Care for trainee Clinical and Counselling psychologists ensuring trainees acquire the necessary skills, competencies and experience to contribute effectively to good psychological health care and to contribute to the assessment and evaluation of such competencies.

3.5 Provide support to consultants, volunteers, palliative care centre staff and other staff working in challenging circumstances to manage the emotional demands of their clinical roles where appropriate.

3.6 Be responsible for delivering highly specialist advice and training in the psychological aspects of care to staff working with patients and their families with cancer or near the end of their lives to empower and enable them to achieve the highest standards of psychosocial care in accordance with NICE Guidance. This includes the development of communication skills training to Levels 2/3/4 appropriate to the service need, and skill level of the staff.

3.7 Contribute to training on Advance Care Planning.

3.8 Undertake regular clinical supervision in line with good practice principles.

4. Research and Development

4.1 Initiate project management and provide highly specialist consultancy including complex audit and service evaluation, with colleagues within and across the service to help develop and improve services to clients and their families.

4.2 Provide clinical supervision for doctoral level psychological research for trainees, as well as research of assistants and other health professionals.

4.3 Disseminate results of research, audit and service evaluation through presentations at case discussions, workshops and conferences and/or through publications.

5. Information Technology

5.1 To input statistical data in line with the policies of Walsall Healthcare and the Clinical Health Psychology Service.

5.2 To retrieve data and use for the purpose of audit and translating the data to meaningful information to disseminate among team members in oncology and palliative care services.

5.3 Use information technology systems to support formal and informal research activities: developing databases, collecting, collating and entering data and statistical analysis.

6. Professional Leadership and Management

6.1 To maintain CPD appropriate to the post-holders level of development and the specialty, through reading, personal research and attendance at appropriate training courses. This will be monitored through the appraisal process, and through a professional portfolio and log, in line with HCPC requirements.

6.2 Seek advice and support from the Consultant Clinical Health Psychologist and senior colleagues on complex professional matters as required and participate in reflective practice systems.

6.3 Interpret and implement policies of Walsall Healthcare and the Psychology Service on administrative and disciplinary matters. To be accountable for ones own professional actions in the light of the professional code of practice laid down by the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology.

6.4 Participate in the Clinical Health Psychology Service by contributing to service meetings and developments in line with agreed service priorities and professional and government guidelines.

6.5 To attend service meetings and contribute to clinical seminar and governance meetings.

6.6 To contribute to the recruitment of new staff to the Oncology/ Palliative Care Service.

6.7 Manage psychology staff of the Oncology/ Palliative Care Service in agreement with the head of the psychology service, using appropriate Trust policies relating to absence and performance.

7. Professional Standards

7.1 To take autonomous professional responsibility and accountability for own actions, ensuring appropriate support and extra supervision is sought when required.

7.2 To participate fully in the clinical governance processes of the Psychology service and in the staff professional development review process.

7.3 To maintain working practices, including appropriate administrative records and statistical data, according to the policies of Walsall Healthcare and the Psychology Service.

7.4 Take appropriate care of trust equipment and resources used in the course of work.

7.5 To maintain and adhere to the code of ethics laid down by the British Psychological Society and the HCPC.

Person Specification



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