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Clinical / Forensic Psychologist

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
Negotiable Band 7 / 8a depending on experience
Closing date
2 Jul 2022

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Band 7
Contract Type
Full Time
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The post holder will contribute to the systematic provision of highly specialised psychological services to prisoners within the Beacon. Applicants should have doctoral level training in clinical psychology or equivalent or will be a qualified chartered forensic psychologist. You should have considerable experience of working with individuals with complex clinical and risk presentations including within institutional settings and as part of a multi-disciplinary team. This should include work with clients whose needs may meet criteria for a diagnosis of personality disorder and who may find it difficult to engage with services. Experience of working in complex service and organisational settings is required alongside an ability to constructively manage the personal, professional and ethical opportunities and challenges such work can involve.

The post-holder will be joining a dedicated team of clinical and prison officer staff from a range of backgrounds and experiences. Team members have high levels of skill, passion, enthusiasm (and humour!) and are committed to ensuring the on-going successful development of the service and the opportunities it provides for our population.

The service has a proven track record and is committed to supporting team members to maintain CPD activity and attend post graduate training where there is an identified service need. Examples of this have included MBT, CAT, EMDR, KUF, Schema Therapy as well as specific leadership training etc.

Main duties of the job

To apply and maintain those skills acquired through further specialist training and experience to monitor and ensure the systematic provision of highly specialised psychological services to offenders within HMP Garth.

To supervise and support the highly specialised psychological assessment and therapeutic input provided by other psychologists and other clinical members of the team who provide psychologically based care and treatment.

To work autonomously within professional guidelines and exercise responsibility for the systematic governance of psychological practice within Psychological Services and delegated management responsibilities where appropriate.

To utilise research skills for audit, policy and service development and research.

Newly qualified applicants will be appointed to Band 7 with a guaranteed offer of interview 12 months later where they will be interviewed against the 8a job description. Those with suitable qualification, knowledge, skills and experience will be appointed directly to the 8a position.

About us

Mersey Care is one of the largest trusts providing physical health and mental health services in the North West, serving more than 11 million people.

We offer specialist inpatient and community services that support physical and mental health and specialist inpatient mental health, learning disability, addiction and brain injury services. Mersey Care is one of only three trusts in the UK that offer high secure mental health facilities.

At the heart of all we do is our commitment to 'perfect care' - care that is safe, effective, positively experienced, timely, equitable and efficient. We support our staff to do the best job they can and work alongside service users, their families, and carers to design and develop future services together. We're currently delivering a programme of organisational and service transformation to significantly improve the quality of the services we provide and safely reduce cost as we do so.

Job description Job responsibilities

  • To provide specialist psychological assessments of offenders referred to the unit 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 offenders, family members and others involved in the offenders care.
  • To formulate and implement plans for the formal psychological treatment and/or management of a offenders psychological problems, based upon an appropriate conceptual framework of the offenders problems, and employing methods based upon evidence of efficacy.
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of psychological interventions for individuals, 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 where appropriate.
  • 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 or group.
  • To exercise autonomous professional responsibility for the assessment, treatment and discharge of offenders whose problems are managed by psychologically based standard care plans.
  • To provide specialist psychological advice guidance and consultation to other professionals contributing directly to offenders formulation, diagnosis and treatment plans.
  • To ensure that all members of the clinical team have access to a psychologically based framework for understanding and care of offenders of the service, through the provision of advice and consultation and the dissemination of psychological research and theory.
  • To undertake risk assessment and risk management for individual offenders and to provide both general and specialist advice to other professions on psychological aspects of risk assessment and risk management.
  • To communicate in a skilled and sensitive manner, information concerning the assessment, formulation and treatment plans of offenders under their care and to monitor progress during the course of both uni and multidisciplinary care.
  • To provide expertise, advice and support to facilitate the effective and appropriate provision of psychological care by all members of the team.

  • Teaching, Training and Supervision
  • To provide post-qualification training (CPD) and clinical professional supervision to recently qualified clinical and/or forensic or counselling psychologists attached to the team.
  • To provide advice, consultation and training and clinical supervision to other members of the team for the provision of psychologically based interventions to help improve offenders functioning.
  • To provide pre- and post-qualification teaching of clinical or forensic psychologists and/or other psychological services staff as appropriate.
  • To maintain and develop skills in the area of professional pre- and post-graduate training and clinical supervision.
  • To provide advice, consultation and training to staff working with the offender group across a range of agencies and settings, where appropriate.
  • To receive regular professional supervision from a senior psychologist in the team and where appropriate other senior colleagues.
  • To continue to gain wider post-qualification experience of clinical or forensic psychology in line with BPS requirements.
  • To develop skills in the area of professional post-graduate teaching, training and supervision, and to provide supervision to the psychological work of other multidisciplinary team staff, as appropriate.
  • To provide professional and clinical supervision to assistant psychologists and, as appropriate, supervise Doctoral level.
  • To contribute to the pre and post-qualification teaching of all relevant staff, as appropriate.
  • To provide advice, consultation, supervision and training to staff working with the offender group across a range of agencies and settings, where appropriate.

  • Management, Recruitment and Service Development
  • To participate as appropriate in staff recruitment, both in the short-listing process and as a member of interview panels for assistant, trainees and qualified clinical psychologists.
  • To participate as a senior clinician in the development of a high quality responsive and accessible service, including proposing and implementing changes within the psychological service.
  • To exercise delegated responsibility for managing psychology staff based within the psychology service.

  • Research and Service Evaluation
  • To take the psychology lead, as a senior clinician, in the evaluation, monitoring and development of the teams operational policies through the deployment of professional skills in research, service evaluation and audit and ensuring incorporation of psychological frameworks for understanding and provision of high quality care.

  • To utilise theory, evidence-based literature and research to support evidence based practice in individual work and work with other team members.

  • To undertake appropriate research as agreed with the line manager and Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist and provide research advice to team colleagues undertaking research.

  • To initiate project management, including complex audit and service evaluation with colleagues within and across the service to help develop and improve services to offenders and their families.

  • To undertake a defined role in Service Governance structures if/when agreed.

  • General
  • To ensure the development, maintenance and dissemination of the highest professional standards of practice through active participation in internal and external CPD training and development programmes and to provide evidence of CPD undertaken, e.g. in the form of CPD log book.

  • To ensure the development and articulation of best practice in psychology within the service area and contribute across the service by exercising the skills of a reflective scientist practitioner, taking part in regular professional supervision and appraisal and maintaining an active engagement with current developments in the field of clinical or forensic psychology and related disciplines.

  • To maintain and promulgate the highest standards of clinical record keeping including electronic data entry and recording, report writing and the responsible exercise of professional self-governance in accordance with professional codes of practice of the British Psychological Society 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 offender group and mental health.

  • To perform other duties of a similar kind appropriate to the grade which may be required by the Lead Consultant Psychological.

  • Health and Safety Responsibilities
    • Employees must take responsible care for the Health and Safety of self and others who may be affected by his or her omissions at work.
    • The employee must cooperate with the employer in so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.
    • No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interest of Health and Safety or Welfare.
    • As part of the role the post holder is expected to be trained in Managing Violence and Aggression and Breakaway procedures.

    • All information relating to offenders and staff gained through your employment with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is confidential. Disclosure to any unauthorized person is a serious disciplinary offence.

    The post-holder will be expected to make full use of IT packages available within the work area, for example, Microsoft Office, E-mail, Internet and statistical packages.

    Person Specification Qualifications Essential
    • Doctoral level training in clinical psychology or equivalent for those who trained prior to 1996, including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology as accredited by the BPS.
    • Doctoral level training in Forensic Psychology or equivalent plus full membership and Chartered status of the Division of Forensic Psychology.
    • HCPC Registration based on the above.
    • Post doctoral specialist training research or study with evidence of additional theoretical or conceptual knowledge acquisition such as would be acquired through a postgraduate course.
    • Post-doctoral training in one or more additional specialised areas of psychological practice
    Knowledge /Experience Essential
    • Assessed experience of working as a qualified clinical or forensic Chartered psychologist for a minimum of 2 years in a specialist Enviroment
    • Experience of working with a wide variety of offender groups, across the whole life course and presenting with the full range of care settings including maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threats of physical abuse
    • Experience of exercising full clin

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