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Principal Clinical / Counselling Psychologist

South West London & St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust
£58,972 to £68,525 per annum plus inner or outer London HCAS
Closing date
19 Mar 2024

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This post is open for Full time - 37.5 hours per week or Part-time 22.5 hours / 30 hours per week.

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced and enthusiastic Clinical or Counselling Psychologist to provide clinical leadership to our Care Home Liaison Services pathway (0.6 WTE) with additional sessions leading on Inpatient Psychology (0.4 WTE) if you are seeking a full time role. Both services are held within the Cognition and Mental Health in Ageing pathway

We are looking to recruit a Principal Clinical / Counselling Psychologist (8b) to provide clinical leadership within our Care Home Liaison Services within Older Adults Services (part of the Specialist Service Line), which support people who are experiencing significant behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). The role has a focus on consulting with, and supporting, staff teams who are caring for individuals with dementia and other mental health conditions in care homes (0.6 WTE) and in our Trust's older adult inpatient wards (0.4 WTE). The services offer a multidisciplinary and systemic approach to supporting such clients.

Main duties of the job

The postholder will be an expert in the psychological assessment and treatment of older people with dementia and/or mental health difficulties, with particular expertise in working with BPSD. This will include providing psychological assessment and formulation, and in shaping and supporting the implementation of effective psychosocial interventions by staff teams. The postholder will have strong leadership skills, and expertise in delivering effective and collaborative staff consultation sessions and focused training. The role offers exciting opportunities to be involved in service development initiatives and to lead in ensuring our care home services deliver high quality care to service users, their families, and staff teams. The 0.4 inpatient role involves similar work on the Trust's two older people's inpatient wards, alongside conducting 1:1 therapeutic work with inpatients with mental health difficulties.

The postholder will work in collaboration with the Consultant Psychologist Lead for the pathway to ensure excellent governance of psychological assessments and therapies provided by all psychologists and other staff. The postholder will also provide professional and clinical supervision to junior psychologists within their area of expertise and take a lead role in the management of psychology recruitment, waiting list management and the development of a robust P& P CPD programme as part of a team of senior Psychologists.

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 provide specialist psychological assessments of clients referred to their clinical team based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration of complex psychological 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 and implement plans for the formal psychological treatment and/or management of a clients mental health problems, based upon an appropriate conceptual framework of the clients problems, and employing methods of proven efficacy, across the full range of care settings.
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of 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 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 clients whose problems are managed by psychologically based standard care plans.
  • To provide 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 treating team have access to a psychologically based framework for understanding and care of clients 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 clients and to provide general advice to other professionals on psychological aspects of risk assessment and management.
  • To communicate in a 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.
  • To provide expertise, advice and support to all members of the treatment team to facilitate the effective and appropriate provision of psychological care and to support other team Applied Psychologists in the service area, in their contribution (direct and indirect) to providing a psychologically based framework of understanding and care to all clients of the service in which they work.

  • Person Specification



    • 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
    • Evidence of continuing professional development as recommended by the BPS/HCPC
    • Formal training in supervision of other psychologists / psychological therapists
    • To be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council under the appropriate domain specific title


    • Post-doctoral training in one or more additional specialized areas of psychological practice, preferably CBT or neuropsychological practice.
    • BABCP accreditation as practitioner and/or supervisor
    • Qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology (QICN



    • Assessed experience of working as a qualified clinical / counselling psychologist for a minimum of six years, including at least 3 years post qualification experience with older adults in secondary care
    • Experience of working with clients presenting with behavioural or psychological symptoms in the context of dementia (BPSD)
    • Experience of working with a wide variety of clients and carers, 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
    • Experience of delivering evidence-based psychological therapies to service users in secondary care 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.
    • Experience of teaching, training and/or professional and clinical supervision


    • Experience of dementia care homes in reach offering psychosocial interventions for BPSD
    • Experience of professional management of qualified and pre-qualified clinical / counselling psychologists
    • Experience of representing psychology within the context of multi-disciplinary care
    • Experience of assessing and treating clients across the full range of care settings
    • Experience of the application of psychology in different cultural contexts



    • 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
    • Highly developed knowledge of assessment and interventions for people with behavioural and psychological symptoms in 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
    • Knowledge of our business and how it supports patient care
    • Skills in the use of complex methods of psychological assessment intervention and management frequently requiring sustained and intense concentration


    • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult-to-treat groups (e.g. personality disorder, dual diagnosis)
    • High level knowledge of the theory and practice of at least two evidence based specialised psychological therapies
    • Knowledge and skills in neuropsychological assessment and neuropsychologically informed interventions for people with neurodegenerative disorders.

    Employer details

    Employer name

    South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust


    Various Locations


    SW17 0YF

    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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