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Specialist Psychologist- Adults with LD requiring Intensive Support

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust
Dependant on successful candidate
£58,972 to £68,525 a year pa
Closing date
20 Jun 2024
This post has been created as part of an exciting expansion to the existing Intensive Support Service for adults with learning disabilities in the Norfolk and Waveney area.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to be part of the fundamental establishment of this expanded service, leading on psychology input to support people to remain part of their community and avoid hospital admission where possible to do so.

Managing a small, but complex caseload, the team will consist of nurses, an OT, a SLT, a speciality Dr and HCAs all working together to support and enhance the lives of adults with learning disabilities with complex needs. Strong links already exist with the community LD teams and inpatient services and it is envisaged that these will be developed further.

Main duties of the job

Having comprehensive experience of working with people who have a learning disability is essential for the role, as is expertise of working with people who have complex health needs, associated with mental health, autism and behaviour that challenges services.

As part of this role you will be expected to lead the Intensive Support Team on the provision of psychological assessment, formulation and intervention for people with learning disabilities with complex and long-standing disabilities. There will be frequent periods of intense and focussed work with people displaying high levels of expressed emotion and in states of distress. The successful candidates experience, knowledge and professionalism will be integral to ensuring the right support is given at the right time.

About us

The Intensive Support Service is at an exciting time in its development. New funding has allowed it to develop its provision and expertise, ensuring that adults with learning disabilities in Norfolk and Waveney have access to a service fully designed to meet their needs at times of need.

To assist you, you will receive support/development through in service training, regular appraisals, a personal development plan and clinical supervision.

Apply to join an organisation that has been awarded 'Outstanding' rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the highest possible rating, the first stand-alone NHS Community Trust in the country to be awarded the title.

RECRUITMENT EVENT - Friday 23rd February 2024

If you are reading this, then the recruitment day we are holding on Friday 23rd February may be of interest for you.

The day will focus on recruitment for all of the vacancies that we have open for our new Willow Therapy Unit, which is due to open June 2024.

We will be at The Kings Conference Centre in Norwich from 9.30am. Come along to find out more about the roles we have on offer, and we will even have limited availability for interviews on the day too.

No booking needed we look forward to seeing you then.

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • The post demands frequent periods of intense mental and emotional concentrated effort in terms of conducting complex therapy sessions clinical consultation resolving differing clinical opinions and defusing situations with high levels of expressed emotion
  • To exercise autonomous professional responsibility for the implementation of psychological assessment, formulation and intervention as necessary within an hypothesis testing paradigm, with a highly specialist understanding of psychological service provision for people with learning disabilities, their families and carers, drawing upon a number of different explanatory models and maintaining a number of provisional hypotheses
  • To using a range of psychological skills to respond to clients who have limited understanding and communication disabilities, and who may be distressed, hostile or resistant to engage them in therapeutic process, with highly specialist skills pertinent to working flexibly and efficiently with people with learning disabilities across the ability range
  • To communicate verbally, and in writing, complex and sensitive information in a manner which is clear, understandable and appropriate to a range of settings and audiences, and to be able to offer verbal and written communication of sufficient quality to be submitted to court as expert statements following assessment with people with learning disabilities
  • To provide specialist consulting service to Learning Disabilities Service staff and agencies regarding intellectual ability and learning, psychological models of mental health and challenging behaviour with highly specialist expertise in offering consultation with regard to parenting and learning disabilities, maladaptive care relationships, complex risk assessment from a psychological perspective, and the ability to use a range of psychological models flexibly in consultation
  • To plan workload including prioritising cases in terms of urgency and risk as well as self-monitoring of caseload. To use risk assessment and assessment of capacity and gain valid informed consent, and where appropriate, lead risk assessment and assessments of capacity for referrals where there is more complexity with regard to presentation, or organisational complexity, and have the ability to work within a legal framework where people lack the capacity to consent to treatment
  • To contribute to multi-disciplinary assessment and the overall team care plan for the individual, and to co-ordinate multidisciplinary team members and multi-agency personnel, as required. To provide intervention and on-going assessment. To offer advice in adjusting interventions to account for patients complex psychological needs
  • With regarding to individual clients, organise and deliver teaching and training to clients, carers, professionals and others on psychological knowledge as well being able to create training and teaching packages for delivery to patients, carers, professionals and others, with specialist knowledge about psychology and working with people with learning disabilities
  • To use computerised or paper systems for record keeping and reference, as required
  • Be expected to complete and return clinical outcome measures as agreed with the head of service.
  • To devise clinical outcome measures in line with national policy, evidence based understanding and good practice guidelines for psychological provision in learning disabilities

  • To act in accordance with the professional standards of the British Psychological Society and or the Health and Care Professions Council
  • To promote access to mainstream services support other professionals understanding of people with learning disabilities and the need to make reasonable adjustments
  • To participate in regular management supervision with the Service Lead. To participate in regular clinical supervision sessions with a suitably experienced psychologist in line with their own professional guidance and the Trust Policy
  • To provide supervision and training as required, and be aware of effects and risks attached to the work of psychologists and seek to ameliorate these in supervision, as well promoting ethical practice, safeguarding awareness and appropriate record keeping to band 4 psychology assistants trainee clinical psychologists, band 7 and 8a psychologists, and other professionals
  • To participate in a range of post qualification training and supervision activities identified as part of continuing professional development, and in light of specialising in learning disabilities, and in responds to service need, as agreed with the Service Lead
  • To contribute to the psychology R& D programme as co-ordinated by the R& D lead for psychology. All research and clinical audit will be conducted with reference to local and national ethical guidelines.
  • Offer consultation and leadership regarding research to other professionals in the service, as required.
  • Lead the Research & Development programme for psychology, determining clinical relevance and priorities pertinent to working with people with learning disabilities, and services for people with learning disabilities.
  • To promote awareness of the specialist psychologists role and care pathways within the Learning Disabilities Services, the Trust, other professionals and with people with learning disabilities and their carers
  • Act as the Lead Psychologist within the Intensive Support service on matters relating to psychology, cognitive impairment and learning, parenting, challenging behaviour and psychological approaches to mental health
  • Act as a second opinion and advise on differing professional opinion and facilitate the synthesis of clinical opinion. Have enough experience and knowledge of working in learning disabilities to be aware of the likely effect of and risks attached to psychological interventions and clinical recommendations and will seek to minimise these

Management and Leadership
  • ISS Leadership in several clinical areas:
  • Learning Disability and Mental Health
  • Challenging Behaviour in the Learning Disability population
  • Neurological assessment
  • Psychotherapeutic treatment for people with Learning Disabilities
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Clinical Research in psychology
  • |Work with the psychologists working in the Specialist Community Learning Disability Service to deliver agreed assessment and treatment pathways in order to:
  • Provide high quality interpretation and communication of highly complex information to clients and other associated individuals and professionals
  • Offer support for the resolution of differing opinions
  • Be able to work alone with people expressing high levels of distress and anger
  • Work with individuals who have significant mental health difficulties and dual diagnosis
  • Use professional knowledge which has been gained through post qualification training and experience
  • Act as an expert witness where appropriate in matters relating to magistrates, County and Crown Courts
  • Provide support and regular clinical supervision to psychologists working in the Learning Disability Service and others agreed with their line manager.
  • Lead on developing services in line with:
  • National recommendations and policies
  • Professional guidance and best practice
  • Agree commissioning specification

  • To provide psychological advice and expertise to the joint management and clinical governance group and Head of Learning Disability Service.
  • Work with other professional leads and team managers to develop and achieve the service aims contribute to short, mid-term and long-term policy, integrating national trends and initiatives into this process
  • This post has no budgetary responsibility
  • Assist the Team Manager in managing capability and performance related issues regarding supervisees

Training, Research & Development
  • Lead on formal and informal teaching of other staff in the development and application of psychological methods
  • In agreement with the service specifications, be available to offer teaching and training for clients, carers, professionals and others, in psychological theory and practice pertinent to working with people with learning disabilities
  • As defined above, may be required to undertake surveys or audits, and participate in research activity, and clinical trials which improve knowledge of or the practice of working with people with learning disabilities

Person Specification



  • Doctoral level training in clinical psychology (or equivalent) as accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Professions Council (HPC).


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



  • Experience of specialist assessment and treatment of adults with learning disabilities across the full range of care settings.
  • Experience working with adults with learning disabilities with complex presentations.
  • Experience of exercising full clinical responsibility for client's psychological care and treatment, both as a professionally qualified clinician and also within the context of the multidisciplinary care plan
  • Experience of teaching, training and delivering clinical supervision


  • Experience of the application of clinical psychology in different cultural contexts.

Skills, Abilities and Knowledge


  • Skills in the use of complex methods of psychological assessment intervention and management, frequently requiring sustained and intense concentration.
  • Experience of presenting psychology within the context of multidisciplinary care/service
  • Formal training in supervision of other psychologists
  • Knowledge of legislation in relation to client group and mental health.
  • Excellent team working interpersonal skills both written and verbal.
  • Providing consultation to other professional and non-professional groups
  • Evidence of continuing professional development as recommended by the BPS


  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult to treat groups (e.g. personality disorder, dual diagnosis, people with additional disabilities et cetera).
  • High level knowledge of the theory and practice of highly specialised psychological therapies and assessment methodology.
  • Production of reports suitable for public presentations and presentation in medicolegal setting
  • Experience of project management.



  • Well-developed skills in the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, complex, highly technical and/or clinically sensitive information to clients, their families, carers and other professional colleagues both within and outside the NHS.
  • Ability to identify, provide and promote appropriate means of support to carers and staff exposed to highly distressing situations and severely challenging behaviours.


  • Experience of working within a multicult
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