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Principal Psychologist - Adult Inpatient Services

East London NHS Foundation Trust
£58,972 to £68,525 per annum pro rata
Closing date
4 Jun 2024
We are looking for an experienced psychologist to join us as a Principal Psychologist in our Adult Inpatient Services in the Luton area. It may be possible to offer this post up to full-time hours.

This is an exciting opportunity for career development alongside other dedicated psychologists and mental health professionals. The role provides senior clinical and strategic input for our Inpatient wards, providing services for adults with complex and severe mental health difficulties. The successful applicant will be experienced in working in this context and with this client group, and have a track record of developing trauma-informed therapeutic environments for both clients and workforce.

Main duties of the job

You will have the clinical confidence and sufficient experience to work independently and to make rapid and well-informed clinical judgments, using excellent assessment and formulation skills. You should be committed and comfortable working in an MDT setting and offering advice and consultation to other professional colleagues. The post-holder will contribute to staff training and staff support including reflective practice spaces. Part of the role will involve the supervision of qualified, trainee and pre-qualified psychology staff, and training and supervision of MDT colleagues in the provision of psychosocial interventions. You will also be expected to bring strategic ideas to support the development of the acute psychology service.

About us

As a member of the ELFT-wide Psychology workforce the post holder would join the regular psychology meetings which focus on Clinical Governance and peer-led Continual Professional Development (CPD), as well as get involved in wider initiatives around issues of workforce and developing trauma-informed cultures across the whole Trust. The Psychologists in ELFT are trained in a variety of therapy models so there is opportunity to share knowledge and access consultation across models.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Please kindly refer to the Job Description and Person Specification attached to this advertisement .

Person Specification

Training Qualification


  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology or Counselling Psychology or equivalence and able to demonstrate eligibility for BPS CPsychol (Chartered Psychologist)
  • HCPC registration as a Practitioner Psychologist
  • Training in clinical supervision for doctoral clinical psychology trainees.


  • Post-doctoral training in one or more relevant specialist areas of psychological practice.
  • Leadership Training
  • Quality Improvement Training



  • Experience of working in an acute adult inpatient service.
  • Substantial experience of working as a qualified Clinical Psychologist including substantial post-qualification experience working in a multi-disciplinary team for adults with severe and enduring mental health problems.
  • Well-developed experience of assessment, formulation and treatment with people (and families/carers) with severe and complex mental health problems
  • Experience in working within at least two therapy modalities (CBT and one other).
  • Experience of the application of psychology in different cultural contexts, including working with interpreters.
  • Research and audit experience.
  • Experience of representing psychology within the context of multi-disciplinary care.
  • Experience of developing and delivering specialist training programmes.
  • Experience of supervising professional and clinical practice of qualified and unqualified staff
  • Experience of liaison and joint work with other statutory agencies, including crisis management.
  • Identification of need and development of services to meet need.


  • Experience managing other staff

Knowledge & Skills


  • Highly developed knowledge of the theory and practice of at least two specialised psychological therapies with adult clients with severe and enduring mental health difficulties, which should include CBT and one other.Highly developed knowledge of the theory and practice of at least two specialised psychological therapies with adult clients with severe and enduring mental health difficulties, which should include CBT and one other.
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult-to-treat groups (e.g. complex needs, self-harm, dual diagnosis, and persons with additional disabilities etc).
  • Communication & Relationship skills: Able to provide & receive highly complex, sensitive or contentious information in a highly emotive and sometimes hostile atmosphere, in a range of relationships and settings. Able to use highly specialist skills of empathy to overcome barriers to understanding and acceptance.
  • Planning and organisational skills: Able to plan, organise and prioritise own workload. Ability to work creatively, co-operatively, reliably and consistently as an independent practitioner, as a mentor and supervisor, and in multi-disciplinary and team settings.
  • Research & Guidance: Doctoral level knowledge of research design and methodology, including complex multivariate data analysis.Up to date knowledge of psychological research and national guidance relevant to patient group Knowledge of legislation and its implications for clinical practice with this client group.
  • Cultural awareness: Ability to provide a culturally-competent and non-stigmatising service including an awareness of the potential impact of discrimination and disadvantage on mental health.


  • Able to innovate on the basis of theoretical knowledge.
  • Training in Behavioural Family Therapy or other Family Intervention
  • Training in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy



  • Enthusiasm for a broad range of psychological phenomena, and an interest in models of service delivery.
  • Able to contain and work with organisational stress and able to hold the stress of others.
  • Physical effort: Able to sit in constrained positions for a substantial proportion of working time.
  • Mental effort: Able to concentrate intensely for a substantial proportion of working time, during client contact, teaching/supervision sessions, team meetings, preparing written work etc.
  • Emotional effort: Able to manage effectively frequent exposure to highly distressing/highly emotional circumstances and exposure to traumatic circumstances.
  • Working conditions: Able to manage effectively verbal aggression from service users, families, etc and the risk of physical aggression.
  • Values: Respectful approach to service users, families, carers, colleagues and other professionals. Willing to negotiate and can handle confrontation effectively and professionally.
  • Able to articulate the value added by psychological interventions within the context of multi-disciplinary mental health services.

Employer details

Employer name

East London NHS Foundation Trust


BED Inpatient Psychology

Angel Close



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