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Clinical/Counselling Psychologist/Psychological Therapist

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Bierton Road Aylesbury Bucks
£43,742 to £50,056 per annum (pro rata if P/T)
Closing date
3 Jul 2024

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The successful candidate will be a highly energetic and robust individual with sophisticated and sensitive clinical skills, and a proven track record of delivering high quality services in either the NHS, Prison healthcare, social care or the private sector. They will be a key part of the MDT and will liaise closely with colleagues from both mental health and primary care as well as partner agencies to provide true partnership working and seamless care pathways.

The successful candidate will be required to deliver specialist psychological assessment and interventions and provide training, advice and consultation on psychological approaches to other members of the clinical team and wider prison staff. They will supervise associated assistant and student roles and develop and co-facilitate groups with MH team colleagues.

Working in prison-based healthcare is challenging and rewarding - you can make a big difference to the men and women serving sentences, many of whom have significant trauma histories, and ongoing associated difficulties in mental health and functioning. We operate a stepped care model and the patients have a wide range of difficulties and interventions must be matched appropriately.

Main duties of the job

To provide a comprehensive, specialist psychological therapy service to patients of Health and Justice and to the men of HMP Aylesbury.

To provide specialist psychological assessment and therapy.

To provide training, advice and consultation to other staff about the psychological needs of the patients.

To utilise research skills for audit, policy and service development and research within the Health and Justice Directorate.

To work autonomously within professional guidelines and the overall framework of the Trust's policies and procedures.

About us

CNWL's Health and Justice is made up of a highly motivated and passionate team with vast experience in healthcare within a secure environment. We deliver health care in a range of settings prisons, secure hospital and in the community. Our vision is: Working in partnership with the criminal justice system and other agencies, we will provide responsive, dependable and high quality primary care, mental health and substance misuse services to existing offenders (and those at risk of offending) in the communities we serve, to improve their health status and to encourage social inclusion. CNWL operate a range of healthcare services across a number of prisons and secure facilities.

Joining a large, forward-thinking Trust will bring successful candidates excellent development opportunities, an exciting career structure, and job satisfaction. Working alongside experienced in-reach team colleagues, we are looking for the best clinicians, who will work well as part of a Team and Trust with a 'can do' attitude.

Job description

Job responsibilities

To provide comprehensive psychological assessments of patients within the prison using a structured and semi-structured clinical interview, psychometric instruments, and other assessment methods as appropriate.

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 based upon evidence of efficacy, across the full range of care settings.

To be responsible for implementing a range of psychological interventions for individuals, and groups, with 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 provide interventions for individuals presenting with a range of complexity, from common mental health problems to severe and enduring problems.

To evaluate and make decisions about treatment options considering 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 the consultation to other professionals contributing directly to clients formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan.

To attend seclusion and segregation reviews, recovery team meetings and safer custody meetings in the prison as appropriate and to offer psychological opinion about management and appropriate referrals in that context.

To undertake risk assessment and risk management for individual clients and to provide advice to other professions on psychological aspects of risk assessment and risk management.

To support clients nearing release in accessing statutory and voluntary community services where appropriate.

To promote self-help, self-management and healthy lifestyles enabling people to build their emotional health and capacity to deal with life events.

To act as care coordinator, where appropriate, taking responsibility for initiating planning and review of care plans under enhanced CPA including clients, their carers, referring agents and others involved in the network of care.

To communicate in a skilled and sensitive manner, information concerning the assessment, formulation and treatment plans of clients under their care and to monitor progress during the course of both uni- and multi-disciplinary care.

To maintain the highest standards of clinical record keeping, including electronic data entry and recording, and report writing and the responsible exercise of professional self-governance, in accordance with professional codes of practice of the relevant governance body and Trust policies and procedures.

To work innovatively and in conjunction with colleagues (both mental health and prison staff) to develop appropriate, evidence based and effective services.

Person Specification



  • One of the following qualifications...
  • oDoctoral level training in clinical or counselling psychology or its equivalent, accredited by the BPS. Training in models of developmental lifespan psychology, psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology and two or more distinct psychological therapies, HCPC Registered.
  • oOr BABCP registered CBT Therapist
  • oOr BACP or UKCP Registered Psychotherapist


  • Other relevant CPD qualification, pre- or post-training. Especially training in working with people with a diagnosis of personality disorder (e.g. MBT, DBT, DUH training), trauma (e.g. EMDR), staff training, and/or other fields of applied psychology.



  • Experience of specialist psychological assessment and treatment of clients across a range of care settings.
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of client groups, across the whole life course presenting problems that reflect the full range of clinical severity. Maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse.
  • Experience of teaching and training.
  • Experience working with those with a diagnosis of a personality disorder and/or a history of self-harm and substance misuse and experience of working with complex trauma.
  • Experience of working effectively in multidisciplinary settings.


  • Experience of the application of psychological therapy in different cultural and specialist contexts.
  • Experience of working in either prison or secure hospitals.
  • Experience of working with service-users to develop peer facilitated support or treatment initiatives.

Employer details

Employer name

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust


HMP Aylesbury

Bierton Road Aylesbury Bucks

HP20 1EH

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