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Principal Clinical/ Counselling Psychologist

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
£64,408 to £73,961 a year pa inc HCAS
Closing date
5 Aug 2024

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Harrow Adult Mental Health Services are looking for a highly motivated and passionate Clinical/ Counselling Psychologist to lead our Acute Psychology Pathway and team. The Acute Psychology Pathway provides integrated psychological care to services users from our two adult inpatient wards (Eastlake & Ferneley), Home Treatment Team (HTT) and Mental Health Emergency Assessment Centre (MHEAC) as well as inputting into our Psychiatric Liaison Service (PLS). Continuity of psychological care is delivered across the whole Harrow system, with intervention from this pathway following service users' from acute to community services. Psychology is provided to adults experiencing a range of mental health presentations including psychosis, complex emotional needs and PTSD as well as difficulties associated with anxiety and mood.

The post-holder will also be expected to take a leading role on the continued facilitation and ongoing development of Harrow's Trauma-Informed Approaches (TIA) model for the adult acute mental health services. This approach has been established in Harrow acute services over the last five years, recently published (Nikopaschos et al. 2023) and now also influencing National Policy (see NHSE Guidelines for Acute Inpatient Mental Health Care for Adults and Older Adults, 2023).

Harrow is committed to the continued development of our staff. In line with this, the post-holder will be funded to complete EMDR training in 2024.

Main duties of the job

The post-holder be responsible for the leadership and continued development of Acute Psychology. They will be expected to work as a senior member of the MDT, and provide consultation, co-working, teaching, supervision and research as well as developing specific training to enhance the systematic provision of psychological interventions offered by the full MDT. They will play a key role in the assessment of service users presenting to acute services, the development of creative and multi-disciplinary care plans, and the provision of psychological intervention with continuity from acute to community teams.

Acute and community services work closely as an integrated system and provide holistic intervention to adults with mental health difficulties in Harrow. The post holders will join an expanding therapies team, committed to providing highly specialist and trauma-informed psychological care. They will work closely with the full MDT, including psychiatry, nursing, occupational therapy and peer support.

The post-holder will also make a leading contribution to the learning culture of the team and wider service, and play an integral role in the continued development Trauma-Informed Approaches. For further information on the Harrow TIA model please see
  • Frontiers | Trauma-Informed Care on mental health wards: the impact of Power Threat Meaning Framework Team Formulation and Psychological Stabilisation on self-harm and restrictive interventions (

About us

CNWL provides NHS servicesthroughout a person's life, in physical and mental health and everything inbetween, at GPs and hospitals to the community and in their own home.

The majority of our services are provided in the community, which means treating people in their homes or from clinics close to home. In this sense we are a very modern part of the NHS, something the new Long Term Plan wants to see more of, with better integration and coordination of care, delivered as close to home as possible

Where community care is not possible we offer a number of facilities to treat people in hospital or residential environments. We also provide healthcare in prisons in London and the surrounding areas.

Partnerships are central to what we do here - with patients and their families, with staff and with other organisations, especially commissioners and providers but also with local authorities, GPs, universities and the voluntary sector. We envisage more in the years to come.

We are committed to providing services that meet the needs of the people who use them, and we actively encourage involvement from local people who can help make a difference.

The successful applicant may have contact with patients or service users. As an NHS Trust we strongly encourage and support vaccination as this remains the best way to protect yourself, your family, your colleagues and of course patients and service users when working on our healthcare settings.

Job description

Job responsibilities

The post-holder will co-ordinate and manage the Acute Psychology Pathway within the adult psychological therapies service in Harrow. A key task of the role will be to lead on the continued facilitation and ongoing development of Harrows Trauma-Informed Approaches (TIA) model for the adult acute mental health services.
  • To develop and lead a psychology service across adult acute services within Harrow. This service must meet the varying needs and be tailored accordingly.
  • To provide a lead role in the ongoing development and implementation of Trauma-Informed Approaches (TIA) within Harrow acute mental health services.
  • To maintain a program of supervision and training for staff from all disciplines with the aim of embedding TIA, psychologically oriented patient care and increase the delivery of evidence-based psychological interventions to patients.
  • To work alongside senior clinical and managerial staff to improve and maintain the quality of the acute experience and to enable acute staff to engage in pro-active, therapeutic and meaningful ways with patients.
  • To support managers and senior clinical staff in the development and implementation of TIA and in the development of skills of junior nursing staff and associate practitioners to deliver appropriate low-intensity psychological and psychosocial interventions.
  • To hold management, clinical and professional supervision responsibilities for the psychology staff within the acute services as well as other clinical staff as required.
  • To provide supervision and consultation to acute staff through appropriate forums including reflective practice groups and community meetings.
  • To work in conjunction with the Acute Home Treatment Team and with community teams to ensure seamless patient pathways and rapid assessments of patients needs.
  • To work in conjunction with community teams to ensure seamless patient pathways.
  • To lead staff in the implementation of TIA, including assessment of patients psychological needs and the psychological formulation of their difficulties derived from their life-history, current presentation and psychological theory.
  • To contribute to the care planning process to ensure that patients psychological and personal recovery needs are given due consideration.
  • To work in partnership with the existing acute therapies teams to ensure the availability of a comprehensive and effective programme of ward-based therapeutic groups and activities.
  • To directly provide evidence-based psychological therapies to individuals, groups or family systems.
  • To co-ordinate delivery of psychological assessment and intervention from other psychology staff including qualified psychologists, trainee psychologists, assistant psychologists and honorary therapists and to act as a point of liaison between the acute psychology pathway and the community psychology pathway.
  • To provide a lead role in the development of co-production work within the in-patient units by maintaining the co-production projects already established, developing these across the other acute services as well as supporting and facilitating the development of co-production within the workforce as a whole.
  • To assist in the development of routine systems for the assessment and measurement of the quality of the acute psychology provision.
  • To ensure that there are efficient systems in place to effectively manage referrals, waiting lists, recording of clinical activity, performance reporting including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and other activity data as required.
  • To work autonomously within professional guidelines and the overall framework of the services policies and procedures.
  • To utilize research skills for audit, policy and service development and research within the area served by the service.
  • To provide professional overview of the acute psychology service in Harrow and represent the service in care quality and management forums.
  • To bring a personal and professional approach and leadership style that enables positive engagement, containment, and skills development relevant to work with the service user group.
  • To offer leadership and management support within the acute services, as negotiated and agreed with the relevant service manager/lead psychologist.
  • Where required, to act as a deputy for the Psychological therapies service in Harrow including attendance at key meetings and policy forums. The post-holder may also be asked to represent the psychological therapies service in Trust-wide forums and meetings.

  • Person Specification



    • Doctoral level training in clinical / counselling psychology or its equivalent, including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology as accredited by the BPS.
    • Professional registration as a practitioner psychologist with the Health and Social Care Professions Council
    • Formal training in the supervision of psychological therapies


    • Post-Doctoral training in clinical approaches relevant to work with complex and severe mental health difficulties such a 3rd wave cognitive behavioural therapies or systemic work
    • Pre-qualification training and qualifications in health or neuro psychology, research methodology, staff training and/or other fields of applied psychology.



    • Substantial post qualification experience of working in mental health settings, including specialist psychological assessment and treatment of clients across the full range of care settings, including outpatient, community, primary care and inpatient settings, adult and older adult.
    • Experience of working in acute mental health settings, working with a range of age ranges, cultures and clinical groups.
    • 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 including maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse.
    • Post qualification experience of working with adults affected by psychological trauma.
    • Experience of line management and provision of clinical supervision to psychologists or other professionals.
    • Experience of the application of clinical psychology in different cultural and specialist contexts including work with interpreters.


    • Experience of service development / change leadership
    • Ability to provide care in a language in addition to English



    • Skills in the use of complex methods of psychological assessment, formulation, intervention and management frequently requiring sustained and intense concentration.
    • High level knowledge of the theory and practice of at least two specialised psychological therapies
    • Knowledge and awareness of the trauma informed approach.
    • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult to treat groups (e.g. personality disorder, dual diagnoses, people with additional disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders).
    • 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
    • Skills in providing consultation to other professional and non-professional groups.
    • Doctoral level knowledge of research methodology, research design and complex, multivariate data analysis as practiced within the clinical fields of psychology.
    • Knowledge of legislation in relation to the client group & mental health.
    • Proven leadership skills


    • Skills in the use of complex methods of psychological assessment, e.g. complex psychometric testing and specialist neuropsychological testing
    • Knowledge and skills in Recovery and Person-Centred Care.



    • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and interact effectively with staff from all disciplines.
    • Ability to teach and train others, using a variety of complex multi-media materials suitable for presentations within public, professional and academic settings.
    • Ability to identify and employ mechanisms of clinical governance as appropriate, to support and maintain clinical practice in the face of regular exposure to highly emotive material and challenging behaviour
    • Experience of working within a multicultural framework
    • Commitment to the involvement of service users and carers on the development and delivery of mental health and other care services.
    • Ability to work independently and under pressure. Adaptable and able to work flexibly when required (e.g. in the light of changing service priorities).
    • Willingness to travel between sites within the Trust as required

    Employer details

    Employer name

    Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust


    Mental Health Unit, Northwick Park Hospital

    Watford Road


    HA1 3UJ

    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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