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Clinical / Counselling Psychologist

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
Radlett, Herts
Depending on experience Per ann Pro rata+ 5% of basic salary HCA, min £1,192 - max £2,011
Closing date
30 Jul 2024

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Applications welcome from candidates wishing to undertake the role as a Band 7-8a development opportunity.

Applications are invited for a part-time Clinical or Counselling Psychologist post in specialist perinatal Thumbswood Mother and Baby Inpatient Unit (MBU). Thumbswood MBU is a specialist 6-bed inpatient unit providing support for families from Hertfordshire and out-of-area who are experiencing a serious mental health difficulty during pregnancy or in the postnatal period.

The post-holder will have varied responsibilities offering psychological assessments, the delivery of individual and group evidence-based psychological interventions in order to support the mother-infant relationship, offering supervision and reflective practice to a range of junior psychology colleagues and the wider MDT, service development and audit, teaching and training to MDT and healthcare colleagues as well as liaison and consultation.

The successful applicant will receive regular supervision from the Principal Perinatal Clinical Psychologist and be an integrated member of the MDT attending team meetings and perinatal-specific training sessions as well as liaising with team members and healthcare professionals throughout Hertfordshire. The team has close links with the University of Hertfordshire and its clinical psychology training course.

Main duties of the job

  • To contribute to the ongoing development of a highly specialised perinatal psychology service for women who are pregnant, or up to 2 years postnatal, with, or at risk of, a wide range of mental health problems including complex and severe difficulties, such as Complex Trauma, Postpartum Psychosis, Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder.
  • To aid in the assessment, formulation and care planning of women in the perinatal period, as well as the mother-infant dyad and to provide and evaluate a range of high-quality, evidence-based perinatal-specific psychological interventions individual and group, for service users and families. Experience across a range of therapeutic models is essential including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and other models such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, EMDR, Systemic Therapy and Mindfulness
  • To be responsible for offering liaison and consultation to members of the multi-disciplinary team, liaising with colleagues within the inpatient mother and baby unit, the community psychology and psychotherapy service, local maternity services, as well as non-professional carers and other agencies on matters related to the psychological needs and issues relevant to the service and its users
  • To offer high-quality clinical and professional supervision to junior psychology colleagues and trainee clinical/counselling psychologists
  • To utilise research skills for audit, policy, and service development and research within the service

About us

Hertfordshire Partnerships University Foundation Trust
  • Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) is an exceptional organisation with big ambitions, our aim is to be the leading provider of mental health and specialist learning disability services in the country.
  • With a workforce of around 3,500 people and an annual income of some �330million this year, the Trust provides integrated health and social care services through a network of community and inpatient settings, serving diverse communities across Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Norfolk. As a university NHS foundation trust, HPFT continues to develop strong links with the University of Hertfordshire, providing excellent learning and development opportunities, as well as strengthening our clinical research capability
  • Whilst it is a challenging period for the NHS, there has never been a more exciting time to join HPFT following our CQC rating of Outstanding awarded to us in April 2019. We are on our Good to Great journey as we continue to innovate, improve, transform and ultimately deliver the very highest standards of care to the service users and communities that we serve

Job description

Job responsibilities

Duties and Responsibilities

Clinical Responsibility:
  • To provide specialist perinatal psychological assessments of clients referred to the team, based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration of complex data from a variety of sources including psychological 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 complex 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 assess and formulate any difficulties within the mother-infant relationship, including understanding the impact of this on maternal mental health and confidence, and liaise with the MDT in order to plan how to meet these needs
  • To be responsible for implementing a range of psychological interventions including CBT 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. This evidence-based approach includes monitoring outcomes, modifying and adapting interventions drawn from a range of theoretical models
  • To exercise autonomous professional responsibility within HCPC guidelines for the assessment, treatment and discharge of clients whose problems are managed by psychologically based standard care plans
  • To provide perinatal-specific specialist psychological liaison and consultation to other professionals contributing directly to clients formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan, facilitating the effective and appropriate provision of psychological care by all members of the teams to the client
  • To contribute directly and indirectly to a psychologically based framework of understanding and care to the benefit of all clients of the service, across all settings and agencies serving the client group
  • To be familiar with safeguarding policies and be able to share concerns with the team
  • To undertake risk assessment and risk management for individual clients, including perinatal-specific considerations of risk, and to provide advice to other professions on psychological aspects of risk assessment and risk management
  • To maintain the highest standards of clinical record keeping and report writing, according to professional and Trust guidelines, including electronic data entry and recording

Supervision, teaching and training:
  • To provide regular and high-quality professional and clinical supervision of junior psychology colleagues, trainee and assistant clinical psychologists, as well as the supervision of psychological work and ideas implemented by other MDT colleagues
  • To receive regular clinical and professional supervision from local senior professional colleagues
  • To contribute to the development of perinatal-specific knowledge and skills base within the team and wider Trust by maintaining an active awareness of current developments in perinatal psychology and national policy developments and by implementing knowledge gained
  • To develop skills in the area of professional post-graduate teaching, training and supervision, including in-house perinatal specific training within the MBU and other local teams
  • To contribute to the pre- and post-qualification teaching of clinical psychologists, as appropriate
  • To provide perinatal-specific training to staff working with the perinatal population across a range of agencies and settings, including maternity settings

Leadership and Staff Management Responsibility
  • To participate as appropriate in staff recruitment, both in the short-listing process and as a member of interview panels for assistant, trainees and qualified clinical/counselling psychologists

Financial Responsibility
  • To ensure that resources are appropriately and efficiently utilised within the service
  • To check equipment and report equipment failures to line management as appropriate
  • To work within HPFT financial policies, procedures, and budgets

Service Development and Improvement
  • To contribute to perinatal-specific service development projects within the MBU, wider Trust and other relevant agencies as required. This can involve contributing to the development, evaluation and monitoring of the service operational policies or other organizational issues, by initiating and using ones professional skills in research, service evaluation and audit
  • To identify any aspects of the service which need to be improved and to advise both service and professional management on appropriate changes
  • To contribute to the consultation and engagement of service users in planning and developing services
  • To utilise theory, evidence-based literature and research to support evidence based practice in individual work and to provide advice and supervision to other staff towards the same
  • To contribute to the development of services through proposing, initiating, undertaking and supervising service evaluation and audit. This includes the development of outcome measurement, assessment/implementation and assisting other staff in the implementation of same
  • To undertake appropriate research and provide research advice to other staff
  • To disseminate research and service evaluation findings through presentations and published articles

  • To promote and maintain good working relationships with psychology- and multi-disciplinary colleagues within and across teams throughout the Trust and agencies within the wider county setting
  • To promote and maintain good working relationships with clients, their families, carers and other external agencies
  • To communicate effectively and skillfully highly complex and sensitive information with clients and carers, taking into account sensitive cultural barriers to communication, 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 communicate effectively and skillfully with other professionals within and across teams and the Trust, statutory and non statutory agencies/partners relevant to the clients care and management (including for the purposes of safeguarding and liaison)

Person Specification



  • Post-graduate doctorate in clinical psychology (or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996) as accredited by the BPS, or fully completed training as a Counselling Psychologist.
  • Strong experience working as a qualified practitioner with clients with severe mental illness within a mental health setting.
  • Experience of working with women who are pregnant or up to 2 years postnatal, who have, or are at risk of a range of complex mental health problems (such as postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis)
  • Current full registration with HCPC
  • Training in risk assessment and management.


  • Post-qualification training in assessment and intervention models in one or more of the following: CBT, Systemic Therapy, Family Interventions.
  • Training and expertise in the theory and application of Parent-Infant therapies, such as VIG and Circle of Security
  • Experience of supervising qualified clinical staff from a range of professional backgrounds including HCPC registered Practitioner Psychologists.



  • Experience of specialist psychological assessment and treatment of clients across the full range of care settings, including outpatient, community, primary care and inpatient settings.
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of client groups, including those with physical health conditions and or long-term conditions across the whole life span's presenting problems that reflect the full range of clinical severity whilst maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse.
  • Knowledge of whole life span development and the impact on emotional, psychological and mental well-being.
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of at least two evidence based psychological interventions including CBT, Systemic Therapy or Family Interventions.
  • Experience of exercising full clinical responsibility for clients' psychological care and treatment within the context of multi-disciplinary care.
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research methodology, research design and complex, multivariate data analysis as practiced within the fields of Clinical / Counselling Psychology.
  • Experience of multi-disciplinary team working and inter-agency collaboration.
  • Ability to provide consultation to other professional and non-professional groups.
  • 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 take the appropriate action to address any issues or risks.
  • Awareness of Child and Adult Safeguarding Procedures.
  • Awareness of current NHS initiatives and developments.

  • Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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