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Clinical / Forensic Psychologist

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
Depending on experience Band 7 / 8a depending on experience
Closing date
15 Aug 2022

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Band 7
Contract Type
Full Time
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Mersey Care NHS Trust is the health provider for the delivery of an innovative prison-based assessment and treatment service for residents with personality related needs.

This service is based within HMP Garth which is a category B men's adult prison based in Leyland, Lancashire. The service is part of the National Offender Personality Disorder Strategy and is delivered as a partnership between HMP Garth and Mersey Care NHS Trust.

We believe that this post provides a unique opportunity to be part of a psychologically led service with formulation and integrated team working at its core. The service provides 1:1 and group based interventions based on Professor John Livesley's framework and model of interventions for individuals with personality related needs.

These structured interventions are provided as part of a therapeutic milieu which involves a focus on attachment, trauma and systemic approaches, alongside comprehensive risk assessment and management. Core aims of the service are consistent with those of the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway in improving psychological wellbeing, reducing risk, improving staff skills and competencies and pathway focussed intervention.

Main duties of the job

o To apply and maintain those skills acquired through further specialist training and experience to monitor and ensure the systematic provision of highly specialised psychological services to offenders within HMP Garth.

o To supervise and support the highly specialised psychological assessment and therapeutic input provided by other psychologists and other clinical members of the team who provide psychologically based care and treatment.

o To work autonomously within professional guidelines and exercise responsibility for the systematic governance of psychological practice within Psychological Services and delegated management responsibilities where appropriate.

o To utilise research skills for audit, policy and service development and research.

Newly qualified applicants will be appointed to Band 7 with a guaranteed offer of interview 12 months later where they will be interviewed against the 8a job description. Those with suitable qualification, knowledge, skills and experience will be appointed directly to the 8a position.

About us

Mersey Care is one of the largest trusts providing physical health and mental health services in the North West, serving more than 11 million people.

We offer specialist inpatient and community services that support physical and mental health and specialist inpatient mental health, learning disability, addiction and brain injury services. Mersey Care is one of only three trusts in the UK that offer high secure mental health facilities.

At the heart of all we do is our commitment to 'perfect care' - care that is safe, effective, positively experienced, timely, equitable and efficient. We support our staff to do the best job they can and work alongside service users, their families, and carers to design and develop future services together. We're currently delivering a programme of organisational and service transformation to significantly improve the quality of the services we provide and safely reduce cost as we do so.

Job description Job responsibilities

The post holder will contribute to the systematic provision of specialised psychological services to residents within the Beacon. Applicants should have doctoral level training in clinical psychology or equivalent or will be a qualified chartered forensic / counselling psychologist. You should have considerable experience of working with individuals with complex clinical and risk presentations including within institutional settings and as part of a multi-disciplinary team. This should include work with clients whose needs may meet criteria for a diagnosis of personality disorder and who may find it difficult to engage with services. Experience of working in complex service and organisational settings is required alongside an ability to constructively manage the personal, professional and ethical opportunities and challenges such work can involve. Full details of the main responsibilities of the post can be found in the job description and person specification. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss the post further, visits are also welcomes.

The post holder will be joining a dedicated team of clinical and prison officer staff from a range of backgrounds and experience. Team members have high levels of skill, passion and enthusiasm (and humour!) and are committed to ensuring the on-going successful development of the service and the opportunities it provides for our population. We prioritise the development of our staff team and have proven that we value and nurture diverse clinical interests. Members of our team have been trained in MBT, CAT, EMDR, Schema Therapy, leadership, psychoanalytic/ psychodynamic models and systemic ways of working. We are committed to creating an empowered staff team. We strive to be reflective and support of each other which is vital given the challenges this work can entail.

Person Specification Qualifications Essential
  • Doctoral level training in clinical psychology or equivalent for those who trained prior to 1996, including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology as accredited by the BPS.
  • Doctoral level training in Forensic Psychology or equivalent plus full membership and Chartered status of the Division of Forensic Psychology.
  • HCPC Registration based on the above.
  • Post doctoral specialist training research or study with evidence of additional theoretical or conceptual knowledge acquisition such as would be acquired through a postgraduate course.
  • Post-doctoral training in one or more additional specialised areas of psychological practice
Knowledge /Experience Essential
  • Assessed experience of working as a qualified clinical or forensic Chartered psychologist for a minimum of 2 years in a specialist Enviroment
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of offender groups, across the whole life course and presenting with the full range of care settings including maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threats of physical abuse
  • Experience of exercising full clinical responsibility for offenders' psychological care and treatment, both as a professionally qualified care coordinator and also within the context of a multidisciplinary care plan.
  • Experience of teaching, training and/or professional and clinical supervision
  • Experience of leadership, management and supervision of trainees and qualified staff from other disciplines
  • Experience of representing psychology within the context of multidisciplinary care.
  • Experience of assessing and treatment offenders across the full range of care settings.
  • Experience of the application of psychology in different cultural contexts.
  • Awareness of institutional dynamics
  • Research/publications on relevant issues
  • Previous experience of work in forensic settings/ contexts.
Values Essential
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Accountability
  • Respectfulness
  • Enthusiasm
  • Responsive to service users
  • Engaging leadership style
  • Strong customer service belief
  • Transparency and honesty
  • Discreet
Skills Essential
  • Skills in the use of complex methods of psychological assessment intervention and management frequently requiring sustained and intense concentration.
  • Well developed skills in the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, highly technical and clinically sensitive information to offenders, their families, carers and other professional colleagues both within and outside the nhs
  • Skills in providing consultation to other professional and non professional groups
  • Knowledge of research design and methodology, including complex multivariate data analysis as practised within the field of clinical psychology.
  • Knowledge of legislation in relation to the offender group and mental health group
  • Evidence of continuing professional development as recommended by the BPS.
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Formal training in supervision of other psychologists
  • Well developed knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult to treat groups (eg personality disorder, dual diagnoses, people with additional disabilities etc).
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of highly specialised psychological therapies and assessment methodologies.
Other Essential
  • Ability to identify, provide and promote appropriate means of support to carers and staff exposed to highly distressing situations and severely challenging behaviours.
  • Ability to identify and employ, as appropriate, clinical governance mechanisms for the support and maintenance of clinical practice in the face of regular exposure to highly emotive material and challenging behaviour.
  • Ability to self-reflect, use clinical supervision appropriately and consider complex organisational team dynamics
  • Ability to develop and use complex multi-media materials for presentations in public, professional and academic settings
  • Experience of working within a multicultural framework

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