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Specialist Clinical/Forensic/Counselling Psychologist

West London NHS Trust
£40,057 to £45,839 a year pa plus HCAS
Closing date
26 Sep 2022

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Counsellor / Psychotherapist
Prison and Forensic
Band 7
Contract Type
Full Time
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We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic clinical, forensic or counselling psychologist to join the inpatient team at West London Forensic Service (WLFS). This is a full-time substantive post which is based on St Bernard's Hospital site in Ealing.

The post will be attached to a rehabilitation ward in the male low secure service. The successful candidate will be responsible for the provision of a highly developed and comprehensive specialist psychology service to culturally diverse service-users with enduring mental health difficulties and offending histories.

We welcome applications from highly-motivated and resourceful individuals who enjoy working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, and who can demonstrate strong skills and experience in working in secure settings.

West London is one of the most diverse and vibrant areas in London and our staff reflect the diverse communities we serve. Our sense of community and pride in our work stems from the difference which every member of our staff makes.

Interview date TBC

Main duties of the job

You will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team on a rehabilitation ward, providing a high quality, specialist applied psychology service to culturally diverse male service users with serious mental health conditions and offending behaviour, who are detained in a low secure hospital setting.

This will involve carrying out specialist psychological assessments, advising on risk assessment and risk management, carrying out individual therapy, and supporting psychological practice within the team through consultation, formulation and training.

You will have the opportunity to utilise skills in research, service evaluation, and audit within the service.

In addition to ward-based work, you will contribute to a well-established cross-ward group therapy programme. There will also be opportunities to gain experience from across the varied settings within West London Forensic Service.

About us

West London NHS Trust is one of the most diverse providers of mental health, community and social care in the UK.

Our 3,982 staff care for people in hospital and in the community, helping them to recover and go on to lead full and productive lives. We aim to be the best organisation of our kind in the country.

We provide care and treatment for more than 800,000 people living in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow, delivering services in the community (at home, in GP surgeries and care homes), hospital, specialist clinics and forensic (secure) units.

We'rerated good overall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Together, we're committed to promoting hope and wellbeing, working with patients, service users, carers, families and partners across the communities we serve.

We are keen to ensure that our workforce reflects the community it serves, particularly in terms of ethnicity, gender, disability, LGBTQ+ and experience of mental illness.

Covid-19 vaccination is a condition of employment for this role, unless an exemption applies. The successful applicant may have contact with vulnerable service users and we will therefore seek proof of being fully vaccinated during the recruitment process.

Job description Job responsibilities

The post-holder will contribute directly and indirectly to a psychologically based framework of understanding and care to the benefit of all patients of the service, across all settings and agencies serving the client group and ensure that all members of multidisciplinary teams have access to a psychologically based framework for understanding clients of the service through the provision of advice, consultation and the dissemination of psychological research and theory.

The post holder will contribute to research, audit and clinical governance tasks within the hospital.

The post holder will provide line management to assistant psychologists asdelegated by the lead psychologist.


The post-holder will be responsible, as a member of the psychology service, for the provision of full and comprehensive specialist clinical psychology services to culturally diverse patients with severe and enduring mental health disorders and serious forensic histories, who are detained in a low secure hospital setting. Responsibilities will include provision of specialist psychological assessments and therapies, the provision of specialist risk assessment and advice on risk management, and the provision of psychological advice and consultation to others involved in service user care.

The post holder will work as a clinical member of a multi-disciplinary team,which will include responsibility for ensuring the systematic provision andgovernance of a high quality specialist clinical psychology service to serviceusers via the CPA process and liaison with the psychological services referral panel and psychologists and other professionals providing psychologically based care and input. The post-holder will provide representation to multi-agency meetings as appropriate.

As an autonomous practitioner he/she will be responsible for their own work and interventions and for the interpretation of agreed guidelines and policies.

WorkforceClinical:1. To provide a comprehensive psychology service to service users who arementally disordered offenders, who have severe and enduring mentaldisorders (both mental illness and personality disorder), serious forensichistories, substance misuse histories, and who have a wide range ofpsychiatric, psychological and criminological problems and extremelycomplex needs.

2. To provide specialist psychological assessments of inpatients referred topsychological services, including suitability for admission, diagnosis, general and forensic risk, progress and suitability for discharge. These assessmentswill be based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration ofcomplex data from a variety of sources including psychological andneuropsychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct andindirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews with service users and others involved in the clients care.

3. To provide specialist psychological assessments of outpatients referred to psychological services, including specialist assessments for Criminal andFamily Courts, and for Social Services Departments. These assessments will be based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration of complex data from a variety of sources including psychological andneuropsychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct andindirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews with service users and others involved in the service users care.

4. To formulate and implement plans for the formal psychological treatment and/or management of a service users mental health problems/high riskbehaviours, based upon an appropriate conceptual framework of the service users problems, and employing methods based upon evidence of efficacy.

5. To be responsible for implementing a range of psychological interventions for individuals and groups, employed individually and in synthesis, adjusting and refining psychological formulations, drawing upon different explanatory models and maintaining a number of provisional hypotheses.6. 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, and the constraints and restrictions imposed by working in a secure environment.

7. To exercise autonomous professional responsibility for the assessment,initiation and termination of psychological treatment in accordance with CPA procedures.

8. To provide specialist consultation, advice and support on psychologicalapproaches to the management of people with serious mental disorders and serious forensic histories, who are being seen by other professional staff inthe team and to referrers in secondary, tertiary and, for community serviceusers, primary mental health systems, as well as those in the criminal justice system and voluntary sectors.

9. To undertake on-going risk assessment and management of mentallydisordered offenders, including the use of formal risk assessment procedures where appropriate, and to provide advice to other professions on psychological aspects of forensic risk assessment and risk management.

10. To act as care coordinator, where appropriate, taking responsibility forinitiating planning and review of care plans under standard and enhancedCPA including service users, their carers, referring agents and othersinvolved in the network of care. In addition, the post-holder may act as careco-ordinator for outpatients, as agreed with the Head of PsychologicalServices. This may entail acting as the only professional in contact with theservice user.

11. To communicate the outcome of assessment and therapy to the referrer, the multi-disciplinary team and the wider health, social care and criminal justice system, as appropriate. This will include the production of formal written reports, including legal reports for Mental Health Review Tribunals and the attendance at court as an expert witness as appropriate.

12. To communicate in a skilled and sensitive manner with service users and other professionals in relation to all aspects of the post-holders work,including advisory and support services. This will include feedback to service users who are compulsorily detained and who have severe mental disorders and a heightened potential for hostile reactions.

13. To provide expertise, advice and support to facilitate the effective andappropriate provision of psychological care by all members of the team.

Person Specification Qualifications Essential
  • Degree in Psychology. Eligibility for graduate membership of BPS
  • Post-graduate doctorate in clinical psychology (or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996 or those in lateral transfer); counselling psychology or forensic psychology equivalent, as accredited by the BPS.
  • Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council
  • Advanced keyboard skills
  • Other related academic qualifications
Experience Essential
  • Experience of work in either a severe and enduring mental disorder or a forensic setting either in a training placement or as an Assistant Psychologist or an HCA or equivalent
  • Experience of teaching, training and/or supervision.
  • Experience of the application of clinical psychology in different cultural contexts.
  • Experience of administration, scoring and written interpretation of WAIS tests
Knowledge Essential
  • Highly developed specialist knowledge, both theoretical and practical, of psychology applied to clinical practice, particularly in respect of adults with severe and enduring mental health disorders (including personality disorders)
  • Post-graduate level knowledge of research design and methodology
  • Knowledge of the professional code of conduct of the BPS
  • Specialist theoretical and practical knowledge of psychology applied to forensic issues
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation and its implications for work with mentally disordered offenders
  • Knowledge of SPSS
  • Evidence of continuing professional development
  • Post-graduate level knowledge of research design and methodology

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