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Principal Clinical/Counselling Psychologists–Cancer & Palliative Care

East London NHS Foundation Trust
£56,164 to £65,262 a year per annum
Closing date
9 Feb 2023

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A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Clinical/Counselling Psychologist to join the Cancer and Palliative Care Psychology Team. We are seeking an experienced Clinical/Counselling Psychologist who is enthusiastic, creative and wants learning opportunities to enhance strategic and operational management skills. This Senior Cancer and Palliative Care Psychology post is 0.6wte (22.5hrs) fixed term and will work alongside our existing Principal Psychologists to lead on service projects and provide complex clinical assessment and intervention, and help deliver our vision for improved access and experience of psychological cancer and palliative care across Bedfordshire, Luton and ICS.

Main duties of the job

The post holder will join a warm enthusiastic and dedicated specialist Cancer and Palliative Care psychology team (Level 3 and Level 4), including Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Family/Couples Therapists and CBT/Psychotherapist. The post holder will be supervised by the Consultant Psychologists Lead and support you to deliver high quality services that operate across organisational boundaries to meet local need, as part of the Cancer Transformation Strategy. The position offers a varied role including clinical case work, consultation, supervision groups, teaching and training, service development and research. The post-holder will join a broader thriving diverse Clinical Health Psychology Team within ELFT Beds and Luton Community Health Services. ELFT is committed to providing CPD opportunities to maintain and develop specialist expertise. If this post has peaked your interest then please call to for an informal chat, 07733123334, Dr Sara Rassool (Consultant Clinical Psychologists).

About us

Our mission is to make a positive difference to people's lives by improving the quality of life for all we serve. Our values are: We Care, We Respect, We are Inclusive - so we are looking for people who live and breathe these qualities when supporting service users and carers, and in their relationships with colleagues in the Trust and our partner organisations.

Job description Job responsibilities

The Macmillan Psychology Service stretches across Luton & Bedfordshire to provide psychological care for people with cancer and palliative care needs, their families and carers. The post holder will join a well-established team, work at a senior level, alongside an existing principal psychologist, and consult lead. The Post holder will be responsible for providing highly specialist clinical psychology services, including, specialist psychological assessment, interventions and therapies for adult Cancer & Palliative Care patients, their families and carers. The role also involves provision of teaching, advice, consultation and supervision on clients psychological care to non-psychology colleagues. The service is provided within a range of settings including hospital and hospice inpatient units, care homes, community clinics and, where necessary, in patients homes. The post holder will utilise research skills for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of individual and group psychological interventions, audit, service development and research. The service works in collaboration with a range of voluntary agencies as well as other Trust services. The post holder will work with the Service Lead to maintain positive working relationships with relevant stakeholders. The rolewill cover broad team and staff management including overseeing service operations, team systems, processes and staff supervision. The post holder will utilise research skills, audit, policy and service development to implement policy changes within the area of Cancer and Palliative Care in agreement with the guidance of the Service Lead. The post holder will facilitate implementation of both local cancer strategy and adhere to national standards appropriate to the health and social care setting, contributing to strategic planning of the service.

The post holder will work autonomously within professional guidelines and the overall framework of the Trusts policies and procedures.

Person Specification Qualifications Essential
  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology or equivalent training as an applied practitioner
  • HCPC registration as a Practitioner Psychologist
  • Training in clinical supervision for doctoral clinical psychology trainees.
Experience Essential
  • Substantial experience of working as a qualified psychological practitioner with post qualification experience of working with people with Cancer and Palliative Care needs and working as part of multi-disciplinary team for people with complex physical health conditions often with mental health comorbidities.
  • Well-developed experience of assessment, formulation and treatment with people (and families/carers) with complex & chronic long term conditions.
  • Experience in working within at least two therapy modalities (CBT and one other).
  • Experience of the application of psychology in different cultural contexts, including working with interpreters.
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of client groups across the whole life course, presenting problems that include 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.
  • Research and audit experience.
  • Experience of representing psychology within the context of multi-disciplinary care.
  • Experience of developing and delivering specialist training programmes.
  • Experience of supervising professional and clinical practice of qualified and Unqualified staff.
  • Experience of liaison and joint work with other statutory, and third sector agencies.
  • Identification of need and development of services to meet need.
  • Experience of supervising professional and clinical
  • Experience managing other staff
  • Experience of liaison and joint work with other statutory agencies, including crisis management.
  • Identification of need and development of services to meet need.
  • Ability to provide and promote appropriate means of support to carers and staff exposed to highly distressing situations and challenging behaviours
Knowledge and Skills Essential
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the challenges of working with this client group
  • Highly developed knowledge of the theory and practice of at least two specialised psychological therapies with adult clients with complex physical and mental health needs, which should include CBT and one other.
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult-to-treat groups (e.g. complex needs, dual diagnosis, and persons with additional disabilities etc).
  • Able to provide & receive highly complex, sensitive or contentious information in a highly emotive and sometimes hostile atmosphere, in a range of relationships and settings. Able to use highly specialist skills of empathy to work with and overcome barriers to understanding and acceptance.
  • Experience of working with complex systems of care.
  • Ability to teach and train others, using a variety of multi-media materials suitable for presentations within public, professional and academic settings.
  • Able to draw upon a broad theoretical knowledge base in the analysis of highly complex facts or situations to arrive at appropriate formulations. Able to compare and select from a range of treatment options, based on formulation.
  • Ability to identify and employ mechanisms of clinical governance as appropriate, to support and maintain clinical practice.
  • Able to plan, organise and prioritise own workload.
  • Ability to work creatively, co-operatively, reliably and consistently as an independent practitioner, as a mentor and supervisor, and in multi-disciplinary and team settings.
  • Ability to hold service level needs and operations alongside a complex case load.
  • Competence in advanced IT packages including keyboard skills, virtual platforms eg: MS Teams.
  • Competence in use of IT equipment and software packages for the purposes of clinical record keeping, electronic communication, creating organisational documentation, data entry and analysis, research, and multimedia presenting and teaching.
  • Able to record and report on as required clinical information.
  • Competencies and ability to adapt to a changing virtual delivery of team working and clinical/teaching services.
  • Knowledge of legislation, NSF guidelines, NICE guidance and other national policies for the area of speciality and their implications for clinical practice
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research methodology, design and data analysis as practiced within the field of psychology
  • Ability to provide a culturally-competent and non-stigmatising accessible service including an awareness of the potential impact of discrimination. Particular awareness and sensitivity to cultural and ethnic differences in this specialism when dealing with End of Life.
  • Experience of working within a multi-cultural framework
  • Able to be flexible and adapt approach according to need. Able to innovate on the basis of theoretical knowledge
  • Flexible working to promote work/life balance
Personal Essential
  • Enthusiasm and interest in models of service delivery.
  • Accountable for own professional actions and ability to work autonomously, including planning and organising own workload.
  • Demonstrates ability to work both collaboratively and autonomously taking on responsibility for the care of patients
  • Ability to maintain accurate case records and an awareness of the importance of confidentiality.
  • Able to contain and work with organisational stress and able to hold the stress of others.
  • Able to sit in constrained positions for a substantial proportion of working time.
  • Positive attitude to collaborative team work and ability to form good working relationships with others.
  • Evidence of being able to reflect actively on the professional role and professional accountability to users of the service
  • Able to concentrate intensely for a substantial proportion of working time, during client contact, teaching/supervision sessions, team meetings, preparing written work etc.
  • Ability to carry out delicate negotiations with patients and their carers, when there may be high levels of expressed emotion and or hostility towards the service being offered yet a need to maintain a highly professional and ethical stance
  • Ability to hold the stress of colleagues and other relevant persons.
  • Ability to cope with continual exposure to distressing and highly emotive clinical material.
  • Able to manage effectively verbal aggression from service users, families, etc and the risk of physical aggression.
  • Willing to negotiate and can handle confrontation effectively and professionally.
  • Ability to work within the context of COVID and carry out risk assessment and management, eg: infection control, eg: wearing of PPE where needed.
  • Able to take a respectful, caring and inclusive approach to service users, families, carers, colleagues and other professionals.

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