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Highly Specialist Psychologist (Clinical, Counselling or Health)

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
£48,526 to £54,619 a year per annum
Closing date
25 Mar 2023

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Counsellor / Psychotherapist
Band 8A
Contract Type
Full Time
Within the development of the Psychological Medicine Service in Oldham and Psychological Medicine, an exciting job opportunity has become available for Psychologists from a Clinical, Counselling or Health Psychology background. Candidates may have an interest in working with patients in the field of physical health and/or with patients with complex interpersonal or trauma experiences who present with atypical healthcare utilisation.

The posts are offered at 8a, however a band 7 to 8a preceptorship will be considered for candidates with suitable experience. Senior 8a psychotherapist applications would also be considered for this post.

The post is based in the Oldham team, focussed on working with people who present with atypical healthcare utilisation. The patient group identify as having persistent physical symptoms, and have a background of complex interpersonal and trauma experiences. The team comprises of liaison practitioners, consultant psychiatry and psychology.

Main duties of the job

Successful candidates for either role will work clinically providing specialist assessment and formulation for patients. Formulation may be used to inform care plans for patients within the team (and in other services such as GP or acute care) and may lead on to targeted therapy intervention where indicated.

The teamshave a strong ethos of learning. Provision of teaching, supervision and support of trainee doctors, psychologists and liaison practitioners within the team is an essential and rewarding part of the roles. Offering consultation or learning opportunities to local GPs and external professionals as well to mental health colleagues enables joint working with other teams and smooth pathways of care for patients.

All staff in the service are involved in respective MDTs and feed in, through business meetings to service development and evaluation initiatives.

About us

Psychological Medicine Services form a network across the footprint of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, working in each of the local boroughs. Services have evolved over the last 20 years to cover a range of patient groups, for example working with patients with long term health conditions including persistent pain, patients with post covid syndrome, and people who have atypically high utilisation of healthcare services.

Service delivery has been identified as an example of good practice by NHS England as well as service models being cited by the Kings Fund.

Services working with atypical healthcare utilisation recognise the complex impact of trauma and interpersonal difficulty on physical healthcare service use, whereas a primary health focus is offered in teams which integrate into healthcare provision such as pain or diabetes. As a network across the trust, clinical staff are supported to develop their skills in a range of therapies and to work collaboratively to share skills with colleagues.

Job description Job responsibilities

Clinical role - the post holders will become part of the Psychological Medicine MDT and will offer assessment and formulation to people referred into the team. They will offer therapy interventions to people with complex presentations referred into the team requiring MDT care.

Training - the MDT offer in the team includes consultation and training to people from other services, to colleagues in mental health and to trainees in the team. Training may be used in development of pathways for new patient groups and to inform care where professionals are struggling to meet the needs of their patient or patient groups.

As a senior member of staff within the team, the postholder will be part of service discussions to develop patient pathways, to recruit new staff carry out research and service evaluation. Working within trust policy and guidance, team members are encouraged to feed into discussions about risk management and wider governance issues, and to work together with the support of the team manager to best meet the needs of vulnerable patients.


Person Specification Education / Qualifications Essential
  • Post-Graduate doctoral level training in clinical counselling or health psychology (or equivalent for those trained prior to 1996) as accredited by the BPS including specific models of psychopathology / mental health, clinical psychometrics, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology.
  • Post-doctoral training in one or more additional specialised areas of psychological practice.
  • Training relevant to working with Physical Health Conditions and or personality difficulties.
Experience Essential
  • Experience working as a qualified specialist practitioner psychologist.
  • Post qualification experience of psychological assessment, intervention and management working with a wide range of clinical presentations. These should include complex, long-term co-morbid physical health conditions and / or, complex mental health conditions.
  • Ability to maintain 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 patients' psychological care and treatment, both as a professionally qualified clinical psychologist and within the context of a multi-disciplinary care plan.
  • Experience of teaching and training.
  • Experience of working in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Experience of representing psychology within the context of multi-disciplinary care.
  • Experience of assessing and treating patients across the full range of care settings, including both those with complex mental health needs and those with complex physical health conditions, would be helpful but not essential.
  • Experience of the application of psychology in different cultural contexts.
  • Experience of supervising other health care professionals.
  • Experienced in group therapies.
Knowledge Essential
  • Evidence of post-doctoral learning and the development of knowledge of theory and practice in relation to the psychology of adjustment to illness, role of distress in interfering with treatment and recovery, adherence to and decision making about treatment and lifestyle changes to improve and maintain health.
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialist psychological therapies with complex patient groups (e.g. those with long term co-morbid physical and mental health problems, history of trauma and abuse).
  • 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 patients, 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 design and methodology, including complex multivariate data analysis as practice within the field of clinical counselling and health psychology.
  • Knowledge of legislation in relation to the patient group and mental health.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development as recommended by the BPS.
  • An interest in developing skills in working with patients from a broad range of ethnic backgrounds.
  • An interest in developing skills in group work.
  • An interest in developing skills in pain management.
Skills and Abilities 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 develop and use complex multi-media materials for presentations in public, professional and academic settings.
  • Highly skilled in working with complex patients in groups and managing group dynamics in the face of highly emotive issues.
  • Formal training in supervision of other Psychologist.
  • Enthusiasm for treating those from diverse ethnic backgrounds and experience of working within a multicultural framework.
Work Related Circumstances Essential
  • Use of a car or access to a means of mobility to travel across the Trust footprint in line with service needs.
  • Willing to carry out all duties and responsibilities of the post in accordance with the Trust's Equal Opportunities and Equality and Diversity policies.
  • Appointments to regulated and controlled activities require an enhanced DBS disclosure.

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