In focus
BPS updates

DCP In Focus: July 2023

Read the July issue of DCP In Focus

20 July 2023

Welcome to the latest edition of news from the DCP, covering June and July this time.

We hope you will be interested to read about the progress made by the BPS campaign in supporting the NHS wellbeing hubs, the future plans and what you can do to help. This is a great example of what DCP can achieve working with the BPS with the resources it has available.

We have collated the events that are particularly relevant to DCP members to make it easier for you to find them. Finally, please consider applying to be on HCPC Fitness to Practice panels - a really important role for the profession.

The DCP is a rather complex organisation of networks and it can be hard to see how it all fits together. A short guide, with an organogram, has now been added to the website with  clickable links to the faculties. We hope it will help you to get your bearings!

The report of what all those networks did in 2022 can be found on our website.

- Julia Faulconbridge

News

Become an FTP Registrant Panel Member for the HCPC

The HHCPC is looking for practitioner clinical psychologists to become members of its Fitness to Practise (FTP) Registrant Panel.

The panels hear and determine cases of fitness to practise brought as part of the HCPC’s tribunal service.

Applicants need to be registered with the HCPC and meet the criteria set out in the information for applicants.

Applications close at 1pm on Friday 28 July – more information on the roles and details on how to apply are available on the HCPC website.

News

BPS #FundNHSHubs campaign update

The BPS campaign to protect the future of the NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs, which have been lifeline for health and care staff struggling with their mental health, is continuing to gain traction in the media and Westminster.  

The DCP, particularly our workforce and training lead Tony Lavender, and chair Roman Raczka, have been working with the BPS communications and public affairs team, alongside our colleagues at ACP-UK, to fight for the future of the hubs after their government funding ended on 31 March.

Find out more about why we’re campaigning to protect the future of the NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs, hear from the hubs, and read the latest news.  

Recent developments

The campaign has seen significant developments in recent weeks, with the publication of the long awaited NHS Workforce Plan which includes a promising commitment to staff wellbeing. The plan outlines new staff wellbeing measures, including the requirement for ICSs to develop and implement plans to invest in occupational health and wellbeing services, aligned with the national Growing Occupational Health and Wellbeing (OHWB) Strategy.

While tailored to meet local need, the plan suggests a core offer for ICSs could include ‘rapid access to mental health and musculoskeletal advice, guidance and treatment services’, amongst other measures.

Our response to the publication of the plan highlighted that the NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs “….have already been successfully delivering the much-needed wellbeing support for staff as described in the plan.” BPS CEO Sarb Bajwa said: “It is baffling that a number of well-evaluated existing hubs have been allowed to close, when they could clearly been part of the solution."

After the publication of the Workforce Plan, NHSE announced it had allocated £2.3million towards funding scaled-back versions of the hubs for the rest of the year. While this can be considered a small success for the campaign, the reality is that this funding won’t even cover basic costs for the hubs, and in the words of one hub lead is “insulting”.  

We worked with Health Service Journal on an exclusive story to highlight the discrepancies between the funding offered and the real costs of running each hub, and called on the government to revise its funding commitment in our response.

Support for the campaign

A number of public figures have pledged their support for the campaign, including Stephen Fry, Alastair Campbell, Adam Kay and Dr Hilary Jones.

Crucially, key health and social care organisations have also lent their voice to the campaign, whether as co-signatories for letters to the Steve Barclay MP, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, or sharing statements of support.

These include Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Psychiatrists, NHS Providers, British Association for Social Workers, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, College of Paramedics, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists', and Royal College of Haematology.

Shadow Minister for Disabled People, Vicky Foxcroft MP has also shared her support for the campaign on social media.

Read the statement from the Royal College of Physicians.

What’s next?

We will continue to lobby the government and NHS England to provide ongoing funding for the hubs, particularly in light of the NHS Workforce Plan, which clearly outlines an expectation for ICBs/ICSs to focus on staff wellbeing.   

On 18 July, representatives from the BPS and DCP, including Sarb Bajwa, Roman Raczka, and members and hub leads Joanne Jordan and Arabella Kurtz, were invited to speak by Lisa Cameron MP at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Psychology, focusing on mental health support for NHS and social care staff. This was attended by a number of MPs and stakeholder organisations, including NHS Providers.

Further media activity is also planned, to continue to raise awareness of the vital need for the hubs and gain further support.

How you can help

It’s not too late to email your MP to raise your concerns for the health and care staff working in your local area. It’s very easy to do, and will take you no more than two minutes. The more letters in MPs inboxes the better, the more public pressure MPs face and feel, the more likely we are to create change and secure the future of the mental health and wellbeing hubs.

If you are a team member of an NHS Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, or have your own experience of using a hub, and would like to share your story to support the campaign, including anonymously, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Kate Brudenell.

New guidance on the use of expert witnesses

The BPS has published new guidance on the use of psychologists as expert witnesses in the family courts in England and Wales, which was developed alongside the Family Justice Council.

The updated guidance includes additional details on the scrutiny of psychologists' regulation, their qualifications and their access to psychological tests.

More information on the guidance is available in an article published by the Guardian.

New guidance on best practices in psychology recruitment

The BPS has published three new guidelines aimed at promoting best practices in psychology recruitment:

These guidelines offer valuable and practical recommendations for both employers and psychologists.

They cover various topics including the proper use of the 'consultant psychologist' title and the best recruitment practices to ensure fair and objective assessment of consultants.

European Congress of Psychology 2023

The BPS recently hosted the European Congress of Psychology 2023 in Brighton, with more than 1,100 delegates from around Europe joining for three days of sessions, symposia and keynotes.

The DCP hosted an event at the congress, which saw the recent winners of some of our awards present their work ahead of a discussion on clinical psychology training in the UK.

More information on what went on at the congress is available in daily round-ups published on the BPS website:

Events

DCP events

On 26 July, our Faculty for Addictions hosts an 'in conversation' virtual CPD event based around the Power Threat Meaning Framework.

Our Faculty for Psychosis and Complex Mental Health hosts an 'in conversation' event with Tom Richardson on 26 July.

Our West Midlands Branch is holding a CPD session on working with trans people on 6 September.

The 2023 Faculty for the Psychology of Older People annual conference is being hosted by the Welsh Geographical Group on 19 and 20 September.

Our Faculty for Psychosis and Complex Mental Health is hosting an 'in conversation' event with Adrian Whittington on 19 September.

The DCP South West Branch is joining forces with its BPS counterpart for an event on homelessness and climate harm on 26 September.

Our Faculty of Holistic Psychology hosts a webinar on therapeutic support within nature on 29 September.

BPS events

A webinar on 5 September looks at how positivity can 'broaden and build' performance.

This year's expert witness conference takes place on 6 September, with the focus being on case studies.

The BPS East Midlands and West Midlands Branches are joining forces to hold a festival of psychology in the Midlands on 8 September.

A webinar on 14 September focuses on sleep in people living with neurodiversity.

Contribute to the APPTS newsletter

The Accreditation Programme for Psychological Therapies Services (APPTS) is looking for contributions to its newsletter.

Any articles on working systematically with families and communities, as well as areas of good practice, are welcomed within the 750 word limit.

Please send submissions to the APPTS team.

Nominate for one of the DCP awards

Our 2023 awards are open for nominations until 1 October.

The M.B. Shapiro Award is a late career award for psychologists who have achieved eminence in the profession, while the May Davidson Award recognises clinical psychologists who have made a significant contribution to the profession during the first ten years of their career.

Our Pre-Qualification Award promotes and encourages the contribution of pre-doctoral clinical work, while the Trainee Research Excellence Work and the Trainee Excellence in Practice Award both recognise the work of our fantastic trainees.

Find out more about the awards and how to make a nomination.

Read more on these topics