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Trainees and training, Work and occupational

Workforce and training updates - December 2021

Read all the latest news from our Workforce and Training Lead.

13 December 2021

Clinical Psychology Programme Tendering in England

A revised timetable has been agreed for the tendering of clinical psychology programmes in England. The tender will be for programmes for the 2023 intake, rather than the 2022 intake that was originally envisaged. The rescheduling has been welcomed by programmes. There has been a request for further information, particularly about programme costs, which were submitted in November. This information will be used to inform the tender specification which will go live on 17 January and stay open for submissions until the end of February. Whilst it is planned that there will be a further increase in the number of commissions to contribute to the delivery of the NHS long term plan (up to 1200 for 2022) the funding is not yet secure. There is optimism and a great deal of energy going in to securing the funding.

HEE Statement re two-year Funding Ruling

The changes proposed by HEE (Health Education England) to introduce the requirement for a two-year gap between completing an NHS funded psychological professions training and undertaking a further NHS funded psychological professions training had been the subject of further engagement work. Following the original announcement, it has been agreed that there would be no retrospective introduction of the ruling. This means individuals who have already joined an NHS funded psychological professions training by the end of March 2022 will not be affected by the change. An initial equalities impact assessment had been undertaken but a full independent Equalities Impact Assessment has been commissioned which will report in January 2022. This will be taken into consideration in publishing the final position. For further details and updates see:

Chief/Lead Psychological Professions Officers

In England there is agreement to recruit a National Psychological Professions Team across HEE/NHSE/I. It is important to note that there will be a merger of HEE, NHSE/I, NHS Digital and NHS X which is due to be completed in April 2023 and the new team will work across the new structures as they emerge.  The Team will include a full time Lead, a part time Deputy Lead and a number of supporting positions. Advertisements for these posts will appear over the next few months as the recruitment process gets underway.

In Wales a lean National resource remains in place on a secondment basis (Matrcs Cyrmu Leadership and Infrastructure Project) and a draft business case for a longer term expanded resource has been developed with a range of stakeholders. Its current iteration includes a part time National Lead, a part time Academic Lead (to act as Editor for the evidence tables) and an Engagement Lead for the Psychological Professions to lead on the development of psychological services nationally. A linked assistant psychologist embedded in each Health Board has been suggested to help feed the national workforce data gathering.

As previously announced Scotland already has a psychology advisor to the Scottish government. Plans for a similar lead role are being redeveloped in N Ireland.

HCPC BPS Working Group news

The Working Group have recently discussed the Professional Standards Authority (PSA-the regulator of the regulators, including of HCPC) paper about what they saw as being needed for the future of regulation in the UK. In keeping with the Government's initiatives to reduce the number of regulators they go one step further and propose the creation of a single regulator and quoted the Australian model as a good example. The Australian regulator has a number of Boards and regulations for each profession and one of the Boards is for Psychology. The single regulator seems more common in countries with a complex regulatory system. Watch this space for future update.

Meanwhile the group has established regular meetings with the PSA and HCPC to deal with the issues and concerns that have been gathered from members. Thanks to all who responded to the request for people to come forward with their concerns.

Health Select Committee call for evidence re NHS Training, Recruitment and Retention in Health and Social Care

Hannah Randle is coordinating the BPS (and DCP) response to the Committee. If anybody is willing to contribute, please contact Hannah at Hannah Randle [email protected]. The Committee is calling for evidence about:

  • What are the main steps that must be taken to recruit the extra staff that are needed across the health and social care sectors in the short, medium and long-term?
  • What is the correct balance between domestic and international recruitment of health and social care workers in the short, medium and long term?
  • What are the principal factors driving staff to leave the health and social care sectors and what could be done to address them?
  • Are there specific roles, and/or geographical locations, where recruitment and retention are a particular problem and what could be done to address this?
  • What should be in the next iteration of the NHS People Plan, and a people plan for the social care sector, to address the recruitment, training and retention of staff?
  • To what extent are the contractual and employment models used in the health and social care sectors fit for the purpose of attracting, training, and retaining the right numbers of staff with the right skills?