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BPS updates

Workforce and training updates - May 2022

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

16 May 2023

Job planning guidelines

The final draft of the guidelines on job planning in health and social care have gone to the Practice Board for comment and approval to go out to consultation. The group that has produced the document is made up of multi-practitioner psychologists. If approval is agreed it will go out for consultation in early summer and if comments are favourable will ready to be published in the late summer early autumn.

Wellbeing hubs

This has been a significant piece of work with the BPS media team raising the profile of wellbeing hubs that were set up in England with ministers and the media. There have been 40 NHS staff wellbeing hubs (led by practitioner psychologists) set up by NHSE as pilots and the independent evaluations of their work has proved very positive. However, the future funding has not been nationally agreed by ministers. 

Most ICB/ICSs have simply not been able to pick up the funding. A number of the hubs have been shut down and others have struggled to find funding locally. The DCP and BPS have continued to take a lead, putting letters to Ministers to not withdraw this effective support system for staff, and the media in the form of the Independent and Sunday Mirror have reported about the issue. 

This is such a wasted opportunity given the difficulties that the NHS is facing in terms of sickness, retention and morale that we will be continuing the campaign to develop services to address the psychological wellbeing of staff.

Survey of psychologists in physical healthcare settings

The survey of psychologists working in physical healthcare settings has been completed. The results are currently being written up and are proving very interesting. There has been a 50 per cent increase in numbers since 2016, and more are being directly employed by acute care NHS Trusts in England rather than under sub-contract arrangements with mental health trusts. It is hoped to complete the document by late summer.

Guidance on the employment of psychologists in physical healthcare settings

This guidance document is in its final stage of drafting and will provide advice about the major governance issues to consider when employing psychologists in these settings. Some evidence came to light from the workforce survey above of junior lone practitioners in healthcare settings. It is very important that we find a way to ensure appropriate governance structures, particularly supervision, are in place to prevent these arrangements arising.

HCPC and BPS working group

Tony Lavender (working group chair) and Nigel Atter (BPS staff) have continued to meet with the HCPC and the Professional Standards Authority throughout the year. They have written a blog update which can be accessed on the BPS website. Important to note is the re-registration deadline, 31 May 2023, so if you haven’t done so now is the time. This seems to be going much more smoothly than at the last re-registration date.

We have been providing induction sessions to HCPC staff to familiarise them with the training and working contexts of each type of practitioner psychologist. A joint BPS/HCPC webinar on supervision has now taken place. In spite of over 90 per cent rejection by all HCPC registrants and associated professional bodies, the HCPC announced that it would be going ahead with raising the fees by just short of £20 at the next registration time point in two years.

It is important to note that we have serious concerns about the fitness to practice processes and the processing of international applications which we are raising directly with HCPC. These are also issues of continuing concern for the PSA as is evident in their periodic review which has just been published. We are working to develop a webinar for international applicants to support them with their application and preparation for working life in the UK.

Finally, HCPC has launched a free service to support registrants going through fitness to practice, which is available via its website

CTCP criteria for the accreditation of clinical psychology training programmes

The revised criteria are about to go out to consultation to key stakeholders to and we urge members to read and comment if they possibly can. The revisions have involved a considerable amount of thinking and crafting and we would wish to thank members of CTCP for their work.

- Tony Lavender

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