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Trainees and training, Work and occupational

Workforce and training updates - September 2021

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

13 September 2021

HEE Statement of Expectations of Courses re The NHS Long Term Plan

Health Education England (HEE) have now published a statement describing their expectations of courses in terms of providing training that will equip trainees to help deliver the NHS Long Term Plan. The full statement is available at: (add link). As part of this HEE wants the significant expansion in funded training commissions over the last two years to continue in subsequent years. Final decisions are subject to the outcome of the Government’s forthcoming spending review.  There is also funding currently available to help increase the diversity of trainees and to facilitate programmes incorporating into the training the accreditation of courses in CBT (up to level 2 BABCP) and Systemic Practice (intermediate AFT) training. There is also funding to continue the recently developed EDI initiatives on Courses and in Trusts. The courses have submitted bids for this funding and are awaiting the outcomes.

Postponement of Requirement of 2 year gap between eligibility for HEE funding

There has been much lobbying to postpone of a component of HEE’s initial statement that people in receipt of HEE funding needed to wait 2 years before being eligible for funding for another HEE funded programme. This was seen as disadvantaging for people who had begun planned career pathways to clinical training people which involved completing an HEE funded programme. The case was also put that this move might inadvertently reduce the diversity in clinical psychology applicants which was nobody’s intention. HEE have agreed to withdraw the retrospective application of the rule and are consulting with representative bodies on a revised timescale for implementation. HEE will seek to work with courses and services to continue to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in clinical psychology training. The revised update can be found here.

Health Education England Clinical Psychology Course Retendering

HEE following an internal audit that they needed to go through a process of retendering for all English courses in order to comply with public contracting requirements. All courses have been notified and the timescales for the whole process are very tight with a market engagement meeting in September with the tender to go live in October and outcomes by February 2022. This comes at a difficult time as courses are adapting to delivering increased numbers and other initiatives. HEE attention has been drawn to the fact that this does not sit easily with the application timescales (applications need to be in to Clearing by end of December). All courses are busy preparing tenders and the strong advice to applicants is to go on applying as you had been planning.

Scotland Update from Judy Thompson

In Scotland there are currently no plans to change existing funding arrangements for NES commissioned psychology programmes. Over the next few months NES will be undertaking the annual commissioning process with NHS Boards which includes gathering stakeholder views on future development of the psychology workforce for the NHS in Scotland.

Workforce Expansion

Demand for mental health support continues to increase and people are still waiting too long for CAMHS and psychological therapy treatment. The Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan outlines the need to expand the workforce. Significant additional investment is being committed over the lifetime of the parliament to mental health.

Psychology Doctoral and Masters’ Programmes

The Minister for Mental Health has prioritised funding from the Recovery and Renewal fund as part of a planned 5 year expansion to existing NES Applied Psychology programmes. Funding is available to increase training places in the 3 year Doctoral Clinical Psychology programme by 10 per year resulting in annual intakes of 80. The funding also supports an increase in the postgraduate 1 year Masters programmes leading to annual intakes of 50 for the Psychological Therapies in Primary Care programme and 40 for the Applied Psychology Children and Young People programme.

New Enhanced Psychology Practitioner Training Model (EPP)

NES has developed an EPP Training Model. The Mental Health Minister has also agreed to prioritise funding from the Recovery and Renewal fund as part of a plan to support EPP over 5 years. Funding is available for both training and service posts. By 2026, 450 new services posts will be created.

This is a new certificate level training scheme to create a new workforce of psychological practitioners capable of delivering high-quality, evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate difficulties in a way that can be efficiently brought to scale.  This proposed approach aims to make effective use of the large cohorts of graduates in Psychology and related disciplines – as well as those with equivalent training and experience - to deliver and support, under supervision, brief, outcome-focused evidence-based interventions.   Enhanced practitioners will provide a defined clinical service, working under supervision. 

The NES/SG (2015) The Matrix; A Guide for Delivering Evidence Based Psychological Therapies in Scotland, has contributed to the development of capacity to deliver the right psychological therapies and interventions to the right people by practitioners who are suitably trained and supervised in a Scottish context. However, as the evidence develops there is a need for a robust process of review, but it was also recognised that the context for delivering psychological services had already been changing and this has been hugely accelerated by the ongoing pandemic. As a result, we are undertaking a significant review which includes a refresh of the contextual chapters to reflect the emerging policy and organisational position along with a significant additional chapter including a recent evidence review of the use of technology enabled delivery. Language has been changed, in consultation with stakeholders to increase consistency with the knowledge and skills frameworks which have been influential over the past few years in Scotland. The evidence tables will aim to have more integrated, lifespan approach and be searchable on a new digital platform. Therapies and interventions which are on the evidence tables will also have interactive tools which enable a more nuanced review based on specific implementation factors such as fit with a local population need and identify implementation barriers.

N Ireland Update from Nichola Rooney

There has been 10% (2 additional) increase in D.Clin.Psychol. places for this year’s intake. 

A two year pilot for a graduate psychology enhanced training has been funded by the Department for Economy. The course is being co-designed with Clinical Psychologists and co-delivered by the Schools of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster. This PG cert aims to provide psychology graduates with a foundation to prepare them for employment in the NHS - probably in Band 4/5 posts, with further training being planned to provide career pathways to Band 6. 

Clinical Psychology is represented on the Mental Health Strategic Reform Board, which will oversee the implementation of the new 10 year Mental Health Strategy. Progress is being made on the establishment of a lead regional clinical psychology role/ CPO.  

HCPC

The BPS Practice Board has established an HCPC Working Group to address the issues that have arisen over the years about the working of HCPC for practitioner psychologists. The BPS used to have regular meetings with HCPC and the intention is to re-establish this contact. The group was chaired by Katherine Carpenter who has needed to give up the role because of her responsibilities as the newly elected BPS President. Tony Lavender has agreed to take up the role of chair. We have collated the issues that we have noticed and that have been drawn to our attention by members (thanks to members who submitted points) and we will be developing plans in relation to those issues. Issues have included who should be the regulator, communication from HCPC about re-registering, the misuse and evasion of titles, the approval processes for international colleagues, the relationship between BPS and HCPC accreditation processes and Fitness to Practice Standards and processes.

National Assessors Update

Eric Karas has been in the role of Interim Chief National Assessor and has, with the help of Hannah Farndon, successfully relaunched the Scheme. It was always planned that Eric would stand down post relaunch and to this end we have sent a request to all Lead and National Assessors to apply for the Chief Assessor role. The advert request only went to the Leads and National Assessors because the Chief role requires someone with a good level of knowledge about the Scheme. We are all very pleased and grateful for the energy, ingenuity and thoughtfulness Eric has put into the role.