Featured Job: September 2017
Karen Redding, joint regional psychologist for Wales, for Partnership in Care and Priory Healthcare, tells me: ‘By using the adjective “passionate” in our advertisement, we mean we’re looking for psychologists who want to help service users achieve a better life. They must be resilient, believing change is possible whatever the setbacks’.
Why advertise for both clinical and forensic psychologists? ‘We have that mix already. Clinical psychologists bring lifespan approaches to treatment pathways, whilst forensic psychologists have skill in working with all aspects of offending behaviour. The two types of psychologist learn from each other and from other professionals in multidisciplinary teams.
Since we have a hugely diverse range of service users in medium- and low-secure and rehabilitation as well as independent living environments there are opportunities for different psychologists to work with different populations.’
Partnerships in Care and Priory Healthcare merged in 2016, creating the UK’s largest behavioural care organisation. This has led to new posts and, Karen feels, new opportunities. ‘We can be flexible in how we treat people. There’s real support for creative solutions; given how difficult it is to communicate with some service users, creativity is important. We’re trusted to make decisions. It’s not a bureaucratic organisation; multidisciplinary teams are free to make decisions in the interest of the service user.’ Karen joined Partnerships in Care in 2011 from the prison service. ‘The merger has opened up training and other development opportunities. Just because this is a private company doesn’t mean psychologists must be stuck in a role. I have been able to retain clinical work as well as take on a management role. We have excellent links with local universities, which means there are opportunities for research and to support trainees through the process of qualification.’
The ability to step back from often emotionally charged work is important. ‘We have regular team and regional meetings, CPD, supervision, and Priory runs a counselling service. The MDTs pause every 12 weeks to rethink service-user treatment plans.’
What do you particularly like about working here? ‘I’ve mentioned the freedom to make decisions and be creative. Every day is different. I love working as part of an MDT. Working with staffing teams is important in terms of being consistent in the care we provide. We are really keen to ensure reflective practice is embedded into each service.’ Karen emphasises one other point: ‘Some people think we’re isolated here. We’re not. We’re close to vibrant cities – Cardiff and Bristol – where a lot of our staff live. The sea and beautiful countryside are close. Each unit in South Wales offers a different environment, different professional challenges and different lifestyles. This area has a lot to offer successful applicants.’
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