From the Chief Executive, October 2019

The latest from Sarb Bajwa.

Earlier this year we carried out the most comprehensive survey of our membership that the BPS has ever undertaken and I’m delighted that, after some extensive analysis, we are now in a position to share some of our early findings with you.

Almost 6000 of you responded to the survey, an impressive number which gives us a clear picture of the challenges facing the psychological workforce in the UK.

You told us about the excessive workplace demands which are being placed on psychologists. About ever-growing workloads, conflicting priorities and the pressure to do some things quickly rather than properly. You explained how the demands being placed on psychologists are leading to issues like burnout, stress and a poor work-life balance.

Our work means that we all know how important it is that workplace environments and cultures promote wellbeing and encourage people to do their jobs effectively, and as your professional body we will be demanding that the conditions we advocate for others are also in place for our members.

Another theme which came through loud and clear in the results was the impact that organisational issues are having on psychologists’ ability to provide services to the public. Numerous responses highlighted issues with funding and resources, gaps in services, and a lack of managerial support.

As your professional body, we’re dismayed that these issues are preventing some of our members from providing crucial services in an effective way.

We have seen significant moves towards improving access to psychological therapies and good mental health care from the government recently, particularly in the NHS Long Term Plan, a document which sets out the future of healthcare in our country.

These are welcome ambitions, but they simply can’t be met unless there is a psychological workforce in place which is supported by a positive culture across the board.

Now that we have a robust evidence base to support our concerns, I’m confident that we will be able to achieve positive change for you. I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

The survey is only the beginning of this conversation, so please do get in touch about the challenges you’re facing at work and how the BPS may be able to help.

Sarb Bajwa is Chief Executive of the British Psychological Society.
Contact him at [email protected] 

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