New Ways of Working report
THE New Ways of Working for Applied Psychologists Group has published an interim report, available at www.bps.org.uk/ppb.
The group is jointly chaired by Tony Lavender (British Psychological Society) and Roslyn Hope (National Institute for Mental Health in England/Care Services Improvement Partnership) and was established in July 2005 to explore how applied psychology can develop to take account of the changing NHS workforce context.
The group has seven project streams, outlined below.
Training models One project group has reviewed the current training models for all the applied psychologies, and is reviewing four potentially new training models.
The ‘New Roles’ model is the latest to emerge and attempts to take account of a model of service provision as well as training. It has three progressive levels between undergraduate and doctoral applied psychology training, each level with its own qualification which builds towards an MSc. There would be a recognised career exit at the completion of the MSc at the level of senior associate psychologist (equating to the EuroPsy model). This would be followed by a two-year specialist doctorate course.
It was considered that there was potential for clinical, health and counselling to come together within this model, and there is also a strong view being expressed that educational and forensic should be included.
The final report from the group will review the current patterns of training, review the new models and make recommendations about how the British Psychological Society, services and commissioners could take matters forward.
Career pathways A task group has been looking at roles of applied psychologists in health and social care after qualification. There are three main areas of work: mapping the qualified workforce, describing job roles at different bands, and describing examples of good practice.
Organising managing and leading psychological services This project group has been working on the production of a document about the organisation, management and leadership of psychological services within the NHS. The document is for commissioners, service managers (including chief executives), professional leads of psychological services and staff delivering psychological services.
Key recommendations likely to emerge include:
The need for trusts, and foundation trusts in particular, to appoint at board-level directors of psychological therapies/services.
The need to consider the leadership development needs of all levels of staff, from trainees to Band 9.
The need to develop a nationwide mentoring scheme.
The development of systems to support succession planning.
A project group has been reviewing the new roles of primary care mental health workers, associate psychologists and the initiatives to develop psychological therapists. A number of developments for the future are up for discussion and consultation, surrounding career frameworks, and the development of criteria for the evaluation of new roles.
This project group has been working on a consultation document, provisionally entitled ‘Working Psychologically in Teams’. The first half of the document provides an update on the recent literature on effective teamworking and explores issues such as the separation and integration of psychologists in teams, leadership, the role of psychologists in service improvement, responsibility, accountability, communication and decision making. The second part of the document explores new ways of working that are specific to
new team configurations and contexts.
Another project group has actively liaised with the Department of Health/CSIP Programme on ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’, and in particular the Workforce Group. Topics include defining competencies for psychological therapies; profiling the availability, training and supervision of psychological therapists working within the IAPT demonstration sites; and estimating both the workforce and education and training requirements necessary for implementing a phased national roll out of the IAPT programme.
Changes in Mental Health legislation
A new Mental Health Bill has been published (see p.5), and members of the Mental Health Act Working Group have been heavily involved in developing and disseminating briefing and lobbying materials surrounding the bill.
A broader remit?
There is also a debate within the group about whether there is a need to develop a vision/purpose for applied psychology which goes beyond the organisations and systems in which the applied psychologists currently work. Such a vision would need to take into account the distress, directly or indirectly, generated by the society/cultural forces, including job security/ insecurity, employment availability, poverty, etc. If readers consider this a worthwhile endeavour or have views about what this would look like or wish to make any other comments on the work, please e-mail [email protected].
Supervisor training and recognition
The Membership and Professional Training Board has been working for some time on the development of a voluntary Supervisor Training and Recognition (STAR) scheme that will enable the Society to formally recognise its members’ supervisory skills. The scheme will involve the development of a common framework for supervisor training, which in time will have a positive impact on the quality of the training and development opportunities available to aspirant chartered psychologists.
Building on work undertaken to date within the clinical psychology training community, the Board has supported in principle the launch of the scheme for clinical, counselling and health psychologists. Other Divisions will be able to opt in to the scheme at a later stage.
A one-day workshop will be held in early 2007, aimed at widening participation and establishing consensus concerning the operationalisation of the scheme. It is hoped that the scheme will be launched in 2008, and the Board looks forward to updating members on developments in this area in due course.
For further information, contact Lucy Horder on [email protected].
Equal opportunities award 2006
THE Standing Committee for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities is pleased to announce that Dr Anne Douglas is the winner of the 2006 Award for Promoting Equality of Opportunity. She has been recognised for her innovative and outstanding clinical leadership in the field of trauma with people who are often socially excluded.
Dr Carole Allan, who nominated Dr Douglas, said: ‘Over the 20 years that I have known her, Anne has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to equality issues. She is prepared to work hard not only at the operational level but also at the strategic level to make a significant difference to service provision and policy.’
Dr Douglas is a consultant clinical psychologist and Head of Trauma Speciality for the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. She is also an associate research fellow and honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Glasgow.
Since qualifying as a clinical psychologist in 1982, Dr Douglas has specialised in the field of trauma, running specialist services for both adolescents and adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse or rape. More recently she has been instrumental in setting up NHS mental health services for asylum seekers and refugees with a history of trauma.
Dr Douglas began her career as an assistant psychologist at the Greater Glasgow Health Board in 1979 following an MA at the University of Glasgow. She went on to complete her master’s in applied science in 1982 and obtained her doctorate, which focused on anxieties concerning intimate parenting in mothers with a history of childhood sexual abuse, in 1998.
Alongside the COMPASS team, which focuses on the mental health of asylum seekers and refugees, her role as Head of Trauma Speciality has also seen her develop two additional psychology-led multidisciplinary teams dealing with trauma and homelessness, and sexual abuse/sexual assault.
In addition, she is currently involved in several research studies, including further refinement of her doctorate research, and the introduction of a patient involvement study to ascertain the views of asylum seekers on the mental health services they have received.
On accepting the award, Dr Douglas said: ‘I would like to commend NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for its support in developing services for people who are often socially excluded. I am also fortunate to work with creative and enthusiastic colleagues in all three trauma teams and I would like to share this award with them.’
Ethics Column No.8
conduct and beyond
UNDER the terms of its Royal Charter the Society has, since 1985, maintained and regularly updated a Code of Conduct. It has also published Ethical Principles and Guidelines supplementary to the code. Nevertheless, the launch of the new Code of Ethics and Conduct in March 2006 represents a significant development. The ethical principles that form the overarching framework, guiding the practice of psychology as a whole, are for the first time drawn out and made explicit within the code itself. Standards of conduct are defined and related to these principles, which are at a higher level of abstraction than those of the previous Code of Conduct, and this recognises the complexity of ethical reasoning, judgement and decision making.
Whilst the new Code, in common with its predecessor, emphasises individual responsibility for professional conduct, by placing this within a broader framework of principles, it also points more explicitly to the individual and collective responsibility, or stewardship, that psychologists have for the discipline as a whole. This is most clearly stated in the ‘Statement of Values’ relating to each principle. In particular, under Principle 3 the responsibility of psychologists to ‘the profession and science of Psychology’ is highlighted and under Principle 4 they are charged to ‘seek to promote integrity in all facets of their scientific and professional endeavours’. Emphasising these general values within the Code draws attention to the need for all psychologists to consider issues, relating both to the broader ethical contexts in which psychology is practised and to the nature of the discipline itself, as a matter of personal ethical responsibility.
The wide range of uses of psychology and contexts of practice suggests the breadth of this responsibility and the complexity of the dilemmas. In The Psychologist, for example, attention has been drawn to the issue of being asked to take consultative roles in interrogations including torture. Should a Society member acting in such a role be disciplined? This issue is currently under discussion by the Ethics Committee in conjunction with the Professional Practice Board, and your views are welcome on [email protected].
There are plenty of other dilemmas. What are the ethics of treating soldiers for stress in order to return them to combat? Away from contexts of national security, should we treat individuals for work stress without the capacity to address stress-inducing organisational context? This questions the very nature of the discipline and the tendency of psychological theories to focus on individuals, interpersonal relations and small groups, sometimes excluding structural dimensions of problems and pathologising individuals. Further issues are raised by the explicit and implicit values of the theories themselves, which shape normative discourses relating to adaptation, human development, mental health, and so on.
Of course, this just scratches the surface, and the questions are not new. But we can now frame them within the context of the new Code and make ethical debate a more central focus within psychology.
Professor Dominic Upton
THE Fellowship Committee is pleased to report that they have conferred the title of Fellow of the Society on Dr Dominic Upton for his significant contribution in the field of neuropsychology. He was described by one of the referees as ‘a psychologist who makes things happen’.
Professor Upton graduated with a combined psychology and biology degree from Leicester University progressing through his master’s in psychology and health to his doctorate on the neuropsychological aspects of frontal lobe epilepsy from the Institute of Neurology University of London.
He has progressed through the academic ranks from that time to become Professor of Health Psychology at University College Worcester, where he also heads the Division of Psychology. In addition to his career development he has also served as a member of and Chair to a number of Society committees and working parties.
Dominic Upton’s published work on epilepsy has led the field in investigating the impact of frontal lobe epilepsy on neuropsychological functioning. More recently he has pioneered developments in online teaching material for psychology in higher education and health care.
A notable achievement whilst he was Reader in Psychology at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff was his work in helping develop a Healthy Living Centre to bring innovation in personal health care to the local community. Indeed, his impact has encompassed colleagues, patients, local communities and a wide variety of health practitioners.
It is for his outstanding contribution to the advancement and dissemination of psychological knowledge in relation to research, teaching and public service in particular that the committee has awarded him his Fellowship.
Selected news from the boards
Publications and Communications Board
(3 November 2006)
Public Engagement with Psychology Group. The Group was disbanded with thanks to its members, with the overall responsibility for public engagement activities being taken by the P&C Board.
Grants. It was agreed that the Small Grants scheme should target only public engagement projects that would develop sustainable resources (videos, websites, etc.). To this end, the budget constraint of £3000 per grant was removed, allowing for fewer, more sustainable projects to be undertaken. Priority will be given to projects with joint funding.
Journals editors. The Board approved two new journals editors: Professor Andy Tolmie(British Journal of Educational Psychology) and Professor Mark Lansdale and Dr Thom Baguley (British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology).
Website advertising. A policy on advertising on the Society’s website was agreed, guided by the policy in use for The Psychologist. Advertising should run only on selected, members-only, pages of the site. There will be a maximum of three advertisements per page, designed to ensure they do not intrude on the content of the page. There will be no animation, and a simple box design.
Reports of Board of Trustees and Representative Council meetings are available to members on the BPS website – www.bps.org.uk/members/members_home.cfm
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