Society

Professional Psychology Award; and more
Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology DR Mark Hayward has accepted this year’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Professional Psychology. The award is a mid-career recognition, aimed at applied psychologists who have made an outstanding contribution to professional practice. Dr Hayward has been recognised for developing service-user involvement in the doctoral training of clinical psychologists and for his promotion of open-minded and positive approaches to understanding the experience of voice hearing.

Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology

DR Mark Hayward has accepted this year’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Professional Psychology.
The award is a mid-career recognition, aimed at applied psychologists who have made an outstanding contribution to professional practice. Dr Hayward has been recognised for developing service-user involvement in the doctoral training of clinical psychologists and for his promotion of open-minded and positive approaches to understanding the experience of voice hearing.
Dr Fabian Davis, who nominated Dr Hayward, said: ‘Mark has wholeheartedly dedicated his professional life to developing clinical psychology practice that is genuinely and compassionately tailored to the needs of people with distressing psychotic experiences.’ Referee Professor Graham Turpin added that for someone who only qualified five years ago, Mark ‘has had a major impact on the profession’.
Dr Hayward currently seeks to influence perceptions of and attitudes towards psychotic experiences through training and research. He has been instrumental in the development and delivery of a workshop, Psychosis Revisited, that privileges the perspectives of people who have experienced psychosis. He has also developed an extensive framework of research that explores the experience of hearing voices from a relational perspective, encouraging people to talk about and with the voices they hear.
At the heart of Dr Hayward’s work has been the desire to learn from and with people who have varying perspectives on mental distress, particularly people who use mental health services. Having been inspired by the energy and clarity of vision of service user colleagues within the locality of his clinical practice, he now collaborates with colleagues within the University of Surrey. the Division of Clinical Psychology and the Faculty of Psychosis & Complex Mental Health to integrate the views of service users and carers into all aspects of the education of future clinical psychologists.  Eager to acknowledge the multiple roles and influences that psychologists can have, Dr Hayward has also assisted the BPS to engage with the National Social Inclusion Programme. This collaboration is currently considering the development of practices that will enable the applied psychology workforce to build capacity for the inclusion of vulnerable groups of people within their communities.
On accepting the accolade, Dr Hayward said: ‘I am encouraged by the value that others have placed upon my work. I feel privileged to have so many opportunities to learn alongside colleagues, service users and carers and hope this award will give further impetus to important initiatives that enable us to understand and respond to mental distress in a variety of different ways.’

PRESIDENT 2008/9 – BALLOT RESULT
At a Special General Meeting of the Society on 8 December, the result of the postal ballot for President 2008/9 was declared. Dr Elizabeth Campbell will serve as President Elect 2007/8 and will take up the office of President in 2008/9.

Fellowship citation
Professor Kathleen Sylva

OVER the past three decades Professor Kathy Sylva has been making major contributions to the knowledge bases of two areas of study – developmental psychology and the psychology of education. Her work, reflected in almost 100 publications and cited in many more, has helped shape the course of education in this country and made her a respected figure among academics, policymakers, planners and practitioners.
Professor Sylva was a major figure in both the development and evaluation of early years education as well as intervention programmes implemented at a national level. In the field of primary education, her earlier work with the ‘Reading Recovery’ model, had helped to shape the government’s literacy strategy’ and is currently involved with the evaluation of Webster Stratton’s ‘The Incredible Years’ approach to enhancing parenting skills.
In view of these considerable achievements the Fellowships Committee is pleased to award Fellowship status within the Society to Professor Sylva.

Statutory Regulation: Note of the meeting held with Andy Burnham MP, on 18 December
The Minister opened the meeting by saying that the government wanted to take time to review the responses it had received to the Donaldson and Foster Reports. The government response would be likely to be in a White Paper ‘early in 2007’. (The indications are that this is likely to be late January/early February.) The White Paper would be likely to signal the need for primary legislation in which case that would be worked on during the summer for inclusion in the Queen’s Speech in the autumn and passage through parliament in 2007/8. Later in the meeting the Minister signalled that some matters might well still be dealt with by secondary legislation.
In response to questioning from Ray Miller (President), the Minister said that the purpose of the White Paper would be to give a clear statement of policy (which would therefore effectively close off certain policy options) and of regulatory principles, as well as indicating the way forward. The government wished to continue informal discussions in order to achieve the most appropriate legislative outcome.
The Minister wanted to know why the Society appeared to have changed its position after such lengthy discussions with DoH over several years. We replied that it was only in the 2005 consultation that the regulatory detail had been made clear, that the inflexibility of the Health Professions Council (HPC) was a serious stumbling block, that the government’s proposals did not seem to cater for the fact that a minority of psychologists work in the health sector and that the HPC approach seemed to represent a lowering of standards. We stressed that we were seeking stronger regulation than was represented by the HPC’s lowest common denominator approach and that this view was shared by the nine professional groups which had signed up to the Psychological Professions Council proposal. These groups represented approximately 100,000 practitioners. The Minister responded by saying that it was important to get the regulatory principles right and to establish the transparency and accountability of regulatory bodies.
Discussion then moved on to the need for a robust definition of who needs to be regulated. In this context the place of academic psychologists was mentioned as was the fact that a wide range of professionals deliver services based on psychological knowledge and principles. These were flagged as matters needing further discussion.
Ros Mead (Department of Health civil servant) indicated that several aspects of the discussion in the meeting linked with broader themes covered by the Donaldson and Foster reports.
The meeting closed after 35 minutes on the cordial note with which it had been conducted and a copy of the Psychological Professions Council proposal was left with the private secretary.
o For regular updates on statutory regulation, see the Society website at www.bps.org.uk/statreg.

Recent consultation responses

THE Society’s Policy Support Unit has continued to coordinate input into a range of consultations lodged by government and non-government organisations
HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) formed the subject of three recent consultations responded to by the Division of Clinical Psychology’s Faculty for HIV and Sexual Health. In the first, lodged by the British HIV Association, the Faculty’s response drew attention to the high rates of mental health problems seen in those with HIV/AIDS, to the resulting  impact on quality of life and adherence to medical care. and to the implications for transmission prevention and survival. Responding to the Department of Health, the Faculty recommended that the breaking of patient confidentiality should only be considered when an identified individual is at significant risk of transmission. They also stressed that notifying individuals placed at risk of contracting STIs is a highly specialised skill that must be carried out by appropriately trained healthcare professionals. The Crown Prosecution Service’s draft policy on prosecutions in relation to ‘intentional’ or ‘reckless’ transmission of HIV and other STIs prompted an expression of concern that applying criminal sanctions to  the sexual activity of communities who are already stigmatised (e.g. ethnic minority, gay/bisexual) might affect uptake of sexual health services and the prevalence of infection.
Other consultation responses have been on the following topics:
-    cross-border healthcare (the European Commission);
-    the impact of the Bologna process on UK higher education (the Department for Education and Skills);
-    animal welfare in Northern Ireland (the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development);
-    a new Equality and Human Right Strategy for Northern Ireland (the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety);
-    youth work in Scotland (the Scottish Executive);
-    standards and quality recognition in forensic science (the Home Office);
-    separate representation of children (the Department for Constitutional Affairs).

Anyone interested in contributing to the Society’s responses to consultations should contact the Policy Support Unit for further information ([email protected]). Details of all consultations currently under consideration and copies of Society responses to past consultations are provided on our web site at: www.bps.org.uk/consult.

Selected news from the boards
Professional Practice Board (14 November 2006)
-    Statutory Regulation: The Board supported the Society’s response [Proposals for a Psychological Professions Council (PPC)] to the Foster Review.
-    Appointing new Chair of PPB: See advert in the January and February editions of The Psychologist. Those interested in applying should contact [email protected].
-    NWWAP: Tony Lavender had produced a progress report on the project. The aim was to have the completed (draft) report available at the end of March to be signed off by the Society. The final report was scheduled to be launched at an event on 25 April 2007 (see www.bps.org.uk/ppb).
-    Clinical Guidelines for Penile Plethysmography: It was agreed to support the revision of the guidelines.
-    Assessment of Effort in Cognitive Assessment: The Board supported the proposal for the formation of a cross-divisional Working Party.
-  Childhood ASD Working Party: The Position Paper on Childhood Autistic Spectrum Disorder was commended and approved by the Board (see www.bps.org.uk/ppb).
- Capacity Working Party: A leaflet on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 was approved.
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

CHILDHOOD ASD REPORT
A position paper on childhood autism has been developed by a working party of the Professional Practice Board, chaired by Tom Billington of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology. The report sets out to meet a few simple aims: to raise awareness of autistic spectrum disorders in children and young people, across Society Divisions/
specialties; to direct psychologists to recent guidance and key texts; to promote shared minimum standards for those involved in the field; to inform other professionals and the general public of the roles, responsibilities and accountability of psychologist; and to reflect current practice, dilemmas and contemporary contexts.
The report, entitled Autism Spectrum Disorders: Guidance for Chartered Psychologists Working with Children and Young People, is available via www.bps.org.uk/437y.

NEWS OF MEMBERS
Professor Kevin Wheldall FBPsS has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, membership of which is reserved for ‘who have achieved a very high level of scholarly distinction, recognised internationally’.

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