Psychologists as managers

Narinder Kapur writes.

I would like to draw the attention of BPS members, especially those who work in the NHS, to a letter which has gone from the NHS Chief People Officer to all NHS professional bodies, including the BPS, as well as to all NHS regulatory bodies, including the HCPC. This letter – which you can read at – calls for guidance to members and registrants who take on management roles.

Guidance could include, for example: expectations regarding high standards of personal conduct and behaviour towards staff; the duty to always act with honesty, compassion, fairness, impartiality and discretion; seeking expert independent advice for major decisions involving staff, and ensuring that such decision are never made by a single individual; avoiding, unless in exceptional circumstances, the use of ‘some other substantial reason’ (SOSR) to dismiss staff; and to ensure that management interventions and actions prioritise the welfare of individuals above any self-interest. Similarly, it is a duty of individuals undertaking management responsibilities to immediately challenge when problematic behaviours and actions are observed in others.

The context is the self-immolation in 2016 of nurse Amin Abdullah, and subsequent inquiry reports. Additional background is at, and I am happy to be contacted for further information.

Narinder Kapur
Visiting Professor of Neuropsychology
Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London
[email protected]

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