Featured job: Clinical and Counselling Psychologists, CBT Therapists, and others

Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust

Meherzin Das, Trustwide Professional Lead for Psychology and Psychological Therapies, says ‘We’re looking for passionate and committed clinicians’. Reading the role descriptions in ten different Dorset services certainly confirms that impression.

What’s the culture of the Trust? ‘I’d describe it as forward-thinking, a PDSA cycle in perpetual motion! We have a strong clinical bent and use innovation to challenge traditional boundaries and processes. “Good enough” is a launching pad for us to aim for excellence. We have forums for leaders at all levels including our senior psychologists and also have bespoke networks for administration staff, BAME, faith-based groups and parents who are home-schooling, amongst others. As a listening organisation, ideas are always welcome and contribute to our clinical/corporate strategy. And while we work hard in the spirit of serving vulnerable people – some of our services are nationally recognised as centres of excellence – we support each other hugely as we do so because. Underlying all this is our commitment to empowering and caring for people – staff and service users alike.’

How has the pandemic affected your work? ‘Like most other organisations we had to improvise initially in order to keep providing high quality care to our patients. Within our psychological services, we definitely see some of our clients face-to-face, weighing clinical risk against the risk of infection as we do so. We’ve learned that doing therapy within a 2-D online world poses challenges, but has also facilitated engagement in hard to reach areas in unforeseen ways. Activities such as psychological assessment, are tougher to achieve online and despite the heroic efforts of our IT team, online platforms have a way to go in terms of functionality and access. We have a reflective practice group which facilitates thinking about our online approaches… creative solutions are very welcome! 

What’s Dorset like? ‘With a population of 750,000 served by our Trust’s 5000 staff across approximately 200 sites, Dorset comprises both rural and urban areas. Demographics and geography impact on the health of our population and are central to strategic planning of services. Dorset has strong communities – following a recent appeal, 2000 people volunteered to be community workers, invaluable in reducing isolation for people who are shielding and for some of our aging population who have been separated from their families/carers during lockdown.’

And what’s it like to live in? ‘I love it! Dorset offers its residents a great quality of life. Because house prices may seem high for people moving into the area, we offer a substantial relocation package. Schools are excellent and accessible and at a time when people are finding nature a solace, over half of Dorset is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty. Our famous Jurassic coast, cosmopolitan towns like Bournemouth and seaside attractions such as Weymouth provide something for everyone, including children, pets and psychologists… the climate’s pretty good too!’

You seem to be advertising a lot of jobs at one time. ‘It is often challenging to recruit psychological staff and as we continue expanding in line with our long-term plan, we are committed to working cohesively across services to synthesise our resources, of which the most valuable is… staff. Hopefully, our advertisement will help applicants understand the breadth and richness of our services.’

And what would you say to someone thinking of applying? ‘Please do! If you’re passionate about clinical practice, would enjoy working in a Trust rated outstanding by CQC, and get a rush from improvement and innovation, you are very welcome in Dorset!’

- Read more at Jobs in Psychology. 

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