JOB DESCRIPTION - NHS Scotland Recruitment

Job title: Clinical Psychologist 8A
Responsible to: Director of Psychological Services
Department: Psychology
Directorate: Psychology
Operating Division: The State Hospital
Job Reference:
No of Job Holders: 1
Last Update: 7 August 2015
To be a member of the State Hospital Forensic Clinical Psychology Service and so
develop, provide and implement a qualified Clinical Psychology service to mentally
disordered offenders within a maximum security forensic NHS setting. In particular, this
post has three key responsibilities: 1) as designated clinical team psychologist be
responsible for and lead the provision of psychological care to patients on a continuing
care ward and provide psychological consultation to the clinical team; 2) as a member of
a Psychological Therapies Service (PTS), to lead a specialist treatment programme; 3) to
perform corporate and professional duties; and throughout all key responsibilities to
conduct audit, research and development as required.
Clinical Responsibilities as Designated Clinical Team Psychologist
●As clinical team psychologist, the post holder is responsible for prioritising, providing, directing
and implementing a qualified clinical psychology service. This involves the provision of specialist
psychological assessment, formulation and intervention for patients. The post holder is expected
to provide best practice care and treatment to patients and, in the absence of best practice, use
their level 3 skills (specialist qualification required) to develop innovative psychological
interventions to meet patient need. This use of innovation requires the post holder to be
competent in audit and service evaluation.
●As clinical team psychologist, the post holder is also responsible for providing advice,
supervision, consultation and training on patients’ psychological care to other multidisciplinary
team members in order to disseminate psychological knowledge and techniques to meet patient
Clinical Responsibilities in Psychological Therapies
●As a member of Psychological Therapies Service (PTS), and lead of a specialist treatment
programme for patients, the post holder is again responsible for the psychological assessment,
and formulation of patient needs, and in the direct provision of specialist treatment to assist
patients in developing insight into their offending behaviour and developing strategies to manage
their future risk of further violence.
●As lead of a specialist treatment programme the post holder is responsible for ensuring
adequate staffing for the group, and in supporting and providing supervision to nurses in the
implementation of treatment. The post holder is expected to evaluate current practice in order to
assist in developing guidelines for best practice in working with mentally disordered offenders.
The post holder will also contribute to the development of research, and service evaluation within
the Psychological Therapy Service.
Corporate Responsibilities
●As a part of the departmental and corporate responsibilities, the post holder is a member of the
State Hospital Forensic Clinical Psychology Service. This therefore involves contributing to the
development of departmental policies and procedures. In addition, the post holder is also
responsible for representing psychology at committee level, thereby contributing to the
development of organisational policy and procedures: It is also necessary to utilise skills in
conducting research and audit in order to inform and develop policy and services.
●The post holder is responsible for contributing to the selection and recruitment of assistant
●The post holder is responsible for the provision of clinical supervision to assistant and trainee
clinical psychologists and for the provision of teaching and training to the Glasgow and
Edinburgh University doctoral clinical psychology courses, and the Glasgow Caledonian forensic
psychology course.
● The post holder is required to work autonomously within professional guidelines and local
policies and procedures, and to have responsibility for implementing relevant NHS policies and
Chief Executive
Head of
To provide specialist Forensic Clinical Psychological Services in collaboration with the multiprofessional agencies represented in forensic psychiatry for Scotland and Northern Ireland that
meet the assessed needs of mentally disordered offenders detained in the State Hospital under
the statutes of Mental Health and Criminal Justice legislation.
To ensure the availability of appropriate psychological treatments for patients with mental illness,
personality disorders and learning disabilities in the level of security commensurate with their
assessed level of risk (dangerousness).
To provide the right treatment, in the right place, at the right time requires the department to
collaborate with Psychological Services across Scotland and Northern Ireland at all levels of
security to ensure an integrated care pathway for mentally disordered patients.
Patient Care and Clinical, Organisational and Planning Responsibilities
Role as Clinical Team Psychologist
●To have lead responsibility for providing a clinical psychology service to a designated ward
within the hospital, and thereby be responsible for the management of patients’ psychological
needs including mental health problems (e.g. severe and enduring mental illness, and/or
personality disorder), neuropsychological deficits, learning disabilities, adjustment disorders,
behavioural problems, and dangerousness in terms of presenting as a risk to themselves or to
●To be responsible for the prioritisation of psychological needs and consequently the allocation
of psychology resources (i.e. the manner in which the time of the qualified clinical psychologist,
assistant psychologist, trainee clinical psychologist is most appropriately and efficiently utilised)
to the ward and clinical care team
●To be responsible for the provision of the highly specialist psychological assessment of
patients, involving the construction of a complex psychological formulation based upon the
integration of information from a variety of potential sources including: case records, semistructured clinical interviews with patients and carers, liaison with other professionals,
psychometric assessments (e.g. selecting and administering validated self-report
questionnaires), neuropsychological assessments (e.g. selecting, administering and interpreting
specialist assessments of cognitive functioning such as the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale
Third-Edition; WAIS-III), and risk assessments (e.g. selecting, administering and interpreting
actuarial and structured clinical risks tools for assessment of future violence and sexual
violence) and to draw upon a wide range of theoretical models in doing so. To then adjust and
refine psychological formulations as further information is obtained.
●To conduct highly specialist, in depth, psychological risk assessments incorporating structured
clinical and actuarial methods, and to develop risk management plans (including advising upon
the implementation of strategies to manage risk) for individual patients.
●To conduct highly specialist neuropsychological assessment.
●To be responsible for identifying the most appropriate psychological intervention to meet the
patients’ needs, based upon the above assessment and formulation, and based upon up to
date knowledge of evidence based practice and ‘best practice guidelines’. To evaluate and
make decisions about intervention options taking into account both theoretical and therapeutic
models and highly complex factors concerning historical, social, developmental and dynamic
factors that have shaped the individual while being sensitive to cultural and diversity issues.
●To be responsible for the provision of a range of psychological interventions for patients,
carers or groups. Primarily, this will take the form of direct provision of an individually
formulated intervention, the progress of which is monitored systematically. Interventions may
be supplemented by referral to a centralised psychological therapy targeting a specific need
(e.g. anger management, offending behaviour). Psychological interventions may also take the
form of general management strategies to be implemented by ward staff, with advice,
consultation and supervision provided by the post holder.
●To be responsible for assessing patients’ psychological progress and make recommendations
regarding further work, alternative work or discharge.
●To be responsible for providing regular psychological feedback to clinical care teams either
verbally in person and/or through the provision of a detailed psychological report to inform
patient treatment plans.
●To be responsible for providing detailed psychological reports, and expert opinion to other
agencies including the criminal justice system, the Scottish Executive and Mental Health
Tribunals (e.g. reports to Scottish Executive regarding ‘treatability’ as defined under Scottish
Mental Health legislation, or discharge recommendations for patients, including restricted
●To attend weekly clinical team reviews and case conferences and provide psychological
contributions to the discussion of patients’ care and treatment. To ensure that all members of
the clinical team have access to a psychologically based framework for the understanding and
care of patients, through the dissemination of psychological formulations, research and theory.
To also provide psychological advice and consultation to other professionals in order to inform
patient assessment, formulation, treatment plan, specific interventions, and discharge planning
●To attend and provide psychological advice, consultation and recommendations to CPA
meetings as required
●To be responsible for organising and facilitating additional clinical team meetings regarding
the psychological needs and management of patients, such as risk assessment meetings.
●To provide consultation to other professionals on psychological aspects of risk assessment
and management, and to provide supervision to ward nurses and other disciplines in
conducting and evaluating structured clinical risk assessments for violence.
●To make judgements and give expert opinion on psychological assessment, intervention and
management, based upon the unique characteristics and circumstances of each individual
patient. This requires assimilating information from many sources (e.g. self report, carer report,
various case records), and such information is often complex, inconsistent, or else key
elements may be missing. As an independent, autonomous professional the judgements or
opinions reached may also differ from those provided by other members of the clinical team or
by other professionals out with the State Hospital.
●To be responsible for providing psychological care and treatment to patients who may have
difficulties engaging in the therapeutic process. Such difficulties may relate to the presence of
personality disorder, challenging behaviours, to cognitive limitations as a result of a learning
disability, to concentration difficulties as a consequence of mental illness, to resistance at the
possibility of engaging in a process which discusses potentially threatening issues, or due to the
intense feelings and expressions of hostility which may reflect the presence of personality
disorder. Clinical work therefore requires the use of expert interpersonal skill, communication
and counselling skills to overcome such barriers including techniques to enhance motivation, to
diffuse potential aggression, to sensitively challenge, and to provide sufficient empathy and
reassurance. ●Individual therapeutic interventions also often address patients’ distressing and
traumatic personal experiences (e.g. child abuse, bereavement, violent and sexual offences) in
a supportive and contained manner, and therefore therapy often involves working within a
highly emotive atmosphere.
●The provision of such services also requires the ability to communicate complex psychological
concepts in a clear manner, adjusting to the patient’s communicative and cognitive abilities, and
sharing and developing with the patient a formulation of their psychological needs.
●To practice and promote multidisciplinary working
Role in Psychological Therapies
●To work within a Psychological Therapies Service Team, a centralised psychological therapies
●To be responsible for the planning and provision of a specialist psychological treatment
adapted to the needs of patients (i.e. group therapy for patients who have committed a sexual
offence and who also have learning difficulties)
●To be responsible for and provide highly specialist psychological assessment of patients
referred to the service with extremely complex needs including sexual offending behaviour,
learning disability, mental illness, personality disorder and addiction problems.
●To be responsible for co-ordinating adequate staffing for the programme and the co-ordination
of staff supervision
● To be responsible for the ongoing development of programme protocols based upon a review
of current and evidence based practice.
●when working in delivering group programmes, to be responsible for the psychological
facilitation of the group programme and therefore the provision of treatment to meet the
complex needs of this patient group, and in doing so provide level 3 psychological skills
●To be responsible for providing weekly support and clinical supervision to nursing staff and the
assistant psychologist involved in the facilitation of the intervention
●To be responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of the programme
●To be responsible for liaison with clinical teams regarding patients’ progress, and thereby
communicate regularly with members of the patients’ clinical team.
●To be responsible for the provision of psychology reports to each patient’s clinical team,
incorporating a complex psychological formulation of the patient, a psychological understanding
of the patient’s offending behaviour, and assessment of the patients’ progress within the
●To provide individual cognitive behavioural therapy within the CBT for psychosis service
Corporate Responsibilities, Service Management and Policy Development
●To contribute to Psychology service operational policy and development through feedback at
regular psychology departmental meetings, and via commenting upon policies and procedures
●To contribute to the evaluation and monitoring of services through conducting research and
●To be the responsible psychology representative and provide input to Hospital Management
Team steering groups as agreed with the Head of Psychology in order to advise the committees
on issues where psychological matters need to be addressed with regard to the development of
organisational policy and procedures; and to contribute more generally to Hospital policy
●In collaboration with colleagues, to shortlist, interview and select for assistant psychology
posts or nursing posts within the PTS programme
Staff Management, Training and Supervision
●To receive regular, fortnightly professional and clinical supervision from a senior clinical
psychologist, which is a requirement for all clinical psychologists according to good practice
●To receive an annual Individual Performance Review from the Team lead (line manager)
●To develop further specialist skills and knowledge relevant to clinical psychology through
continuing professional development (minimum of one session per week pro rata) and thereby
contribute to the development and maintenance of high professional standards of practice
●To be responsible for the provision of professional and clinical supervision to trainee and
assistant clinical psychologists, and to be responsible for the allocation and management of
their workload
●To conduct an Individual Performance Review or appraisal with trainee and assistant
psychologists or other directly reporting staff
●To be a member of the Risk Assessment training team throughout the hospital in line with the
hospital risk assessment policy, providing training and supervision to Nursing Staff on the
collation of information relating to structured clinical risk assessment (Historical Clinical Risk 20
protocol; HCR-20) who are working towards accreditation level.
●To provide supervision to other multidisciplinary staff conducting psychological work as
●To provide teaching and training on psychological issues to other professionals within the
●To provide teaching to the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow Doctorate courses in
Clinical Psychology, and to provide teaching to Glasgow Caledonian University MSc courses in
Forensic Psychology, and Psychology and Mental Health
Working within a Research and Development Framework
●To utilise theory, evidence based literature and research to support evidence based practice in
service development, individual work, group work and work with multidisciplinary team
members across the service.
●To design and undertake research as appropriate
●To disseminate research findings via peer reviewed publication or conference presentation
●To provide research advice to other professional staff undertaking research
●To design and undertake complex audit or service evaluations in order to inform further
service development and ensure effectiveness of services
●To supervise assistant psychologists or trainee clinical psychologists in research work
Working within a Professional Framework
●To maintain up to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and professional
issues in order to provide the highest quality of service to patients
●To adhere to the British Psychological Society (BPS) Professional Code of Conduct and other
professional guidelines published by the BPS and Division of Clinical Psychology
●To adhere to the guidelines, policies and procedures of The State Hospitals Board for
Scotland and Northern Ireland, including for example Health and Safety Policy
●To have responsibility for implementing relevant NHS policies and procedures (e.g. Adults
with Incapacity (Scotland) Act, 2001; Mental Health Care and Treatment (Scotland) Act, 2003;
Human Rights legislation; Child Protection Legislation).
●To routinely use a range of highly specialist neuropsychological and psychometric test
equipment in order to inform psychological assessment, to assist in the assessment of cognitive
functioning, the diagnosis of organic illness and to inform the patient’s treatment plan. Testing
requires developed sensory and hand-eye co-ordination, dexterity and manipulation of fine test
●To routinely use a range of expert psychometric measures including self-report questionnaires,
diagnostic assessment schedules, and structured clinical interviews to inform psychological
assessment including assessment of mental disorder, substance abuse, personality disorder and
●To routinely use a range of computer software packages, and administrative equipment and in
so doing maintain high standards of confidential data management and clinical record keeping.
●To routinely use a range of expert neuropsychological tests to inform psychological assessment
including tests of general intellectual ability, memory functioning and executive functioning (e.g.
Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale, Weschler Memory Scale, Behavioural Assessment of
Dysexecutive Syndrome).
●To use a range of psychometric measures, including self report questionnaires and structured
interviews to inform a psychological assessment including measures to assess mental disorder,
substance abuse and personality disorder (e.g. Beck Depression Scale, International Personality
Disorder Examination)
●To use a range of risk assessment tools, including both actuarial and structured clinical risk
assessments to inform judgements regarding a patient’s level of risk and risk management plans
(e.g. Historical Clinical Risk 20 protocol, Sexual Violence Risk 20 protocol, Violence Risk
Appraisal Guide)
●To use and have expert knowledge of SPSS, a statistical software package, for quantitative
data management and analysis in order to input and analyse data for research and audit
purposes (e.g. the creation of spreadsheets, and the input, storage and analysis of data).
●To routinely use Microsoft Word to create patient clinical records, reports, and file reviews and
for the creation of other organisational documents
●To routinely use Microsoft Power Point to create presentations
●To routinely use Microsoft Outlook for email messaging, a standard means of communication
within the Hospital
●To use Internet Explorer, and various online databases to access academic, policy and
research information to inform clinical practice, and further research and audit
●To regularly use paper based record systems to record patient information
●To regularly use a range of administrative equipment, including dictaphone, photocopier, and
video recording equipment.
●To be an autonomous, independent practitioner, responsible for own work and interventions
within the specialist forensic setting, This includes responsibility for own time management,
prioritising workload, assessments and interventions, and meeting deadlines (e.g. case review
●To be individually accountable for all of own clinical decisions.
●To take full responsibility for direct psychological work with patients, including those with the
most complex psychological needs (e.g. severe and enduring mental illness, personality disorder
and those presenting with additional comorbid problems including substance misuse or learning
●To take responsibility for the interpretation of professional, national and local guidelines and
●To take responsibility for the delegation of workload to assistant and trainee clinical
psychologists, and nursing staff conducting psychological work
●To take responsibility for the ongoing supervision and review of work undertaken by assistant
and trainee clinical psychologists, including undertaking individual annual performance reviews
●In common with all clinical psychologists, to be responsible for consulting on a fortnightly basis
with clinical supervisor, in accordance with good practice guidelines. ●Also in common with all
clinical psychologists, to be responsible for consulting with peers as required
●To receive an annual Individual Performance Review from line manager (Team lead), and in so
doing identify personal development and training needs; agree a personal development and
training plan; set individual objectives in line with hospital objectives; and to then review
objectives, performance and workload regularly.
●To routinely undertake and make decisions regarding the most appropriate means of
conducting highly specialist assessments for individual patients with mental health, addiction and
offending behaviour problems.
●To make judgements regarding the diagnosis, psychological formulation and psychological
needs of each patient
●To make judgements regarding suitability for treatment and the most appropriate intervention to
meet the psychological needs of the patient, and in doing so to evaluate research and
information relating to evidence-based practice
●To decide upon how to adapt a psychological therapy to meet the unique needs of an individual
●To assess patient progress and make decisions regarding the need for further work, alternative
interventions or discharge from the psychology service
●To make judgements and give expert opinion regarding the level and type of risk that a patient
may pose, and in doing so assimilate and evaluate a range of information sources
●To make decisions regarding plans to reduce and manage a patients’ level of risk, including
decisions regarding suitability for patient discharge from maximum security, and in doing, give
consideration to issues of public safety
●To make the above judgements regarding assessment, formulation, intervention and
management based upon the unique characteristics and circumstances of each individual
patient, including consideration of background factors, current environmental factors, mental
health, personality and psychosocial factors. This requires assimilating complex information
from multiple sources (e.g. varied case records, carer report, self-report, psychometric
assessment) which often contain discrepant or missing information, and be prepared to defend
these judgements to colleagues and other professionals who may hold divergent views. These
decisions also require the application of theory and the interpretation of research (e.g.
judgements regarding the role of personality in sexual offending; or selection of most appropriate
psychological intervention)
●To be involved in the decisions to select and recruit assistant psychologists
●To make decisions regarding the appropriate allocation of psychological work to assistant
and/or trainee psychologists and other disciplines conducting psychological work
●To make decisions regarding how to most appropriately provide supervision to assistant
psychologists, trainee clinical psychologists and other psychologists
●To make decisions regarding how to most appropriately provide supervision and/or consultation
to other disciplines conducting psychological work, including supervision of nursing staff
●To make decisions regarding how to most effectively consult and constructively convey
information regarding psychological aspects of patient care to other disciplines or agencies
●To make decisions regarding how to most appropriately evaluate psychological interventions
●As psychology representative, to make judgements regarding the impact of hospital data
protection policy development and hospital information policy development upon psychology
services, and vice versa
●As psychology representative, to advise the Electronic Patient Record committee on the
development and implementation of a new electronic patient record system (hospital wide) from
the psychology service perspective.
●To plan, prioritise and organise a highly varied workload, incorporating direct individual clinical
work, therapeutic group work, the creation of frequent psychological reports, the provision and
receipt of clinical supervision, research and audit requirements, and departmental corporate
responsibilities. To do so, often under significant time constraints.
●To manage the above workload under the significant emotional demands of conducting often
traumatic clinical work with patients (including, for example, weekly work focusing upon detailed
discussion of distressing sexual offences) whilst also providing containment for other staff who
are also involved in this distressing psychological work.
●The clinical work is also especially challenging due to the extremely complex needs of
individual patients who may be hostile or resistant to interventions for a number of reasons (e.g.
being held under compulsory care and consequently patients are not within the hospital through
choice; paranoia toward mental health services; and concern regarding consequences of
disclosing offending behaviour). Building a positive therapeutic relationship is a key step
towards a successful intervention but based upon the above, it can often be extremely
challenging to engage and motivate a patient.
●To conduct the above work within a maximum security NHS hospital. This requires the post
holder to comply with intrusive security procedures, including x-ray examination of personal
belongings; to be at risk of hostile and challenging behaviour and therefore remain highly vigilant
to potential risk and danger; and to be constantly aware that you may be called to provide expert
testimony in court
●As a member of a multidisciplinary team, the post holder may find themselves in conflict with
other members of the multidisciplinary clinical team regarding a patients’ needs or care plan.
The post holder must therefore be able to manage and solve such challenging conflicts.
●Internally to communicate effectively with patients, relatives and carers, clinical team members
(key workers, nursing staff, ward managers, social workers, occupational therapists,
psychiatrists, pharmacists, and security staff), the Team Lead, the Head of Psychology, other
psychology colleagues, non-clinical staff (medical records staff, audit staff, IT staff). In addition,
to communicate effectively with professional visitors, and individuals from external health, social
services, prison, and voluntary agencies. To communicate and share protocols across the
national forensic network, and with psychology colleagues across other trusts and services. To
do this with highly developed interpersonal and communication skills.
●To conduct formal presentations to groups in public, professional and academic settings
requiring use of multi-media presentation aids. Groups may consist of approximately 5-50
people (though occasionally groups may be larger), and presentations would be conducted
regularly throughout the year as required.
●To liaise with professionals external to the State Hospital in order to enhance patient
assessment, or to develop an appropriate support and supervision package to meet patient need
on discharge.
●To communicate with multidisciplinary team members in order to obtain information essential to
psychological formulation and treatment; and to provide information and consultation to
colleagues regarding complex psychological aspects of patient care
●To communicate sensitively with patients during assessment and treatment, displaying
empathy, reassurance and understanding and in so doing, develop a containing and therapeutic
●To use expert communication and counselling skills to assist in engaging the patient in the
assessment or treatment process and thereby overcome barriers to engagement in the
therapeutic process including limited motivation, resistance, overt hostility, and verbal or physical
aggression. It is therefore often necessary to use specialist techniques involving tact, empathy,
reassurance and persuasion to enhance motivation, to diffuse potential aggression, and to
sensitively challenge patients.
●To routinely share complex psychological theories, assessments and formulations with
patients, carers and staff which must be provided in a clear, comprehensible manner. This is
particularly essential with a forensic client group where learning disabilities, head injury affecting
cognitive functioning, and literacy problems are common requiring adaptation of interpersonal
communication skills.
●To address and explore with patients highly sensitive, distressing and traumatic personal
experiences (e.g. child abuse, bereavement, violent and sexual offences) in a supportive and
contained manner, and therefore routinely work within a highly emotive atmosphere.
●To also communicate therapeutically with patients in group formats, and in doing sensitively
and constructively manage the conflict and distress that routinely arises between group
●To communicate with carers regarding the complex psychological aspects of patients’ care, and
to also provide therapeutic input as appropriate.
●To communicate effectively as an expert witness in court, tribunals/appeals requiring articulate
communication under cross examination and where evidence may be disputed by other expert
●To communicate highly complex psychological theories and models during teaching, training
and supervision.
The State Hospital is a high secure mental health working environment that cares for individuals
detained under mental health and related legislation. Patients detained are considered to pose a
grave and immediate danger to themselves and the public. Working at the State Hospital
involves being subjected to searching and security procedures, responsibility for keys and
working within a restrictive, locked environment.
Physical Demands
●There is a requirement to undertake certified Breakaway training and maintain updated skills
through supplemental training
●There is a requirement to undertake certified training in the Management of Violence and
Aggression and maintain updated skills through supplemental training
●There is a requirement to exert intense physical effort in response to serious and emergency
incidents in an effort to support the management of these (i.e. running to the incident and
applying controlled restraint of patients)
●There is a requirement for the use of standard keyboard skills
●There is a requirement to sit in a restricted position for substantial periods of time during
individual and group clinical sessions, or when inputting at a keyboard on a daily basis (e.g.
writing reports)
●There is an occasional requirement to drive to external meetings, training events and other
Mental Demands
●There is a daily requirement for intense concentration for a prolonged period whilst engaging
actively with patients in individual psychological therapy and group-work treatment, and
simultaneously maintaining an awareness of psychological models to then inform appropriate
therapeutic responses
●There is a constant need to maintain awareness of security, including an awareness of
procedures, searches, patient movement restrictions, emergency procedures and any indications
of risk. The post holder must maintain constant vigilance during direct patient contacts and
within the hospital grounds.
●There is a frequent requirement for intense concentration over many consecutive hours when
formulating and writing regular detailed assessments and clinical reports (e.g. risk assessments)
●There is a requirement to conduct complex statistical analysis of data
●There is a requirement to provide expert psychological evidence through providing reports and
appearing as an expert witness at Tribunals, Appeals Hearings and in Court. The post holder
must maintain professionalism, intense concentration and active participation within the Court
proceedings under stressful circumstances involving cross examination.
Emotional Demands
●There is daily exposure to highly distressing and emotional situations, through working
psychologically with patients who frequently have very traumatic histories (e.g. childhood abuse,
bereavement and sexual offences), where patients often experience intense emotional distress
and become hostile, suicidal or exhibit challenging behaviour.
This can be extremely
demanding and challenging for the post holder in terms of working therapeutically with patients
and managing personal emotional responses to the work
●There is also frequent indirect exposure to distressing situations, through the identification and
provision of support to other staff who have been exposed to highly distressing situations and
through the reading of patient case records.
●The high level of exposure to emotional and traumatic circumstances has the potential to
vicariously traumatise the psychological therapist. There is a requirement to access supervision
supports and to support other therapists in order to manage the emotional demands of the work
and thereby ensure the provision of a high standard of psychological care to patients
●There is a routine requirement to work directly with patients who exhibit severely challenging
behaviour and to develop appropriate therapeutic behaviour modification programmes.
●There is a requirement for responding to emergency situations involving potentially traumatising
situations of interpersonal aggression from patients to staff members. These situations are
unpredictable, potentially put the post holder at risk, require emotional composure and may
require active intervention in terms of control and restraint of patients
Environmental Demands
● This is a High secure Mental Health environment that cares for mentally disordered offenders
who are assessed as posing a grave and immediate danger to themselves and the public.
This involves being the subject of searching and security procedures, responsibility for keys
and working in a restrictive, locked environment.
●As for all clinical staff working within the maximum security setting there is frequent exposure to
verbally and physically aggressive behaviour and the continuous risk of being severely, violently
assaulted or taken hostage by patient/s. Many patients within the hospital are considered highly
dangerous, posing a considerable risk of violence.
●Members of staff are required to carry personal alarms within each hospital building. The alarm
system does not cover the hospital grounds where scope for controlling emergency situations
and direct access to help is more limited.
●There is also exposure to hazards during controlled restraint of patients or generally within the
ward environment (e.g. patient saliva and bodily fluids)
Minimum required to undertake the role:
●Good general educational background
●Initial undergraduate Honours Psychology degree of a higher class or equivalent which
provides graduate basis for registration
●Minimum entry level is Postgraduate Doctoral training in Clinical Psychology (3 years
postgraduate study, research and supervised clinical practice including doctoral level knowledge
of a range of psychological models, theories and therapies and experience of applying these in
practice; doctoral level knowledge of research methods, design and analysis; and doctoral level
training in the selection, administration and interpretation of psychometric and
neuropsychological assessments)
●Excellent skills in effective written and oral communication, and extremely advanced
interpersonal skills
●Responsible and caring attitude combined with a motivation and commitment to working with
patients with serious mental illness, personality disorder or learning disability.
●Experience of psychological assessment and treatment with a wide variety of client groups and
a range of presenting problems, including severe mental illness and personality disorder
●Experience of establishing and conducting group psychological therapy
●Experience of psychological assessment and treatment within a forensic setting
●Experience of conducting research and service evaluation
●Knowledge and experience of selecting, administering and interpreting psychometric
assessments including validated questionnaires, or structured interviews
●Experience of providing clinical supervision, including experience of supervising other
disciplines in the implementation of psychological therapies
●Experience of providing consultation to other professionals
●Experience of providing teaching and training to staff, agencies and Doctoral clinical
psychology and other academic training courses
●Evidence of continuing professional development as recommended by the British Psychological
●Holding Chartership from the British Psychological Society and holding a Practising Certificate
●Completion of post qualification training in advanced supervision of Doctoral Trainee Clinical
●Completion of post qualification training in formal risk assessment and risk management
●Court skills (e.g. writing legal reports, giving expert testimony)
●Completion of State Hospital Board induction training including training in security and safety
procedures, communication procedures, and radio and key training
●Completion of State Hospital Board training in breakaway techniques and in the management
of violence and aggression
●Maintenance of up to date knowledge of legislation relevant to patient care
Job Holder’s Signature:
Head of Department Signature: