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Principal Clinical/Health/Counselling Psychologist

Band 8a ( development post ) - Band 8b ( depending on experience )

Main area
Surgical and Anaesthetics Services
Band 8a ( development post ) - Band 8b ( depending on experience )
Permanent: part time hours / job share will be considered
  • Full time
  • Part time
  • Job share
37.5 hours per week (part time hours / job share will be considered)
Job ref
Across East Lancashire Sites
Across East Lancashire Sites
08/07/2022 23:59

At East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust our vision is to be widely recognised for providing safe, personal and effective care.  We currently provide high quality services and treat over 600,000 people across East Lancashire and the surrounding area. We employ over 8,000 staff, many of whom are internationally renowned and have won awards for their work.

Job overview

We are seeking an autonomous, motivated and visionary Principal Clinical/Health/Counselling Psychologist who could work collaboratively with existing team members to enhance service provision to those with a cancer diagnosis and the wider cancer services teams, working towards a coherent, person-centred, psychological care pathway.

The post holder, in addition to being the service lead, will be responsible for providing highly specialised interventions to those with a cancer diagnosis, as well as supporting nursing colleagues in their psychological support for patients through complex case discussion groups and delivering training sessions.  They will be expected to support organisational change and seek opportunities to improve and develop the psychology service.

The role involves working under the professional guidance of the lead for Clinical Health Psychology in ELHT and regular attendance at Clinical Health Psychology team meetings.  There are possibilities for establishing peer support with psychologists working across other physical health specialties within the trust and with psychologists working in Cancer Psychology services across the Lancashire & South Cumbria Cancer Alliance.

Main duties of the job

The postholder will manage a caseload of patients and combine their clinical work with  developing the psychology service to ensure patients with a cancer diagnosis are appropriately supported at key stages in their illness when additional support needs have been identified.

The postholder should have a vision for how the service can evolve and develop over time to meet changing needs.

The postholder will train support Cancer Nurse Specialists to enable them to safely and effectively deliver Level 2 psychological support and recognise when additional (Level 3 or 4) support is needed.   

The postholder will collaborate with peers within the Cancer Alliance to ensure an equitable service across the region.

The trust is supportive of agile working practices and agreement of a flexible working pattern incorporating aspects of remote working is a possibility.

Collaborative working with partner organisations, such as local hospices, patient support groups and charities to promote and enhance psychological support for cancer patients is integral to this role

If you are passionate about developing and delivering an excellent psychology across East Lancashire and have the right skills and experience to take the service forward we are keen to hear from you.

Working for our organisation

East Lancashire NHS Hospitals Trust is a friendly and welcoming organisation with a large Cancer Services and Oncology Team who are striving to provide a high standard of care to their patients.   

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

To plan and manage the delivery of a Clinical Psychology Service to patients who have experience of cancer.  The post holder would be expected to have significant clinical expertise and experience in related areas.

To work autonomously within professional guidelines and the overall framework of policies and procedures within Cancer Services. 

To be individually responsible for clinical decisions reached and take full responsibility for working with complex presentations utilising specialist knowledge in psychological approaches to the management of acute and chronic physical health conditions.

To promote and develop multi and uni-disciplinary working. 

To promote and develop the role of psychology, particularly working towards the Trust’s key strategic developments

To take responsibility for planning and conducting research and development in psychological aspects of these services to promote best practice.


To work across organisational boundaries in order to lead and ensure the delivery of coordinated psychological services for patients who experience complex health needs in relation these conditions in hospital, home or voluntary sectors.

To contribute to the strategic planning of psychological services with the aim of maintaining high levels of psychosocial care for patients who experience these conditions, taking a lead and working with psychology colleagues skilled in other specialisms within this service area

To provide expertise in the application of psychological theories, models and approaches to these services.

To develop and implement systems for in-service training and supervision of multidisciplinary staff in relation to psychological issues.

To carry out teaching, training and research on psychological issues related to these services.

To carry a caseload of patients, providing expert specialist advice, psychological treatment and consultancy to patients within these services, appropriate to own specialism.

To provide expert professional psychological advice, consultancy, clinical supervision and support to other professional staff within the services as appropriate.

To ensure the development and articulation of best practice in psychology within the highly specialized service areas.

The post holder will work across a variety of settings in the acute hospital and in the community, which will include working in unpleasant working environments (such as hospital wards with exposure to infections) and with clients who may present a risk to the post-holder (such as violent or distressed individuals).

The post holder will work with frail and vulnerable clients with significant physical complication.

The post holder will work with clients at significant risk of self-harm and suicide escalating appropriately for crisis interventions.

To develop, implement and manage specialist assessment services and high level and complex programmes of psychological therapies for patients with highly complex psychological needs within the area of expertise.

To carry out high level and complex psychological treatment and other interventions within the specialist area that necessitate the interpretation and communication of highly complex and sensitive medical, psychological and social information, the application of empathy and the ability to manage hostility, aggression, potential violence or manipulation from the patient or their families. 

To arrive at a formulation and treatment plan where there is likely to be a range of options available.

 To convey unwelcome information to patients that may be rejected or where there are significant barriers to acceptance.  To overcome cultural, knowledge-based or cognitive barriers to understanding.

To be personally responsible for own professional decisions and actions. 

 To maintain accurate clinical and audit records including waiting list information

To provide clinical consultation to other healthcare staff, attending multidisciplinary meetings and case conferences as necessary and setting aside time to advise staff on issues around the psychological care of patients and their families or carers.

Person specification

Training & qualifications

Essential criteria
  • Good honours degree (min 2:1) in Psychology
  • Registration as a Practitioner Psychologist with HCPC
  • Post-graduate doctorate in Clinical Psychology (or equivalent for those trained before 1996) as accredited by BPS & HCPC
  • Training for and/or experience of clinical supervision of practicing psychologists and/or doctoral degree trainees
  • Completion of specialist postqualification courses in psychological theories and clinical approaches relevant to clinical health psychology.
Desirable criteria
  • Other specialist further training in clinical health psychology – particularly oncology, palliative care or other life limiting illness
  • Completion of Clinical Supervision training as provided by doctoral training courses to enable post holder to be able to supervise and assess clinical doctorate trainees.
  • Specialist training in a therapy (e.g. CBT)


Essential criteria
  • Experience of working as a qualified Clinical Psychologist with appropriate clinical supervision for their work as a specialist clinical psychologis
  • Experience of working in Clinical Psychology in Physical Health settings.
  • Experience of specialist psychological assessment and treatment of clients across a full range of care setting, including outpatient, community, primary care and in patient settings. Experience of working within multidisciplinary teams and taking lead in patient care
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of client groups across the life span, with a wide variety of presenting problems that reflect the full range of clinical severity. To include specialist experience in the psychological assessment, management and treatment of physical health conditions.
Desirable criteria
  • Substantial postqualification experience in the area of psychology of Physical Health
  • Some experience of NHS management tasks (e.g. supervision of psychology staff; recruitment & selection)
  • Direct experience of work in the area of Oncology, or Palliative care
  • Experience of negotiating with NHS managers, professional colleagues & other agencies

Knowledge & skills

Essential criteria
  • Knowledge of any National Service Framework guidelines, NICE guidelines and other regional and National policies for the area of specialty, and their implications for clinical practice & professional management in relation to patients
  • Excellent communication & interpersonal skills
  • Ability to develop, implement, manage, evaluate & carry out high level & complex psychological treatment & other interventions within the specialist area that necessitate the application of empathy and the ability to interpret & communicate highly complex & sensitive information
  • The ability to manage hostility, aggression, potential violence or manipulation from the patient
  • Ability to manage the rejection of unwelcome information where there are significant barriers to acceptance and the ability to overcome cultural, knowledge-based or cognitive barriers to understanding
  • Ability to carry out or take responsibility for R & D programmes including design & use of databases, spreadsheets & specialist statistical software packages
  • Awareness of significance of ethnic & cultural issues in delivery of psychological services
  • Evidence of continuing professional development as required by HCPC and/or professional bodies
Desirable criteria
  • Experience of managing junior psychology staff
  • Substantial experience or training in more than one therapeutic intervention specialty
  • Training and/or substantial experience of psychological assessment & rehabilitation
  • Ability to design & implement policy for specialist psychological services & to propose service changes that impact beyond that area of activity
  • Ability to professionally manage staff within the specialty

Physical skills

Essential criteria
  • Standard keyboard skills
  • Driving licence
  • Skills in the administration of psychometric tests where timing and accurate manipulation are essential to accuracy.

IT skills

Essential criteria
  • Sound knowledge of software and general IT competence.

Planning & organising:

Essential criteria
  • Capacity to plan and prioritise many competing complex ongoing tasks including patient contacts, research activity, supervision of psychology and non-psychology staff, service development activities and representation of service.
  • Skills in co-ordinating, chairing and arranging multidisciplinary meetings and activity in relation to patient care and other activities.


Essential criteria
  • Ability to contain & work with organisational stress
  • Ability to deal with the stress of colleagues & other relevant persons
  • Ability to manage continual exposure to distressing and highly emotional clinical material
  • Ability to cope with physical requirements of job (work in dept, at bedsides, in patients’ homes, at other hospitals, in hospices)
  • Ability to sit in one position for lengthy periods during clinics
  • Current full driving licence & use of a car


Essential criteria
  • Ability & preparedness to work to professional guidelines
  • Ability to interpret general clinical, professional & organisational policies & to use own independent initiative to establish how they should be applied within the area of specialty

Employer certification / accreditation badges

Happy to Talk Flexible WorkingPositive about disabled peopleInvestors in PeopleCare quality commission - GoodDisability confident committedStep into health

Applicant requirements

You must have appropriate UK professional registration.

This post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020 and it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Documents to download

Apply online now

Further details / informal visits contact

Caroline Rogers
Job title
(Macmillan) Lead Cancer Nurse
Email address
Telephone number
01254 732407