Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

Can a new role, the (Trainee) Associate Psychological Practitioner (T/APP), add value in General Practice? Results from the pilot year evaluation?

12 Oct 22

There is growing focus on how innovation in psychological professions workforce development can harness the interests and skills of psychology graduates to deliver on the ambitions of the NHS LTP for mental health workforce expansion. HEE in the North West, in collaboration with the North West Coast Innovation Agency and supported by the north west psychological professions network are working with the University of Central Lancashire to pilot the role of Associate Psychological Practitioners.


Associate Psychological Practitioners (APPs, or TAPPs (trainee) when in training) are part of a new workforce initiative to improve the supply of psychological practitioners working within the NHS to help meet mental health need. APPs are Psychology graduates who then complete a Postgraduate Diploma (the PGDipAPP), to enhance their clinical delivery skills at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), supported by HEE NW. Cohort 1 ran from Jan 2021-Jan 2022, following which 50 APPs qualified and cohort 2, of 90 TAPPs, started in March 2022 and will qualify March 2023. The APPs are based across numerous service settings. From cohort 1, 24 TAPPs were based in Primary Care Network (PCN) settings across the Lancashire and South Cumbria footprint, where there are 41 PCNs. The service they provided focused upon preventing deterioration and the promotion of positive emotional wellbeing, through the delivery of brief psychological interventions. This service was evaluated and has now been published in the journal of Primary Health Care Research & Development. This is available at:


Budd, M., Gardner, R., Bhutani, G., Gardner, K., Iqbal, A., Harding, C., Baguley, C. & Chauhan, U. (2002). Can a new role, the (Trainee) Associate Psychological Practitioner (T/APP), add value in General Practice? Results from the pilot year evaluation. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 23, E61. Doi:10.1017/S1463423622000482


If brief, the evaluation showed that for people who accessed the mental health prevention and promotion service, delivered by the TAPPs, showed statistically and clinically significant improvements on measures of wellbeing and resilience and statistically and clinically significant reductions on measures of depression and anxiety. This service evaluation is continuing for cohort 2. Since spring 2022, over 3200 wellbeing sessions have been delivered by the T/APPs in PCN settings within Lancashire and South Cumbria and the results continue to demonstrate statistically & clinically significant improvements.


UCLan have completed a fuller evaluation of the academic course and wider clinical evaluation which can be found at: