Dr Miranda Budd, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Lead for TAPPs.
There is a current growth of new roles within the field of psychology. I’ve heard colleagues ask which role is best, what will continue and what won’t. I think the answer to questions such as these isn’t which is best, or either/ or, the answer is simply yes please- more and more!
The pilot year for the ‘Postgraduate Diploma Associate Psychological Practitioners’ course (PgDip APP) is drawing to a close and the project team are now busying themselves with preparations for cohort 2. The 50 TAPPs from cohort 1 have helped us to learn so much about the role, there have been so many excellent examples of good practice, lots of hard work and some lessons learnt. It really is a massive well done to the first cohort and I for one, feel really, really proud of them. They were, in many ways, in a privileged position, to be trailblazers, the first, to lead the way and shape the role. Of course, many of them have also had to manage some level of uncertainty and change as they have ventured out into different teams across the North West Coast. All whilst learning and developing themselves, on a professional and likely personal level.
As well as being part of the TAPP project central team, I also work as the clinical lead for TAPPs in primary care network (PCN) settings in Lancashire and South Cumbria (L&SC). For the 24 TAPPs who have worked in general practice, as the first year draws to a close, they will have delivered thousands of wellbeing sessions, teaching people the importance of caring for their emotional wellbeing and helping them learn how to do so. We have been careful to evaluate the service they are providing and I can share some exciting news with you. To date, our analysis shows that the TAPPs have evidenced statistically significant reductions on measures of anxiety and depression, and statistically significant improvements on scores of wellbeing and resiliency in the individuals they have been working with. These improvements were maintained at follow-up. It’s fair to say, the TAPPs are having an impact.
Now it’s time for cohort 2. Health Education England funded the TAPP course for a second year running (thank-you HEE!). We asked services across 3 Integrated Care System (ICS) areas (Lancashire and South Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Cheshire & Wirral) to submit expressions of interest to employ a TAPP, and many did. On Tuesday 14th December, we are going out to advert for 86 TAPP roles and this number may increase. Meaning the course is nearly doubling in size.
There is no doubt a demand for psychological professionals across the three ICS areas. The mix of workforce shortages, increasing mental health need and the recognition of how psychological professionals will help can explain this. All health and care should be psychological. The focus upon community transformation puts us all in an exciting position now. It’s powerful to have psychological professionals as part of this jigsaw puzzle, as agents for change to support the narrative that there is no health without mental health.
So future cohort number 2, psychology graduates out there who want to follow a career path into the psychological professions, this is for you. If you want to come and engage in an intensive learning experience whilst working clinically 4 days a week, then please follow this link and apply:
There is a ‘main’ page, then 3 ICS landing page adverts:
North West Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioner (TAPPs) - ICS Recruitment
We want to hear from you. There are so many exciting opportunities and so many services who want a (T)APP as part of their team. The course is delivered by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), there will be some teaching days that are delivered on campus, so you can meet your TAPP colleagues and some will be delivered remotely. TAPPs are employed at a band 4 level and then once qualified, will work as a band 5 APP. Good luck!