The Psychological Professions Vision for England, 2021-2024 includes Leadership as an enabling workforce work stream. Within this there is a need to ensure that the leadership of the psychological professions is joined up and supports professional leadership into local providers, local systems and links to the national workforce.
The development of the PPNs across England is a key component of this (6.31, Vision document).
The PPN was first developed in the North West of England in 2014 supported by Health Education England (HEE) in the North West. This was followed in 2017 by the South East, with the South West launching in 2019. In 2020-2022, national spending review investment has enabled the initial set up of the PPN in the Midlands, North East & Yorkshire, London and the East of England. PPN funding has recently been secured for 2022/23, confirming the extension of the regional PPNs.
The PPN engages practitioners, and connects them directly to policy delivery objectives by acting as a free membership network for all psychological professionals and other stakeholders in NHS commissioned psychological healthcare. This supports the provision of coherent and informed high quality advice to policy-makers, workforce planners and commissioners. This supports the safe and effective expansion of the existing and new psychological professions.
Each regional PPN is accountable to the HEE Regional Mental Health Lead, and to a PPN England Board Co-Chaired by the National Lead for Psychological Professions and the National PPN Development Lead.
How do the PPNs work?
Each regional PPN has an annual work plan jointly agreed between the regional HEE office and the PPN England Board. These reflect both regional and national priorities and the level of maturity of each regional network. For the newest PPNs, objectives focus on the establishment of the network and engagement of members and stakeholders. For the more established PPNs, objectives include leadership development, workforce mapping, support for national workforce initiatives and projects. Each regional PPN provides quarterly reports to PPN England (as well as locally agreed reporting to HEE regional offices). This paper provides highlights from the most recent regional quarterly reports and linked them to the commitments and enablers in the Psychological Professions Vision for England, 2021-2024.
Work of the PPNs - Quarter 3 Update
Unite and Increase Diversity in the Psychological Professions
Structure and Governance, Communications and Membership
Each PPN has a chair or co-chairs. There are support functions which include programme managers, assistant psychologists and administrators. There are communications plans to support increased engagement and grow the membership. There is good engagement between chairs and regional HEE offices. Each PPN has or is developing a steering group and a wider group to promote engagement and involvement of the twelve psychological professions and key stakeholders (including Experts by Experience). A governance guide is in preparation.
Total membership not reportable following issues with data on national site. Current membership numbers to be stated in the next regional impact report
North East And Yorkshire held the inaugural meeting for the Anti-Racist Community of Practice. Over 30 people attended the meeting from across the region and diverse professional and cultural backgrounds.
The South West has created a set of commitments to inclusion and anti-oppressive practice and the programme manager has set up a forum for interested parties in other regions to meet to exchange ideas and share EDI themed news and events. The South West team also noted engagement at stakeholder events is at a record high with an event planned for aspiring professionals attracting 312 people (mostly new to the PPN).
All PPNs have set up workforce councils and have either held meetings or have meetings planned in the diary. Several regions have also welcomed new workforce council representatives.
The PPN's are working together to update the PPN career map and ensure it reflects career opportunities across the psychological professions. The South East team have been working on a number of career map videos with the psychological wellbeing practitioner, clinical psychologist and counselling psychologist videos now complete with a further six videos commissioned.
Transform and Innovate
Each region continues to develop engagement with the Chief Psychological Professions Officers (CPPOs) in each region. The East of England noted the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (CAPT) expansion project continues in collaboration with the Association for Child Psychotherapy (ACP) and with the support of our regional CPPOs.
In the North West the Leadership Fellow Scheme is progressing well. The 0.6 Band 8a Clinical Fellow will commence w/c 5th Sept 2022 and the 0.6 Band 7 New Roles Fellow Post in development. Work in the North West has been undertaken to review learning from Advanced Clinical Practice for Psychological Professions portfolio feasibility study. The North West noted that the Proposal for NW School of Psychological Professions underway with HEE NW.
The South West PPN team plan to review the changing situation for CPPO involvement next quarter due to the rapid development of ICSs and people boards.
The East of England have created a new video resource on counselling psychology, delivered in partnership with one of the London training schools. This will be released in Q2.
The East of England PPN is being invited to participate in a range of exciting initiatives e.g. the development of a bridging course to High Intensity (HI) training in collaboration with University of East Anglia and NHSE and a pilot training academy project that is starting to take form in collaboration with University of Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire County Council.
Progress on PROMPT (Psychological Research on Meaningful and Purposeful Training) is edging forward for the Midlands PPN. The team now holds PROMPT website html data, albeit the data needs to be integrity-checked. Various conversations have taken place to identify the best solution for longer-term hosting, which is quite complex. Recommendations paper prepared for discussion.
Help Our Communities to Thrive
Regions continue to support mentoring and developing opportunities for aspiring psychological professionals. There is also a number of active and emerging Communities of Practice.
The Midlands is holding the next webinar Community of Practice for Aspiring Psychological Professionals on 28th July, the webinar will have talks from a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP), clinical educator, and a trainee clinical psychologist.
Make all health and care psychological
Projects continue across the PPN's to promote the psychological professions. The North West is publishing ‘integrating psychology into health’ – Make Every Contact Count for Mental Health, Health Education England Two Year workforce transformation project evaluation on 8th Sept ’22 and a webinar is planned for 20th July.
Put People First
All PPNs have Expert by Experience (EbE) plans in place. The South West have been developing EbE principles, policies, role descriptions and engagement with steering group and workforce council. North East and Yorkshire have been looking at the broader influence on the HEE EbE involvement strategy for the region. However, noted the strategy to grow EbE involvement has been hampered by difficulty navigating the HEE payment system. East of England noted there is a meeting taking place in Q2 on recruitment of EbEs. EbE engagement remains a critical feature for the London PPN and they have successfully recruited two new EbEs to join the PPNSE team in June.
The South West conducted a rapid scoping exercise exploring the provision of supervision in the region. A full report was written and disseminated with recommendations. North East and Yorkshire are completing a PT- SMHP Regional Supervision Mapping exercise to support a more coordinated and flexible approach to the provision of supervision across the region and amongst Trusts and VCSE.
The North West PPN team will be holding a webinar on 13 July 2022, 12:30-13:30 ‘Knowledge Bites - “Transforming care through the involvement of patients and the public: Learning from experts by experience in the psychological professions network” led by DClinPsych Leadership Placement.
The London PPN team will be holding a stand at the Division of Counselling Psychology Conference at the Royal College of Physicians in London, 15-16th July 2022 and will be the first ever in person event the PPN has attended since the pandemic.
The South East are currently planning their first event to be held in October focusing on the psychological professions and climate change. Events to be scheduled on a quarterly basis going forward.
The Midlands PPN involved in awareness-raising events of the Psychological Professions. The Midlands PPN are also attending an ‘enhancing connections across the psychological professions’ all day in-person event hosted by Black Country Healthcare NHS Trust on 28th June, to Network, engage new members and promote the PPN.
Regional PPN contribution to national projects/work streams
The regional PPNs continue to support the Psychological Practice in Physical Health Care Expert Advisory Group (Midlands), Public Understanding of the Psychological Professions (EofE) and the portfolio pilot of Advanced Clinical Practice in the Psychological Professions (NW).