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Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

The Vision #PsychologicalProfessionsWeek #PPsIntoAction

14 Dec 20

Let us know what you are doing to "Transform and Innovate"

Day One: A Vision for the Psychological Professions

“To transform lives and communities by extending and embedding psychological knowledge and practice across the whole of health and care”

This year all the PPNs in England joined forces in one big collaborative effort to host the first ever national and online conference, Psychological Professions Week!  It is now four weeks on since the launch of the National Vision for the Psychological Professions at the conference. More than 3,300 people took part, but to share the learning even more widely, we will be releasing a series of blogs over coming weeks, each describing one of the conference keynotes, which was linked to one of the commitments in the Vision. If you were unable to join or you would like to catch up with the event recordings, please register and log onto the Psychological Professions Week website.

The first ever #PsychologicalProfessionsWeek was kicked off by Jo Lenaghan, Director of Strategy at Health Education England, and Adrian Whittington, National Lead for Psychological Professions and PPN England Co-chair.  Naturally, #PPNWeek was always going to be exciting… for the first time ever, all groups of psychological professionals joining together to provide a unified voice in strategy, workforce planning and policy making! With the challenges we have all been living through, providing a unified voice for all psychological professionals is even more important. We look forward to future face to face PPN events, with plenty of pastries, although with a huge 3,300 people registering for this event, an on line conference clearly has some other advantages!!

Here’s what Alice Plummer, Clinical Programme Manager, PPN SE had to say…

At the conference I was delighted to present on how we set in motion the wheels for the professional movement that we now have #PsychologicalProfessionsIntoAction #PPsIntoAction! It all started with my very own idea when I took up my post to develop a PPN in the south east region, that we needed to do something to create a more unifying, cohesive narrative together as psychological professionals. This observation and conversations that unfolded, culminated in the national campaign and the 3 online workshops we held across England in the first half of 2020. The rich data that emerged, informed the first ever national Vision for the Psychological Professions that was unveiled by Adrian Whittington, National Lead for Psychological Professions at NHS England & Improvement and HEE.

The Vision for the Psychological Professions in England

"Visions get a bad press", said Adrian, "but this one is different because it was created from the ground up, by practitioners and the public". It highlights the shared commitments that can drive the psychological professions forward together to make the biggest impact. The team have pulled out the key themes from the 10,000 ideas that were posted by 2,000 through Psychological Professions Into Action.  These themes have been summarised in the form of commitments - that we make, collectively as psychological professionals and other stakeholders in psychological healthcare. The commitments can be summarised as occupying five commitments. These are:

  • Put people first - We commit to putting the needs and voices of people at the heart of everything we do and to treating service users, carers, families and staff with kindness, empathy, openness, respect and dignity.
  • Help our communities to thrive - We commit to developing healthy, thriving communities, with a more psychologically informed public.
  • Make all health and care psychological - We commit to embedding psychological knowledge and practice across the health and care system so it is better able to meet all of a person's needs - psychological, physical and social.
  • Unite and increase diversity in the psychological professions - We commit to the psychological professions becoming a united force with a strong and diverse voice, working collaboratively with other professionals of all disciplines.
  • Transform and Innovate - We commit to using our evidence and expertise boldly to innovate and improve what we do.

Taken together, these commitments add up to our collective mission "To transform lives and communities by extending and embedding psychological knowledge and practice across the whole of health and care".  You can see the vision in graphic form here.

‘So What?’

“So what? You have this vision, but what difference is it going to make to those on the ground, to the service users and carers? It has the potential to make a huge difference, but will it?”

Helen Leigh-Phippard, Expert by Experience Consultant who has been involved in the PPN SE from the outset, including #PsychologicalProfessonsIntoAction, spoke from her heart in the opening and closing session during our national Psychological Professions Week conference. Helen reminded us that this vision, which you can view here, is different to most. It was co-created ground-up and nationwide. For it to have the maximum impact, all psychological professionals need to do something about it. Collectively, we must take on the commitments, which leads us on nicely to a call to action:

“We all have the power to do small things that can make a big difference in peoples’ lives”

Helen provided us with a simple but hugely impactful example: If you are sending a letter to a client after they have missed an appointment, instead of sending a generic letter, spend a little bit of time to tailor the letter to ensure it is received compassionately. Helen reminded us that generic letters that do not take into account individual circumstances, can have a negative impact on service users. 

“Talk to the individual kindly, rather than threatening with discharge, without knowing the circumstances”

Helen invited the audience to share one small act that could make a difference in someone else’s life. What action will you take? Please share at #PsychologicalProfessionsIntoAction #PPsIntoAction

We want to invite you to take part! Please let the world know what the psychological professions are doing - linked to the commitments in our collective vision. You could submit a blog to our website, by emailing here, or simply tweet #PsychologicalProfessionsIntoAction with a picture or a tweet showing what the psychological professions are doing where you are, to live up to these commitments. What are you doing to "Transform and Innovate"?

Brad Powell, Senior Assistant Psychologist, PPN South East