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Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

Systems Leadership Expansion of Psychological Professions Networks (PPN) across 7 regions: Quarter 2 Update

07 Dec 21


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 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. 

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 also 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 article provides highlights from the most recent regional quarterly reports and links them to the commitments and enablers in the Psychological Professions Vision for England 2021-2024.

Work of the PPNs - Quarter 2 Update

Unite and Increase Diversity in the Psychological Professions

Structure and Governance, Communications and Membership

A governance guide is now in preparation.

Total membership is currently around 8350 which represents 11% increase from Quarter 1.

The PPN-SW stakeholder event in late September had a focus on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This included speakers from a range of specialties including IAPT, psychotherapy and forensic backgrounds.   The event created a space in which professionals from minoritised communities spoke about their work in anti-oppressive practice including anti-racism. Topics included barriers to accessing services for under-served communities and staff training needs.  Over 100 people attended this event and this contributed to an increase in the regional PPN membership.  

In the South East, the widening participation into HEE funded roles project is being led by Margo Ononaiye who took up this role in July.  

The Midlands PPN celebrated its 1st birthday on Wednesday 22nd September 2021.  A further 162 members were recruited.  The event included sessions on Introductions to PPN England & Midlands, Children & Young People, and Adults.

Transform and Innovate

Each region continues to develop engagement with the CPPOs in each region.  These are at different stages. In the South West, a forum has been set up. In the North West, three leadership fellows aligned to each of the Integrated Care Systems have been appointed. 

Help Our Communities to Thrive

There is ongoing work to support mentoring and developing opportunities for aspiring psychological professionals.  We are continuing to develop an Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy for the PPN through collaboration between the regional PPNs.

Make all Health and Care Psychological

In the East of England, promotion of psychological professions is being undertaken through the Profession of the Month project.  This spotlights a profession e.g. PWP and includes resources such as recorded interviews, blogs, posters etc.  This is supporting the development of communities of practice. 

Put People First

All PPNs have Expert by Experience (EbE) plans in place.  Recruitment of EbEs has taken place in most regions with development underway in the newer regions.  Further work is planned to ensure a clear and consistent approach.  This will be led by PPN England and include the NPPWG EbE lead.


PPN Conference Week 2021 took place during the week of 15th – 19th November 2021.

PPN London 1st Birthday event will take place in January 2022.

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), the portfolio pilot of Advanced Clinical Practice in the Psychological Professions (NW).

Gita Bhutani

National PPN Development Lead