Psychological services are an important part of HPFT, employing around 450 staff including clinical and counselling psychologists, psychotherapists, CBT therapists, family therapists, psychological wellbeing practitioners, DBT therapists, and assistant psychologists.

Our staff work across the Trust in a number of roles – in adult mental health, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) (community, acute and rehabilitation), learning disabilities (LD), mental health services for older people (MHSOP), RAID, improving access to psychological services (IAPT), and forensic services. We also have specialised services in Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), perinatal health, home first, and an integrated family safeguarding team.

How we work

Generally our therapists are fully integrated into the teams where they work, so there is always scope for liaison and inter-disciplinary working. The majority of psychological services staff, like their colleagues in other professions, will have line management responsibilities to team leaders and managers, and all staff have clinical supervision arrangements with senior colleagues from their own professions.

Recent developments:

  • A significant number of psychological services staff have recently attained non-medical approved clinician status, and have been working alongside their medical colleagues in various parts of the Trust. The success of these roles clearly demonstrates how innovative and flexible the Trust is about service delivery.
  • Other service development have been taking place in an innovative new family safeguarding team, where the larger part of the service is made up of psychological service staff working in Hertfordshire County Council.
  • Our IAPT service has recently won a national ‘positive practice’ award (not for the first time) and persistently performs in the upper quartile of services in the country.
  • Work on routine clinical outcomes in psych services was recently adopted as a model which the Trust has adopted across the organisation.

Support for HPFT staff

Psychological services staff have been central to the development of support services for HPFT colleagues, including the introduction of Schwartz Rounds (structured forums where staff can come together and discuss the emotional and social aspects of working in healthcare), and a staff support (debrief) service. They have also driven the development of a new model of learning from adverse events.