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Psychologist Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Crawley, England
£43,742 - £50,056 pa \/ pro rata for part time
Closing date
19 Feb 2024

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Contract Type
Full Time

Job Details

Job overview

This is an exciting opportunity to join our highly regarded award-winning Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS) which operates over the whole of Sussex.
The Specialist Perinatal Mental Service (SPMHS) which sits within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust now requires a Psychologist in Perinatal Mental Health.
The post holder will be based in North West Sussex and will be expected to travel across Sussex. The post holder will report to the Senior Clinical Psychologist within their team.

We will consider part time applications for this role.

Main duties of the job

The post holder will have a training in Clinical Psychology and will be responsible for delivering NICE concordant perinatal psychological therapies to women, their babies and their families.
The Psychologist in the specialist community perinatal mental health service will work with the main community service treatment pathway and will contribute to the bereavement pathway (neonatal loss and still birth) once it is set up.
Within the larger community service, the post holder will be responsible for typical and atypical perinatal mental health presentations, alongside formulation of parent-infant mental health. The post holder will need to have an up to date knowledge of adult and infant safeguarding practices and thresholds. A working knowledge of DBT is desirable. The post holder will be responsible for contributing to complex case discussions and staff training.
Within the Bereavement Pathway, the post holder will be responsible for providing a highly responsive individualised therapy and support for women and their families who have experienced the death of a baby from 24 weeks gestation to one month after birth. A knowledge of bereavement and trauma informed interventions for individuals, couples and family would be desirable.
The post holder will be given regular supervision and close support from highly skilled professionals within the service as well as opportunities for professional development.

Working for our organisation

The Long-Term Plan for Mental Health sets out national and local ambitions to improve care for people in pregnancy through the first stages of the babies' life who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, mental health difficulties.
One in five women experience post or ante natal depression, anxiety or in some cases psychosis, during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth.
Perinatal community mental health services provide specialist care for women (and their babies) with moderate to severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or severe depression. The long-term benefits of this kind of specialist care offers early help and support to parents and babies to help with a range of perinatal issues including parent infant bonding.
Bereavement Pathway (BP) are one of the key 'flexible deliverables' in the LTP and each iteration is designed to meet local needs and wider maternal health pathways, while at the same time, forming a continuity of care the national design of BP cohorts. Our BP will be focussed on providing high calibre individualised care to women and their families who have experienced neonatal loss or still birth, defined as loss at 24 weeks.

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

Our four multidisciplinary teams include Psychiatrists, Administrators, Nurses, Clinical Psychologists, Early Years workers, and some specialist Midwives and Health Visitors who are all trained in adult and infant mental health. The Service has extremely good working partnerships with a wide range of primary and secondary care professionals, including Midwives, Health Visitors, Social Care, CAMHS and Adult Mental Health Services across Sussex and is a key member of the South East Coast Strategic Network.
You will join a multi-disciplinary service, comprising four separate teams, providing specialist care for women with moderate to serious mental health crisis such as perinatal psychosis, bipolar disorder or severe uni-polar depression whilst they are pregnant or in the first 12 months after birth. This is a rare opportunity to provide significant clinical consultation and contribute to the skilful delivery of psychology and psychological therapy (PPT) interventions to the new Bereavement Pathway. These are likely to be individual, couple and family-based therapies for trauma and loss.
Within the main service you will offer the four core PPT offers; birth trauma, maternal OCD, post MBU interventions and parent infant psychotherapy (PIP). Our PPT group also offers DBT and Circle of Security, and CFT which is under development. You will also join an active perinatal research and audit group who have already had two publications accepted.
Experience of working with trauma will be highly desirable.
Please see job description for outlines of the main duties and responsibilities of this post, and the person specification which lists the requirements necessary to perform the job. Candidates will be assessed according to the extent to which they meet the specification.

Person specification


Essential criteria
  • Post-graduate doctoral level training in applied psychology [or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996 or outside the UK], including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics, two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology as approved by the HPC.
  • Professionally registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Professions Council (HPC)

Knowledge & Experience

Essential criteria
  • Experience of specialist psychological working (assessment, formulation and treatment) with a wide variety of client groups, across the whole life course and presenting with the full range of clinical severity across the full range of care settings including outpatient, community, primary care, inpatient and residential care settings, maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the threat of physical abuse.
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research design and methodology, including complex multivariate data analysis as practiced within the field of applied psychology.
  • High level of knowledge and skills in neuropsychology and evidence of further practice and/or training since qualification.
  • Experience of the application of applied psychology in different cultural contexts and experience of working within a multicultural framework.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development as required by the HPC.

Sussex Partnership NHS FT is committed to supporting a diverse workforce that reflects our communities. Our workforce is currently under-represented from Black and Minority, Ethnic and disabled communities and we would welcome applications from these communities.

We regret that we are unable to advise candidates if they have not been shortlisted. If you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date please assume that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

In the event of an excessive number of applicants the Trust reserves the right to close this vacancy earlier than indicated.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust takes its responsibilities for the safeguarding and protection of children and young people and vulnerable adults very seriously and expects this of all its employees and bank workers. The Trust works with adult and children's social care to ensure that the integrated service has systems in place to equip staff and bank workers with the knowledge and skills to recognize abuse, and take action to safeguard and protect vulnerable adults and children and young people. It is expected that all staff and bank workers familiarise themselves with the appropriate structures and policies and with the Sussex child protection and safeguarding procedures and the Sussex multi-agency policy and procedures for safeguarding vulnerable adults and undertake the relevant essential training and further training appropriate to their role.

Successful candidates are normally offered salaries at the bottom of the relevant salary range. However, where previous or equivalent NHS experience in a similar role can be demonstrated and evidenced, this may be taken into consideration when setting the starting salary.

Employer certification / accreditation badges

Applicant requirements

You must have appropriate UK professional registration.

This post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020 and it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service.


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Who we are

We provide specialist NHS mental health and learning disability services in south east England. People receive care, treatment and support from us in hospital, at home and from a range of community services. Our services are rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission and ‘outstanding’ for caring.

Where we are

We provide services for people of all ages across Sussex and services for children and young people in Hampshire. There’s something for everyone in our local area, whether that’s the hustle and bustle of Brighton, the scenic South Downs or our wonderful coastline where you can chill out to the sound of the surf.

What we can offer you

When you join us, you’ll be coming to work in an organisation that puts people first. We’ll do everything we can to make you feel valued, respected and included. You will be given plenty of opportunities here for your career to flourish. We’re an organisation which is strong on innovation, research and learning, and we will support your development and help you learn new skills in whichever team or service you work in.

Check out the links below to view our key areas of recruitment



Allied Health Professions

Phychology & PsychologicalTherapies

Social Work

Healthcare Support Workers 

Support Services

Check out our latest video below where we hear from our inspiring nurses why Sussex Partnership is such a great place to work.

Company info
Trust HQ
Arundel Road
BN13 3EP

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