Assistant psychologists celebrate securing permanent roles

Assistant psychologists appointed to make clinical psychology more accessible have secured permanent roles

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) appointed six clinical psychologists in six-month posts in January, all of whom were from racially minoritised backgrounds.

The candidates have now come to the end of their roles and are celebrating their success in securing further assistant psychologist posts or equivalent.

Funded by Health Education England, the jobs offered positions to people who may have otherwise faced barriers when applying for jobs.

Each candidate has been working across a range of services in CNTW, including First Step in Cumbria, Northumberland Head Injuries Service, Forensic Adolescent Services, Children, young people and Adult Learning Disabilities, Older People’s, and Inpatient Services.

The positions were open to people who have been marginalised in some way, either because of their race, their socio-economic status or their carer responsibilities. Their roles have played an important part in increasing awareness and ensuring that services are more representative of the communities CNTW serves.

Dr Romana Farooq, Principal Clinical Psychologist and Chair of the Widening Access Working Group at CNTW, said: “It has been a real privilege to have worked alongside passionate and committed individuals as part of this scheme. However, there is so much more that we need to do including creating further opportunities for individuals from marginalised backgrounds as well as ensuring that our services are inclusive, welcoming and anti-racist. I look forward to continuing to work with the Assistant Psychologists and the Widening Access Working Group to further this initiative and to bid for more funds to create these much-needed opportunities.”

Assistant psychologist Bianca Abuan said: “It has truly been a joy working as an Assistant Psychologist at the Northumberland Head Injuries Service. I work with fantastic people, and I always look forward to coming to work where I feel so supported and encouraged to develop. Assistant Psychologist roles are often regarded as the first major step on the path to becoming a Clinical Psychologist and I feel so lucky to have been accepted on to this scheme. During my time, I have gained valuable experience and a real insight into the role of a Clinical Psychologist in Neuropsychology.”

Catalia Griffiths, Assistant Psychologist, said: “This year has been an absolute whirlwind. Not only did I start my first ever role as an Assistant Psychologist, but I went on to secure my second post as a permanent Assistant Psychologist. I would like to thank Dr Romana Farooq for this, for going out of her way to fight for what she is passionate about. I am excited to continue working alongside Dr Farooq, and to see where this path leads us.”

The Widening Access Working Group has recently bid for further funding for Assistant Psychologist roles so that it can continue to provide these opportunities and bring meaningful change in clinical psychology.

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