On call crisis work as clinical Psychologist

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HayleyT
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:03 pm

On call crisis work as clinical Psychologist

Post by HayleyT » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:03 pm

Hi,

The recent discussions everywhere around an expectation of a 24 hour NHS service have prompted me to try to gain some views on the role of clinical psycholgists in this context.

I work in a CAMHS service, all band six or above clinicians (so all clin psychs - I am qualified) are expected to be on call several times a month overnight or over the weekend to attend hospitals to assess YP in crisis in addition to all daytime duties. There are a whole host of issues around the practical implemntation of this but just wanted to see what people thought of this in terms of the role of a clinical Psych. Ultimatly this is a main reason why I am leaving my current role, but I think it brings up wider problems for me about the pressures to provide increasing levels of service with less resource and the impact this is going to have on Clinical Psychology.

The main thoughts I have had about it to date have been:

Diversity - I worry that diversity will be reduced in services that enforce this, people with dependent children or family are perhaps less likely to be able to manage this sporadic on call type work in terms of managing childcare etc, if this is expected in more services what will longer term impact be?

Best use of clinical skill - I worry that this isn't the best use of the specific skills clin psychs have

Does anyone else have experinece of this and any thoughts about it?

alexh
Posts: 393
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: On call crisis work as clinical Psychologist

Post by alexh » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:58 pm

Hi Hayley, I am sorry to hear that this is making it difficult for you to continue in your current role. It doesn't yet affect me but following this debate I expect there's a high probability I'll have to work some out of hours when I qualify. I feel OK about that but my spouse won't be delighted and I would also then have the difficulties with children.

I think this change and the impact it will have should be tackled with all healthcare roles working together to make a safer service at all times of day. Where the policy is not workable we should work together to challenge and change it. The fact that it looks on the face of it that it will present a huge workforce challenge should be raised loudly.

Therefore, I think we should carry some of this load along with the other professions. Opting out or arguing we're a special case would probably be corrosive to our working relationships.

I'm not sure how they professions work around on call and caring responsibilities, it would be interesting to know. Does it affect diversity?

alexh
Posts: 393
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: On call crisis work as clinical Psychologist

Post by alexh » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:44 am

I wonder if any other psychologists are affected by similar changes to their working hours.

Hayley, have you contacted a union or the BPS?

daydreambeliever
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:29 pm

Re: On call crisis work as clinical Psychologist

Post by daydreambeliever » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:40 pm

I'm also a Clinical Psychologist working in CAMHS, but I'm not expected to do any daytime duty, never mind any out of hours work/ overnight duty. I'm lucky that I work in a team where our unique specialist skills are valued, and I do extra first assessments, specialist partnership for psychological therapy, group work, service development, research etc rather than on call duties. I think If my expectation was that I "get out of" duty and not do anything extra in it's place that would be understandably corrosive to working relationships, but the arrangement as it stands seems to be accepted, people often comment on how much work I do. My view is that going forwards we're going to need a collective voice on this type of issue if we want to have working arrangements that fit our skill set, otherwise we'll see pockets of protected folk who have someone in their midst who is good at advocating for our professional needs, and pockets of people who are more self-sacrificing/ less confident/ with less power or voice to speak out in their context etc who risk being taken advantage of by management systems that don't understand our needs.

HayleyT
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: On call crisis work as clinical Psychologist

Post by HayleyT » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:33 pm

Hi,

I agree that arguing for a special get out would be corosive and that is certainly not what im saying, i think increasing demands for out of hours work that is in addition to any workers day role is a bad thing, and just strikes me as trying to get more for less out of people in the short term but will have consequences to the service provided more generally. However, i do think it is important for psychologists to be aware and promote their specific skills, in fact i was exempt from day duty for this reason as i offered additional things in return that used specific skills such as consultation and specialised assessments.

The union, hr, senior managers and health and safety were all contacted and were not able to help, we did this as a group of workers and regularly made our concerns heard but to no avail. It concerns me that the increasingly competitive natpppure of tendering for services will make these extras more common.

daydreambeliever
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:29 pm

Re: On call crisis work as clinical Psychologist

Post by daydreambeliever » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:45 pm

HayleyT wrote:It concerns me that the increasingly competitive natpppure of tendering for services will make these extras more common.
Just thought it might be worth noting that competitive tendering for services is not an issue in Scotland, where I'm based, and that this aspect opens the possibility of divergent working conditions for staff in Scotland vs. elsewhere in the UK where the competitive nature of tendering would have an adverse impact on ts and cs people's power to negotiate for these if someone else is willing to do it for less. At a systemic level, unless everyone collectively said no to doing more for less, you'd see over time that ts and cs were eroded. I also know I'm guilty of doing more for less where I work in ways other than being on duty overnight, and suspect lots of psychologists are. I think that being the case, it could be our downfall as a professional group unless collectively there's a shared cultural shift.

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