PWP agency work

This section is for discussion relating to the Layard report, and subsequent schemes like Improving Access to Psychological Therapies where lower intensity inteventions are offered in primary care
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Sam1987
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:11 pm

PWP agency work

Post by Sam1987 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:26 pm

Has anyone had any experience of PWP agency work? I have been looking around and there is always vacancies promising between £21 and £25 an hour. I have a friend who is currently doing it in Surrey and gets roughly £21 an hour. I'm just wondering if anyone else has had some experience of agency work and would they recommend it?

Thanks :)
IAPT the tiger

the-bengologist
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:41 pm

Re: PWP agency work

Post by the-bengologist » Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:38 pm

Hi Sam,

I did agency work for a year and there were certainly benefits, namely the pay (£20 per hour) which used to equate to roughly £500 a week (more than a salaried high intensity therapist earns). It also depends on the employer as one service I worked for treated me like all the other pwps in their service I. E. Equal supervision, face to face treatment time, triages whereas another service just wanted me to conduct assessments full time to help with targets. At the time I worked for the agency their was a massive drought of pwps as so many had left the job (due to various reasons) however I think many factors come into play; your ethical stance on how the NHS spends it's money, how willing you are to travel to placements, whether you have financial commitments that need a steady cash flow like a mortgage or loan repayments. If you are feeling 'stuck in a dead end' as a PWP in your current service I would certainly recommend you experience working for an agency but I must admit I don't think I'd ever go back to being a salaried pwp after doing agency work.

Neem
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:25 pm

Re: PWP agency work

Post by Neem » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:53 pm

Hi the-bengologist,
Hope you are well? You seem to know your stuff lol, are you able to advise me on a few things? I recently managed to secure the trainee pwp position after so many attempts. I think it was after my 6th interview I managed to get the position (I clearly did not give up!) I was struggling as I did not have a psychology degree, but my degree was actually in Law, however I have spent a few years working in the mental health field to gain some experience.
The uni we are training at is a complete shambles, I woundnt recommed it! (We are the first cohort undertaking this course so I guess there will be plenty of errors to start with)
Now, my plan was to complete the course by January and go straight into agency work, ( I currently commute 60 miles to work, and spending far too much in fuel...) but I'm not sure whether I will be able to work in locum? Is 10 months trainee experience sufficient or will I need to obtain further experience by working as a qualified pwp?
Also, is this trainee course beneficial, or will the government get rid of pwps and invest money in cbt therapists instead? Could I qualify as a cbt therapist if I don't have a psychology degree?
And finally, I'm looking to move to Cardiff after I complete my training, (this is due to certain commitments) but as you know Wales do not have an IAPT! Does that mean my training will be a complete waste as I'm unable to pursue a career there :(

Your response will be highly appreciated :)

Regards,
Neem

Ppepper25
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Re: PWP agency work

Post by Ppepper25 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:19 am

So lets just clarify this....you've got onto a PWP course, funded by the NHS I assume? And you then plan on training and leaving straight away to do agency work, where you cost the NHS more than double a normal PWP?

Doesn't seem ethical to me.

I appreciate agency work is there, and I think for many it has a time and a place, e.g. when you want more flexible hours/location, or you're recently out of work or have moved to a new area. But to go on to a training course (which I assume your NHS place of work has funded) and then leave to come back as an agency member, seems greedy and unethical.

If you're paying for the course yourself, then maybe it's less controversial.

Edit: To answer your actual question, most agencies want an experienced member of staff who can come in and do the job with ease. Usually they will require you to be accredited, which can take quite a while also.

the-bengologist
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Re: PWP agency work

Post by the-bengologist » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:20 am

Hi Neem,

Well firstly a big congrats on finally getting onto the PWP training, 6 interviews shows a real determination and I know i've also been in the same position! Persistence is the key 8)

Just to answer your questions (my personal opinion only):

1) Is 10 months trainee experience sufficient or will I need to obtain further experience by working as a qualified pwp?

I think this really depends on the location you are looking to work in, as some areas really need PWPs and will not be fussy at all as long as you have your uni certificate as that demonstrates you can do everything that is required of you - I don't know how the PWP recruitment scene is at the moment but I do know when I was locuming there was a mass shortage and the only criteria was just having qualified so I personally can't see why you wouldn't get a position. The best thing to do would be to speak to a few agencies now and explain your situation as they will be able to give you a better idea. I have worked with Pulse and DayWebster (but I know there are some other commonly used agencies such as LabMed and Sugarman Mind). I don't think post-qualification experience would harm you but it just depends on if a position is available in your locality.


2) is this trainee course beneficial, or will the government get rid of pwps and invest money in cbt therapists instead?

I think the training is very beneficial - as you can't be a PWP without it. It also gives you a really good foundation in CBT. I haven't heard any news or indications of the government thinking about scrapping PWPs, as without them the IAPT service falls to pieces and it would lead to overwhelmed CBT/psychology services - I don't think it would work as it didn't previously with overwhelmed clinical psychology departments and 18 month waiting lists. I went to an IAPT presentation by David Clark and the elusive IAPT heads in March this year, and from what they were saying it seems like IAPT is hitting the targets and looking to expand so unless you have evidence otherwise I wouldn't worry about that.


3) Could I qualify as a cbt therapist if I don't have a psychology degree?

I think this one depends as technically if you have gained a lot of PWP experience and apply for HIT training, you may be able to do so. The only part it could be a problem is if you don't have a core profession (as a nurse, OT, psychologist) as you have to do something called a KSA (as part of BABCP requirements) - which most PWPs will do as they don't have a core professional training. I remember as part of my KSA i used my psychology degree information quite often because the KSA asks for knowledge you have on human/mental development which is usually covered in psychology degrees. The KSA also asks about knowledge of different models of psychology (e.g. psychodynamic, systemic, CBT) and some psychology courses will have a module where this is covered - however this doesn't mean you can't do your KSA it just means you might have to undertake some extra training to say you have learnt about these modules, so perhaps going on some kind of training to learn about child development or something where you can get a certificate and evidence. It's by no means impossible, and since you have a lot of dedication I honestly can't see why it would be a barrier. Again my advice is always speak directly so contacting the BABCP (they have a hotline on Wednesdays for queries) can be really helpful to ask about whether having a non-psychology degree might be a hindrance.

4) Moving to Wales, Does that mean my training will be a complete waste as I'm unable to pursue a career there?

I will be honest I don't know much about the mental health system in Wales, however I have seen posts for Assistant and Clinical Psychologists, and so I wonder whether they may have some kind of CBT input but again doing some research and contacting people is probably your best option. I don't know how long it would take you to commute from Cardiff to possibly somewhere on the border like Gloucester or Liverpool etc but if you were able to commute you could certainly try and get a locum position there? but again I guess it would be a commute and it depends on how much you are willing to travel - I used to do long distances but I would stay in hotels and claim them as an expense, which I didn't mind as it was still worth it (financially)


Anyway I hope that I have been able to go someway to answering your questions, and feel free to PM me if you have any more and don't feel comfortable sharing them openly.

P.s. with regards to ppeppers post, I can see you are clearly passionate about NHS spending and are entitled to your own opinion, but I disagree with some of the points you make and think you come across as quite harsh. When the NHS pays an agency (which it clearly decides to do) that 'double' pay you talk about includes your holiday, sickness and pension payments, so permanent PWPs do get paid quite a lot but it might not feel it after deductions. I don't think making someone feel guilty about doing NHS funded training is going to make them stay in a dead-end PWP job, and that probably explains why there is such a high turn-over rate (which IAPT/NHS needs to address in their recruitment processes). Again I have never heard of agencies wanting accredited PWPs, unless there has been significant changes in the last few years - but I would speak to the agency directly.

I still think its better for IAPT to have an agency PWP than having a PWP leave for a different career because they absolutely hate their permanent role but hey we are all entitled to our own opinion.

lakeland
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:18 pm

Re: PWP agency work

Post by lakeland » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:01 pm

I know little about PWP work, but I will say that more and more NHS trusts are cutting agency spending, so there may not be opportunities in this area anyway.

LIWY
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Re: PWP agency work

Post by LIWY » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:08 pm

Ppepper25 wrote:So lets just clarify this....you've got onto a PWP course, funded by the NHS I assume? And you then plan on training and leaving straight away to do agency work, where you cost the NHS more than double a normal PWP?

Doesn't seem ethical to me.

I appreciate agency work is there, and I think for many it has a time and a place, e.g. when you want more flexible hours/location, or you're recently out of work or have moved to a new area. But to go on to a training course (which I assume your NHS place of work has funded) and then leave to come back as an agency member, seems greedy and unethical.

If you're paying for the course yourself, then maybe it's less controversial.

Edit: To answer your actual question, most agencies want an experienced member of staff who can come in and do the job with ease. Usually they will require you to be accredited, which can take quite a while also.
Very harsh post Pepper
A few things to consider...
- Numerous services take on IAPT trainees, for whom they receive money from central funding (they do not fund the training locally other than local supervisor and office costs) but do not create additional posts for the trainees when qualified so they may be obliged to move on.
- Agency staff can be expensive but PWPs do not literally cost twice the salaried staff when you take into account the costs of permanent staff members that agency staff do not have such as sick pay and pension contribution. A newly qualified PWP will command less per hour than a very experienced PWP unless the Service is desperate, if the Service is desperate it is probably because they cannot retain staff through their own bad management and unrealistic demands on PWPs.
- This poster is not talking about taking their training and going to work in the private sector so the NHS still benefits
- Hundreds of PWPs get out of the job asap because of the unsustainable targets and impossible caseloads of patients who are too complex for step 2. This is why there is so much agency work. This has been going on since the start of IAPT and seems to only get worse yet the architects of IAPT do nothing about it.
- PWP accreditation is optional and I've never heard of an agency demanding it.

Neem
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:25 pm

Re: PWP agency work

Post by Neem » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:38 pm

Hi, thanks for the responses, really appreciate it.
The-bengologist, I have sent you a pm :)

As for ppepper25, that's quite a hash response, considering you have no idea of what one may be going through its not really your place to judge someone based on your limited knowledge

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miriam
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Re: PWP agency work

Post by miriam » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:50 am

I'm with pepper. If you'd told the truth you'd not be funded to train. On costs account for about 25% more than basic salary, not double, and that's before you allow for the agency fees.

Saying "well if the service isn't retaining staff it clearly isn't doing it right and therefore deserves to be overcharged" is a logical fallacy and attributing the problem in the wrong place. If services had more funding they'd recruit more staff, offer more options for career development and cpd. Without the means they are being told to fill a quart from a point pot. And if the nhs is struggling due to lack of resources, agencies bleeding their cut and locums getting double rates compound rather than resolve problems.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

LIWY
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Re: PWP agency work

Post by LIWY » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:54 pm

Miriam - are you aware though that a good number of IAPT services, especially the ones run by non-NHS providers take on trainees who are funded by Health Education England with no promise of a job afterwards? We don't know if the OP applied to one of these services. Obviously if she was asked what her plans were after qualifying and she said, I'd plan to apply for a qualified position with you, that would be wrong but if she is open about plans and they still offer then that's up to them.

Certain agencies and IT companies are certainly getting rich on the back of IAPT and they are a massive part of the problem. If they didn't exist it would be the better for all patients and staff in my opinion because services would need to work on staff retention, stop burning out staff, put in realistic budgets to commissioners. Procurement in IAPT has been a ridiculous merry-go-round for years of AQPs with the cheapest budget winning tenders but then having to go back to the commissioners for extra budget for these waiting list initiatives etc. when the commissioners are put under pressure themselves for missed targets - this is often when the agency staff roll in. New contracts often mean new IT systems and more money for private systems providers. Consistency would save operational money and provide a much better knowledge base for patient care.

I've also seen less (though there has been some) censure on here for people who ask about applying for clinpsy during or immediately after their PWP training. At least this OP is planning to stay on as a PWP, albeit for agency rates. On the PWP course I did so many people were applying for clinpsy during the course that the teaching team sent around an email saying they would not accept any reference requests.

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