Current GMHW Training?

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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Victoriomantic
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Current GMHW Training?

Post by Victoriomantic » Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:12 pm

Hi all,

I'm due to start a job as a GMHW very soon :D I'm really excited about it, especially since it will be my first full-time graduate (and client-facing) role.

However, I am confused as to what (if any) formal training I will receive. I have been through all 18 pages of the "GMHW" search on this forum, and most posts are from 2007-2009, including wiki posts. Where training is mentioned, they all refer to the PG Cert.

But there is no mention of going to a university and doing the PG Cert on my job description. It only mentions doing the NHS Care Certificate (standard NHS training, I believe) before I can see clients alone. One post on this topic mentioned the PG Cert being cancelled but I don't know if an alternative is in place--I'm struggling to find anything elsewhere online.

Can anyone who is currently working (or has recently worked) as a GMHW shed any light on this? Of course I'll ask my supervisor about it when I start but I want to go in knowing as much as I can first.

Thank you in advance for any help.

(Plus, if anyone working as a GMHW wants to share their experiences of the role, I'd be interested!)

smiley91
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by smiley91 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:13 pm

Where are you undertaking the programme?

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Victoriomantic
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Victoriomantic » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:10 pm

I'll be working with South West London & St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.

Tabitha
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Tabitha » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:39 am

Hi there, firstly congratulations on your role!! Sounds like it will bring you lots of valuable experience! Not sure if my rambling below will help- but here is my experience as a GMHW!

As far as I am aware GMHW was the term used for practitioners in primary care mental health services before PWPs existed. At my IAPT service we have a few (now HI CBT therapists) who were GMHWs in primary care before the PWP role was developed as such..

I graduated in 2014, keen to get into the pwp PGCert, but was unsuccessful in a couple of applications, however I did get a job offer as a GMHW in an IAPT service, working alongside pwps and undertaking in house training to do a similar role to the pwps, I found it was really valuable experience. there were some hiccups and it was the first time the service had employed GMHWs but overall the in house training was thorough and I was totally supported by a great supervisor. It was a big step going from uni to a role like this- I won't lie I struggled, it was stressful and there were tears especially when it came to dealing with suicide risk etx , but I made it through!

After 8 months the same service received funding to hire PWPs to undertake the university PGCart training, I applied for that, got on it and am currently undertaking the PWP training. I felt I wanted to consolidate my experience as a GMHW by doing further work at uni and also have a qualification to show for it. my experience as a GMHW was invaluable and had helped me a lot on the PWP training!! My colleague stayed working as a GMHW as she has already undertaken post grad qualifications and felt she didn't want to persue the PWP certificate.

So all in all I found it wonderful experience to add to my application, a chance to work with patients (paid experience!). Obviously the training and support you get will vary with services, and you won't get a postgraduate qualification as you are not doing the uni course.

I suppose the only way to find out in your case specifically is to speak to your service directly and ask! :)

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Victoriomantic
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Victoriomantic » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:39 pm

Hi Tabitha,

Thank you so much for your response! It was certainly really helpful, I started my job yesterday so I was able to read it last night and compare it to what I learned that day.

It’s definitely a great role, I can see that I’ll learn lots of clinical skills—and quickly too since I should start doing (supervised) triage telephone assessments next week!

Thank you for sharing your experience with me (I’m expecting tears when I have to start dealing with suicide risk too!), I appreciate your honesty. It does feel a bit strange (unfair?) to be doing a very similar role to PWPs but without getting a formal qualification for it, although the 12-week in-house on-the-job training does appear to be well-structured. Turns out there are 4 other GMHWs on the team who have been there for a few months, and they’ve said they’re not sure what the difference is between us and a PWP!

I’d love to do what you have done and switch to PWP training somewhen, although I’m aware that if the opportunity arises, I’ll likely have to join the queue behind the other four GMHWs! My line manager doesn’t actually come back from leave until tomorrow morning so hopefully once I’ve met with her I’ll have a better idea of exactly what the role is and what chances I may have for further training. That’s not to say I’ve been left completely in the dark though—everyone in the team has been really lovely and helpful in answering all my questions. But having the line manager means I will be assigned a mentor and able to get going on triage role plays etc.

Good luck with your PWP training :D Do you know of any marked difference between PWPs and GMHWs? So far all I’ve got is that GMHWs need all of their triage assessments checked by a supervisor before case allocation, whereas the PWPs can go right ahead for the straightforward cases.

Thank you so much again for your really helpful response :)

LIWY
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by LIWY » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:57 pm

I don't think you'll find any difference between what you are doing and what the trainee PWPs are doing, you may even find that your clinical contact targets are higher than those of the trainee PWPs as you will be working on their uni day. It means though that if you are going on to apply to something else that wants you to have a minimum time post PWP qualification you don't have that constraint while still having the same type of experience to reflect on.

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Victoriomantic
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Victoriomantic » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:52 pm

Thank you for your response LIWY. I've thought, too, that I may end up doing more clinically due to being in the service 5 days per week instead of four.

I'm really happy and grateful for the opportunity, it just seems strange to have two very similar roles but only have the qualification for one--does that mean the qualification is unecessary, or that GMHWs just miss out somehow? But as far as I'm aware you can't go straight from GMHW --> PWP (despite doing the same tasks) without doing the PGCert/PWP course, which kind of adds to that feeling.

I know it sounds a bit silly--I am absolutely grateful for the opportunity to have clinical contact so early in my career, and it seems like a job I'll really enjoy. But professionally I feel it would be better to get a qualification for future job applications (especially since a lot of people don't know what GMHWs do, and because it's generally not a common job any more). And personally I really like studying and am still half in 'student' mode, so I would love to be doing this role through a course.

I guess I just keep thinking that there must be some huge fundamental difference between the two roles that I haven't picked up on yet.

LIWY
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by LIWY » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:40 am

I met GMHWs from that Trust and there seemed no fundamental difference with PWPS in the work they did, the fundamental difference was not attending a uni course and not working towards a formal qualification. Services can get a small, limited number of trainees that are centrally funded, if they want more Band 4 workers they have to find other ways. This is about cost and also about a Service molding their Step 2 workers to focus on what the Service wants and not parts of the PWP course that they deem extraneous.

I don't think you sound silly at all. I'd be questioning things and confused if I was sitting alongside trainee PWPs while doing the same work, possibly doing more of it, but receiving less training and no formal qualification (not that the PWP qualification counts for much really, outside IAPT it is your experience and references that will count; if you want to stay working as a PWP most Services and certainly the temp agencies will bend specifications to take you on after a year's GMHW. The Trust you are in has likely put their in-house trained people into Band 5 and 6 Step 2 roles without the PWP qualification).

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Victoriomantic
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Victoriomantic » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:59 pm

Thank you for your reply LIWY. Apologies for the delayed response, I've been finding my feet in the service more in order to now be able to answer my own question in case others have the same query later down the line.

I've been in this post for a month now :)

You are right in that there is no much fundamental difference between GMHWs and trainee PWPs. We have recently had this discussion with our manager who is very lovely and sat us all down to clear things up a bit - once PWPs qualify they tend to get more complex clients and sometimes have the chance to have other projects or work in more specific areas of expertise - but we may also get the chance to pick up other projects later down the line.

Generally speaking, we do the same clinical work as the trainee PWPs but with one extra day in service.

We receive in-house on-the-job training which is quite useful as we're immediately seeing what we're learning in the context we're to be using it in. We have a three-month shadowing/training/gradual-increase-in-clinical-work induction programme before we are up to capacity.

With regards to job advancement, if a PWP post comes up in-house we will be encouraged/supported to apply for the post. I also believe the transfer from GMHW --> PWP will be fairly straightforward to another service within the same Trust. So you are right in that they do put in-house people up when spaces become available. And you are right that experiences and references will count more for future applications. I am a little worried though - if I want to move to a PWP post in the Trust nearer to home (who don't employ GMHWs) they often have the qualification as an essential criteria and if you can't click Yes to that box, your application gets halted before you proceed. I have a while before I need to think about that but I think I'll have to phone up potential future employers to explain my situation when the time to find future work arises. (Or, some of them say they want the PG Cert -OR- 2 years' clinical experience so it may just be that I try and get an extension to my contract and work for an extra year if I can't get a PWP post in the meantime.)

I am seriously loving the job though. The team are amazingly friendly and supportive, and I feel so lucky to be gaining such rich clinical experience so soon after graduating from uni. I love my job (just not the commute!) so I'm trying not to worry too much about future prospects just yet -- especially since I still have other types of clinical work (groups and guided self-help) that I haven't started yet!

Misfit
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Misfit » Wed May 18, 2016 4:04 pm

Hi,

How are you finding your role? I have seen vacancies for GMHW through SWLSTG NHS Trust in the past, but what put me off applying is the fact that you need entitlement to accreditation with the BPS, which I do not have as I studied a joint honours in Health Studies and Psychology.
How strict are they about the BPS accreditation? Do you or anyone else know anyone who works in this role without entitlement to BPS accreditation?

x

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Victoriomantic
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Victoriomantic » Tue May 24, 2016 8:03 pm

Hi there,

I'm really enjoying the role so far. It's challenging but incredibly fulfilling. As far as I'm aware a lot of psychology roles want you to have an accredited degree (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership) and I think most people in my service does have one. I can ask around though. Sometimes maybe experience would outweigh that but I couldn't guarantee.

I'd encourage you to apply anyway though! You never know unless you try, and sometimes even just experience of filling out application forms and writing personal statements can be really helpful (although not exactly fun).

Misfit
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Misfit » Sat May 28, 2016 4:01 pm

Victoriomantic wrote:Hi there,

I'm really enjoying the role so far. It's challenging but incredibly fulfilling. As far as I'm aware a lot of psychology roles want you to have an accredited degree (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership) and I think most people in my service does have one. I can ask around though. Sometimes maybe experience would outweigh that but I couldn't guarantee.

I'd encourage you to apply anyway though! You never know unless you try, and sometimes even just experience of filling out application forms and writing personal statements can be really helpful (although not exactly fun).

Yeah I hope experience can make up for accreditation! It's just so off-putting when you read that
Accreditation, is classed as Essential criteria. What sort of things have you been doing? x

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Victoriomantic
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Victoriomantic » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:17 pm

So there are three main clinical aspects to my role:

- Triage assessments: gathering information from new clients about their difficulties, then discussing the cases with supervisors and getting back to the clients with treatment recommendations. Mostly telephone work, 12 per week.
- Psychoeducational courses: co-facilitating groups using CBT materials and techniques to help people manage depression or worry (up to 12 per group, 2-3 groups per weel). I'm also going to be doing an anger management group soon, and the service also offers groups for stress and panic & phobia
- Guided self-help: 4-6 sessions, all 30 minutes, on a 1:1 basis, either F:F or telephone, using CBT materials/techniques for the above conditions. Caseload size should be around 16 or so clients but I'm sadly currently only working with 6 (increasing caseload is a WIP).

Also attending supervision and training/CPD/team meeting once per week.

Very exciting stuff :)

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Victoriomantic
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by Victoriomantic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:20 am

Victoriomantic wrote: But as far as I'm aware you can't go straight from GMHW --> PWP (despite doing the same tasks) without doing the PGCert/PWP course, which kind of adds to that feeling.
Just popped in here to update and re-read this.

I was wrong. I've just been promoted in-house to a Band 5 PWP role after being a Band 4 GMHW for just under 10 months :D It's pretty exciting, although my clinical supervisor feels that moving forwards in future job applications I won't be as valued as PWPs with the PGCert. Which may be an issue but for now I'm not too worried. Just glad to have a permanent post and *whisper whisper* the pay grade/job title which matches the workload ;) (But genuinely I am really happy to have the permanent position instead of the 12 month fixed-term contract.)

LIWY
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Re: Current GMHW Training?

Post by LIWY » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:15 pm

Pleased for you and you sound like a dedicated and enthusiastic practitioner but this sounds like a political hot potato?

The DoH must have spent running into the millions on PWP training over the past 8 years. Agreed, given the attrition rates it has not been a great investment for IAPT although OK I think for psychology as a whole as most seem to have stayed somewhere within the profession - but now this Trust has decided it can create and promote into PWP job roles with just some in-house training and ignore the BABCP standards for those entering the role without the full certificate http://www.babcp.com/Accreditation/PWP/ ... ssion.aspx?

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