May 2012

HPC approved!

The programme has received ongoing approval from the Health Professions Council (HPC) and accreditation from the British Psychological Society (BPS) following their combined visit to the programme in mid May.

As part of the two-day visit, HPC and BPS visitors met programme staff, local supervisors and placement organisers, staff from the Strategic Health Authority, trainees, service user representatives and senior  staff from within the university.

The programme received one condition from the HPC and one from the BPS. Eight commendations were given by the BPS.

The visit was the culmination of two years' preparation for the changes required by the HPC approval process.

Below: A photograph of our evidence documentation!

Our evidence!

Research Director Jane Simpson commented: "This was great result for the programme and evidence of all the hard work involved in  preparing for the visit. We very much believe that this was a collective achievement and would like to thank all involved in the programme for their support and commitment."

Says Katherine Froggatt, Head of the Division of Health Research: "I was very pleased to hear the feedback from the HPC/BPS panel, and their positive regard for the Directors, staff and programme here at Lancaster. This reflects much hard work that staff have put into the programme over many years and it is good to have this recognised by two independent bodies."

Below: The programme team celebrates after the visit.

Our team

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Personal Support Coordinator

The programme is delighted to welcome Emma Hickey as the new Personal Support Coordinator. Among other things she will be coordinating the personal tutor system and supporting trainees with the process of accessing personal therapy.

Emma HickeyEmma says: "I graduated from the Lancaster programme (then the Lancashire In-Service Training Course) in 1993. I never dreamt that 19 years later I would still be working as a clinical psychologist let alone taking on a role with the programme. However, as some of you will know I have a long standing interest in personal development and I am therefore delighted to have been offered the role of developing and coordinating the personal support scheme. I look forward to working with you all."

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Fitness to practise panel

The programme's new fitness to practise (FtP) panel is about to receive its initial training at two events over the next few weeks.

The programme's FtP procedures have been approved by the university and the panel, after its initial training, will meet for the first time in July.

The panel comprises programme staff, a service user, another training professional from within the university and is chaired by a local NHS consultant clinical psychologist, Julie Ross (picture below), from Lancashire Care Foundation Trust. The panel also has a deputy Chair, Ailsa Smith.

Julie RossThe FtP procedures have been developed by senior clinical tutor Tim Atkin, with input from other involved individuals. Says Tim: "It is important that as a programme we have a FtP panel which is separate from university assessment regulations and LCFT disciplinary procedures but is informed by and consistent with both. We look forward to working with colleagues on the panel and providing a fair and transparent forum for the consideration of fitness to practise issues."

The programme's FtP panel is the first within the university. Details on its operation are available from Tim:


IAPT now under DClinPsy management

The DClinPsy programme has taken over the overall management of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) programme .

The programme, which is also based at Lancaster University, runs a one year 'high intensity' course for around 15 trainees. The IAPT programme is tightly structured and, in line with all adult high intensity programmes through the country,  has specific learning outcomes for its modules.

The new Programme Director (from June 1st) will be Ben Harper, who is also a part-time clinical tutor on the DClinPsy. Other tutor posts are in the process of being filled.

Says Clinical Director Anna Daiches: "We are delighted to be taking over the overall management of the IAPT programme and getting to know the trainees and supervisors. We have a number of challenges to meet in terms of accreditation and staffing but we feel we can offer a supportive structure for the IAPT training to develop."

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Brief admissions update

As many of you will realise by now, our programme team enjoys setting itself challenges. Therefore, not content with May being the month to rise to the challenge of the BPS/HPC visit, staff also decided it would be a good idea to hold the selections week. From 29th May to 1st June, over 60 local stakeholders including clinicians, LUPIN members, trainees and programme staff will gather at Lancaster House Hotel to put 72 eager applicants through their paces. Says admissions tutor Anna Daiches, "We continue to be committed to delivering a high quality and innovative selection process.  A lot of resources go into our annual task of identifying individuals with the most potential to make a lasting positive impact on the profession. We are grateful  to all our stakeholder partners who join with us in this endeavour and look forward to a productive and collegiate week with you all."

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Changes to the curriculum

Frequently asked questions by Senior Clinical Tutor, Ian Smith

As many of programme's stakeholders will know, we are currently in the process of reviewing the DClinPsy curriculum. To keep everyone informed as to what's happening, why, and how it's all progressing, I'll be writing a piece each month for the newsletter. This month: frequently asked questions.

Q: What's changing?

Until now, teaching on the DClinPsy has been mostly organised in blocks that run alongside each placement. In the new system there will still be blocks that do this, but teaching will also be organised according to nine thematic strands.

Q: What was wrong with the way the teaching has been organised up until now?

We are really proud of the fact that our teaching has always paralleled trainees' placement experience, and that we are able to use a lot of external teachers who are experts in their field. However, many trainees told us that they often felt as if they have to learn lots of things from scratch at the start of each new placement and teaching block, and this could feel quite de-skilling. Also, with so many external teachers, it has been very difficult for teachers to coordinate with each other to make sure that teaching links up over the three years and that there isn't repetition. Our new system gives programme staff the job of co-ordinating with teachers and helping to plan the teaching over the three years, as well as over each placement.

Q: Will the teaching content change?

We want to increase our focus on transferable skills, and make sure that teaching days are used for skills-development rather than just learning information that could maybe be done outside of teaching. As a result the emphasis and style of some teaching is likely to change a bit.

Q: When will the change happen?

We've already made a few changes, but we will go over completely to the new system from Autumn this year.

Q: What difference will I notice?

Trainees: you will still get a block-based teaching timetable, but sessions will also be marked according to strand. Our virtual learning spaces will also now revolve around strands instead of teaching blocks. You may notice more skills-based and less knowledge-based teaching. We will be bearing your previous teaching in mind with everything we do, though.

Teachers: you may find that a member of the programme staff gets in touch to talk to you about teaching for the coming year and to find out more about teaching you've done before. In the old system we had five staff members, each of whom co-ordinated a whole block on their own. The new system involves fourteen staff members, giving us more time to help work with you to plan and co-ordinate the teaching. The staff will want to hear your thoughts on developing the curriculum, and may ask you to adjust existing teaching or provide new teaching. We are also planning to increase the number of free CPD workshops we run for teachers, to which you will be invited. Finally, when it comes to some areas such as clinical skills, we may be bringing a bit more of the teaching in-house, to allow trainees to have consistent facilitators across sessions.

Supervisors: You'll see that the teaching programme that runs alongside the placement is organised by strands. There may be a bit of change in the balance between what trainees are expected to read about in study time and what they are taught during teaching sessions.

Q: What if I want to know more or want to talk to someone about teaching?

I'm the lead person for co-ordinating the entire programme's teaching. I'm really happy to talk to anyone about the changes we're making and also to be a first point of contact. You can call me on 01524 592282 or email me at

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Eminent professor lined up for summer research seminar

The programme is delighted to announce that Professor Richard Bentall, an internationally renowned expert within the field of clinical psychology, has agreed to deliver the summer research seminar. The seminar is an integral part of the thesis presentation day, where third year trainees will showcase their research findings. The title of the seminar is 'The Social Origins of Psychosis' and will take place from 12-1pm in lecture theatre 2 within the Management School on Monday 11th June.

Professor Bentall took an undergraduate degree in Psychology followed by a PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University College of North Wales in Bangor. He then moved to the University of Liverpool, where he qualified as a clinical psychologist, before undertaking an MA in Philosophy Applied to Health Care at University College in Swansea. After achieving his Masters he worked as a forensic clinical psychologist in the NHS before entering the realm of academia. Professor Bentall currently works within the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool.

Professor Bentall has conducted extensive research into the problem of classification of mental illness. As a result he is a firm believer in research methods that look at symptoms experienced by individuals rather than syndromes. Another research area of interest for Professor Bentall is the use of cognitive behavioural interventions in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Says Research Director Jane Simpson: "We are thrilled to have Richard as our speaker within the DClinPsy seminar series and sincerely hope that as many of our colleagues as possible are able to join us for the event. When we asked trainees who they most wished to be part of the seminar series, Richard was the top choice and so we know he will receive an enthusiastic welcome from all involved in the programme."

If you are interested in attending, please contact Sarah Heard, or (01524 592754), for more information.


Cooke, S., Smith, I., Turl, E., Arnold, E., & Msetfi, R. (in press). Parent perspectives of clinical psychology access when experiencing distress. Community Practitioner.

Delaney, M., Leroi, I., Simpson, J., & Overton, P.G. (in press). Impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease: A psychosocial perspective. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings.

Donnellan, D., Murray, C., & Harrison, J. (in press). An investigation into adolescents' experience of cognitive behavioural therapy within a child and adolescent mental health service. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Keen, C., Murray, C., & Payne, S. (in press). Sensing the presence of the deceased: A narrative review. Mental Health, Religion and Culture.

Coming Up...

Research Events

The thesis presentation day for the 2009 cohort of trainees will take place on Monday 11th June in the Management School. The day will start with an introduction from Dr Jane Simpson, Research Director, at 9.45am in lecture theatre 2 and will finish at 2.20pm. Additionally the programme will feature a seminar on 'The Social Origins of Psychosis' given by Professor Richard Bentall from Liverpool University (see above).

"The thesis presentation day is one of the main events within the research programme. It provides the trainees with an important opportunity to share their research findings with peers and colleagues from both the university and NHS. The topics covered by this cohort are wide ranging and will be of interest to many. We hope many readers of the newsletter will join us for this occasion."

If you are interested in attending, please contact Sarah Heard, or ( 01524 592754), for more information.


Critical Review Examiner Workshop- Lancaster University Conference Centre MR2
Date: 13th June, 2012
Time: 10:00am-1:00pm


Introductory Supervisor Training- Lancaster University Conference Centre
Date: Wednesday, October 17th & Thursday, October 18th, 2012 and May 9th, 2013.
Time: 9:30am-4:30pm

If you would like further details, please contact Jen Whitfield at or on 01524 592972.

LUPIN (Public Involvement Group) Meetings

Meeting: Steering Group Meeting, B9 Whewell Building
Date: 14th June, 2012
Time: 10:30am-12:30pm followed by lunch with programme staff

Advance notice:

Meeting on campus for a service user involvement review and planning session, Thursday 20th September, 10am -12pm. More details to be announced at a later date.

For further details, contact Jen Whitfield at or on 01524 592972.

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