Applying a health psychology approach to workforce redesign

Posted on
UWE NHS logo

A new programme to explore the contribution and impact of applying a health psychology approach to workforce transformation and redesign is being launched by Health Education England (HEE) and led by Dr Elizabeth Jenkinson, Senior Lecturer and Health Psychologist at UWE, Bristol.

This project is linked to wider programmes to expand  the psychological professions across NHS service pathways, set out in the Psychological Professions Workforce Plan for England

HEE is funding seven trainee health psychologist roles – one in each of the seven regions in England – to deliver projects and learning to support the NHS to achieve its workforce transformation and redesign goals as part of an exciting pilot programme.

Workforce transformation and redesign within the NHS is about supporting the development of a workforce that is responsive to changes in healthcare by improving the way the NHS recruits, retains, deploys, develops, and supports the healthcare workforce to meet the growing and changing needs of local populations, whilst ensuring high quality care for patients today and in the future.

The posts are two-years fixed term and will help the trainee health psychologists to gain experience working within health and care whilst also completing the British Psychological Society’s Stage 2 training.

Trainees will be involved in work where behaviour change is vital to introduce new ways of working and support workforce transformation or redesign.

They will build capability within organisations and systems and will also train others within the health and care system, ensuring systems are equipped and able to respond in an agile way to the new and revised models of care required in the recovery, restoration, and improvement of services.

Additionally, as part of their training, the health psychologists will develop and conduct research projects and feed findings directly back into the systems, increasing the evidence base regarding successful and sustainable workforce redesign.

“This trailblazing programme of work will bring health psychology into NHS workforce redesign to make a real difference to health and social care staff, the patients they work with and the systems they work within. It’s also incredibly exciting to be providing funded training opportunities for the next generation of health psychologists, making training in England more accessible’.

Dr Liz Jenkinson, National Training Director and Senior Lecturer at UWE, Bristol

“HEE are delighted to be leading this innovative programme of work which will help to stimulate workforce redesign, supporting integrated care systems to work flexibly across organisations to deliver patient centred care.

The programme’s focus on the psychology of change will truly enable transformation, with the skills and tools of health psychologists being applied to understand the behaviour change required within the healthcare workforce, and to develop and implement sustainable interventions.

We are confident this will support the development of new models of care as well as optimise the potential in primary, secondary and community care settings, facilitating enhanced and accelerated MDT working for the benefit of services, staff, and patients.”

Kirstie Baxter, Head of Workforce Transformation, Health Education England

“The backbone of the NHS is its workforce. As health and care systems face new challenges and develop new ways to serve the public in delivering the NHS Long Term Plan, teams will need to innovate and develop new ways of working. Health psychologists have specific expertise in applying the science of behaviour change into healthcare. They can help design and implement changes to practice so that they stick and make a difference.

This project is a great opportunity for systems to benefit from a health psychology approach to making changes in how they work. It is also a great career opportunity for aspiring health psychologists to undertake a paid NHS training path, as part of the wider expansion of the psychological professions set out in the Psychological Professions Workforce Plan.”

Dr. Adrian Whittington, National Lead for Psychological Professions, NHS England and Health Education England

The trainees will be supported by a team of experienced registered and approved British Psychological Society coordinating supervisors who are qualified health psychologists, a workplace supervisor, HEE programme lead Lucy Renwick and National Training Director Dr Liz Jenkinson.

The programme is supported by a steering group of:

  • Dr. Liz Jenkinson – Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology and Research Methods at University of the West of England, and National Training Director for Health Psychology in Workforce Redesign, Health Education England
  • Prof Lucie Byrne-Davis – Professor of Health Psychology, University of Manchester & Chair of the Division of Health Psychology of the British Psychological Society
  • Prof Jo Hart – Professor of Health Professional Education and Health Psychologist ,University of Manchester
  • Prof Angel Chater – Professor of Health Psychology and Behaviour Change, University College London and University of Bedfordshire
  • Dr. Adrian Whittington – National Lead for Psychological Professions, NHS England and Health Education England

The first trainee post as part of this programme is now open for applications for anyone wanting to work within the South West region in a post hosted by Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

Applicants should hold a Stage 1 qualification in health psychology at merit level or above (MSc) together with an honour’s degree in psychology (2:1 or equivalent recognised conversion level) and a BPS Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC).

To find out more about the trainee health psychologist post in the South West region and to apply please click here. The closing date is 9th October 2022.

Further information about the programme is available on the health psychology workforce transformation webpage, and sign up to the programme mailing list here for further updates about the programme, and to hear about trainee posts across other regions.

Back to top