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Health Psychologist in Training

Trainee Health Psychologist

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in partnership with Health Boards in Scotland is funding 3 Health Psychologists in Training to explore the contribution health psychology can make in supporting NHSScotland to meet its health improvement targets.

These are two-year fixed term posts designed to allow the Health Psychologists in Training successful completion of the British Psychological Society's Stage 2 Training while employed by the NHS to undertake a programme of approved work.

The application phase of the 2017 intake is now closed.


The NES Health Psychology Stage 2 Training Programme

1. Introduction :  Health is all about behaviour

To radically improve the health of people in Scotland we need to understand and change the environmental, socio-economic and individual causes of poor health. Promoting effective health behaviour change is a crucial part of the government’s strategy to support people’s efforts to improve their own health and lifestyles.

Consultations from the House of Lords1 and the UK Department of Health2 focus directly on the need for effective behaviour change strategies to improve and maintain health. We need an appropriately skilled workforce to deliver this. In Scotland, the Wells Report3 highlighted the need for applied psychology expertise to deliver and support training and development of the NHS workforce in psychological awareness and interventions.

2. What can health psychologists contribute?

A Health Psychologist has high level competencies in research, delivery of interventions, consultancy, teaching and training, and generic professional skills.

These competencies are acquired during Stage 2 training, including:

  • Practice: Developing professional practice, designing healthcare policy and practice.
  • Implement interventions for behaviour change and maintenance; for example, improve self-efficacy, set realistic goals, cope with barriers to change. 
  • Research: designing, implementing and evaluating research on issues relevant to managing health and health behaviour.
  • Consultancy: planning, implementing, evaluating healthcare projects for clients.
  • Teaching and training: providing theory-driven, evidence-based training for health professionals, others delivering health care and patients.
  • Presenting accessible and meaningful health related information so that people can make better informed choices.

3. Supply of high quality trainees : NES Training Programme

NES recognises the importance of adding Health Psychology to the NHS skill mix in Scotland by supporting training posts. Since 2007 NES has jointly funded (with NHS Health Boards) 2 year training posts for health psychologists in NHS Health Boards in Scotland. Over twenty five trainees have undertaken this programme to date.

Examples of some of the projects that have been carried out include:

  • Developing postnatal smoking relapse prevention intervention for local smoking cessation services.
  • Promoting sexual health in looked after young people
  • Oral health among pre-school nursery children in DEPCAT 6 & 7 postcodes

For more examples click here (PDF file).

4. Assessing Impact: Outputs from the NES Stage 2 Programme

For the trainees who have completed this training to date, the level of output has been high quality. Up to Dec 2014 this included:

  • Over 20 publications in peer review journals.
  • 16 other publications, including reports.
  • 70 Conference Presentations, 5 International and 52 UK.
  • 35 workshops, training packages and other dissemination events.
  • Other indicators- include conference bursaries, other funding.

Awards: Wellbeing in Sexual Health Award, Dale, H, 2010, Herald Award for Health and Social Care Integration Project- Health Psychology Service in North Lanarkshire Council, 2014.

Events: Presentation to Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nicola Sturgeon for NHS Forth Valley Annual Review on partnership between health psychology and pharmacy (Eades, C. 2011).

Example: Health Psychologists have trained over 800 home support workers in psychological approaches to promoting independence and self management of ones health and wellbeing, undertaken with North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire. The Health Psychology Service won the Glasgow Herald 2015 Health and Social Care Integration award for the work. A Video: ‘Outcomes and Health Psychology Service’ presented at North Lanarkshire Council Social work roadshows.



Benchmark Statement

You can vew our Benchmark Statement here.