Why are we here?
All professions need professional representation if they want to influence the shape of services and their role within such services. Service users, the public, managers and policy makers do not simply and automatically accept that clinical psychologists have relevance to health and social care. Clinical psychologists need a voice at national and local level to explain and publicise the contribution and potential of the profession and its benefits for service users, multi-disciplinary teams, carers and healthcare organisations.
As healthcare provision continues to become increasingly fragmented and professionally isolating, we aim to provide professional support to clinical psychologists at the coal face. A clear and high profile national voice for clinical psychology has been lacking for many years, whilst a medical discourse tends to dominate national, societal and healthcare narratives. The ACP-UK aims to provide that national psychological voice and to promote not only the discipline but most importantly the profession of clinical psychology.
Where are we going?
Cochrane reviews and NICE recommendations for common mental and physical health problems have increasingly identified the efficacy of psychological interventions devised and delivered by clinical psychologists. These findings have not been reflected in the political landscape of healthcare, with clinical psychology often included as an afterthought (if at all) in both national and local discourses. The ACP-UK is working for a future in which clinical psychologists have a much greater influence over the nature, management and organisation of psychological aspects of health and social care than hitherto.
How do we work?
We have an elected leadership team of clinical psychologists with representation from the four nations and experts by experience. We have members who have expertise and experience in specific specialities who provide expert advice and comment in response to consultations, in response to relevant national events and to publicise the profession proactively.
- We create task and finish groups in response to national issues and proactively as a result of strategic decisions by the leadership team.
- We provide accessible and timely professional advice to members and a legal advice service for those having difficulties with employers or the HCPC.
- We will provide professional practice guidelines for clinical psychologists in general and for specific specialities and their services.
The ACP-UK membership includes some of the UK’s (and world) experts in terms of specific problems and psychological applications in health and social care. Where timely comment is appropriate, we will approach these experts in relation to their specific area of expertise without recourse to committees or burdensome and time-wasting approval protocols. In other matters ACP-UK undertakes rapid membership consultations using the web-based Qualtrics system and uses the collective output to formulate public statements. ACP-UK includes local networks of clinical psychologists and encourages professional mentoring and peer support relationships.
Who is ACP UK for?
ACP-UK is for all clinical psychologists and clinical trainees. ACP-UK also includes experts by experience and representation from diverse groups appointed to its Citizens’ Assembly. Other applied psychologists, psychology graduates and interested members of the public are welcomed as associate members.