Induction and Mentoring
Starting a new job in a new service can be challenging; as a trainee or a qualified practitioner. To help our new workers feel part of our team, we ensure that there is time set aside for induction which starts from the first day. We also have a mentorship scheme which lasts for the full year for trainees and as long as needed for new qualified staff.
Most of the GP Practices that we work in will normally be covered by several Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP). Therefore we all work together to ensure that workloads remain fair and balanced; and that staff are not stretched to work beyond manageable limits.
The Duty System
Telephone support from senior staff is always available to all practitioners through the Duty System which provides a route for discussing risk and other clinical issues where an additional perspective would be beneficial for both the patient and the practitioner. A recent audit of staff opinions showed that this system has become an appreciated part of daily practice and provides collaborative decision making and support for frontline staff.
Qualified and trainee practitioners alike attend weekly Case Management groups which have been highly praised in a recent staff survey for allowing practitioners time to reflect and receive advice and support from peers as well as the group facilitator. Our lead supervisor is a Consultant Psychiatrist, which allows us to provide a collaborative care model whilst giving specialist input steering towards possible diagnoses and medication management.
All practitioners attend Process Supervision once a month, which involves reviewing audio recorded patient sessions. This type of Supervision also provides space for alternative ways of thinking about patients and skills training. Six Degrees also provides group supervision in various modalities such as CBT and Method of Levels, as well as BME focussed supervision.
All practitioners have a Gateway Worker who provides regular one to one support in caseload management supervision, capacity management and any day to day issues raised by the practitioner.
We feel it is important for all staff to be part of the service direction, and our permanent members of staff are shareholders in our organisation and have a say in how the organisation is run. An elected staff representative sits on the board to provide a direct link and be the voice of their colleagues. We have our Annual General Meeting, during which several team members give presentations on their recent achievements, and we also have regular away days, the themes and content of which are chosen by practitioners.
Clinical Professional Development (CPD)
Training continues throughout a professional’s career and is important to satisfaction and well-being as well as development. We provide regular training at our fortnightly Joint Team Meetings from both internal and external sources on a wide variety of areas of development which include safeguarding, learning disability and other specialist services, as well as professional topics such as record keeping, information sharing and confidentiality. Practitioners are also encouraged to provide teaching sessions utilising their own knowledge and experience and feedback on recent external sessions they have attended.
Yearly reviews allow staff to develop and agree their own development plan which can guide their CPD for the next year and allow both practitioner and management to think about how this will benefit and fit into their clinical workload. Six Degrees places a high premium on staff development and have supported many practitioners to complete their MSc in Advanced Practice Interventions in Mental Health at the University of Manchester which requires a day out of clinical practice per week. We also encourage practitioners to develop new skills such as psychodynamic interpersonal techniques and Mindfulness.