St Andrew's supports staff to become non-medical Approved Clinicians

Wednesday 25 Jan 2017

Dr Alice Parshall

Northampton, 25 January 2017 - St Andrew's Healthcare has launched a brand new employee development programme, ‘ASCEND’, to begin in April 2017.

ASCEND will support St Andrew’s psychologists, mental health and learning disability nurses, occupational therapists and social workers to develop their careers and become non-medical Approved Clinicians (ACs).

With less than 40 non-medical ACs active in the UK at present, the charity is one of the first organisations in the UK to launch a training programme of this kind.

A non-medical AC has numerous responsibilities under the Mental Health Act, including overall ownership of an individual patient’s case, and therefore needs specific training.

Dr Alice Parshall, Chief Medical Officer at St Andrew’s Healthcare, said: “The Mental Health Act recommends that the patient’s Approved Clinician should have the most appropriate expertise to that patient’s treatment. Treatment needs today are often being met by colleagues other than medically trained psychiatrists.

“By investing in non-medical ACs, we can improve the care and therapy we provide to patients and drive a real impact on their recovery. It’s a great opportunity for our people too, creating career progression and clinical leadership as well as giving them new professional challenges.”

St Andrew’s currently has no non-medical ACs, but is seeking to develop up to 10 employees in the first year of the programme. An in-house assessment centre will help select the candidates, who will join a comprehensive development programme that involves a blend of higher education, workshops, mentoring and masterclasses.

Dr Parshall continued: “St Andrew’s vision is to provide world-class, holistic care to those with complex mental health needs. Investing in our people and creating new Approved Clinicians will bring new professional insights and views to our Multi-Disciplinary Teams, to the benefit of all our patients.”