Faculty for Clinical Health Psychology 2014

The interaction between physical and mental health is complex but widely recognised. People with mental health conditions are at higher risk of developing physical illness, have conditions diagnosed later and have significantly higher mortality. Conversely, people with a diagnosis of physical illness have a greater chance of experiencing psychological distress. There are higher overall rates of morbidity, healthcare utilisation, and poorer quality of life with mental and physical illness comorbidity.

Considering this, strategies and policies to target integration of physical and mental healthcare are increasing and indeed, form the basis of key recommendations within the recent NHS England Five-Year Forward View report (October 2014).

The role of CPs within physical health has never been more significant with rising rates of obesity and chronic conditions. So FacCHP is placed to play a crucial role in promotion of psychological evidence and practice within the NHS and other sectors.

Activity in the last 12 months includes:

  • clarification of consultation process with national network leads across obesity, cardiology, diabetes, respiratory and renal specialties; links made between psychologists and CRG's as a result
  • FacCHP member input into survey of CHP posts across the UK
  • FacCHP input into commissioning Clinical Psychology Services in Physical Health (via DCP Health Lead)
  • keynote address at PQG conference: education of future psychologists regards the role of psychology in physical health
  • CPD Event: Mindfulness study day in conjunction with Faculty for HIV/Sexual Health (cross Faculty working)
  • expert by experience representation on FacCHP
  • representation for FacCHP on BPS working party on End of Life Care - to ensure inclusion of the range of physical health conditions at palliative end of continuum of care
  • representation for FacCHP on DCP Research Position working group
  • representation for FacCHP on DCP Conference Committee -  ensuring physical health included within the programme
  • cross-Faculty/Division liaison with DHP (DHP representation at DCP conference and vice versa); joint CPD event being organised for 2015
  • minimum competencies in clinical health psychology - working group established and developing guidelines; liaison with training courses and PQG; to link in with BPS Physical Health Taskforce
  • member Services: active discussion and email list to promote dissemination of information; FacCHP website established; FacCHP Twitter feed established; resource ‘pack’ available via website to provide information related to key policy and guidelines

Raising our profile

In addition to the activity already outlined, FacCHP has also contributed to several consultation processes via the BPS, for example, NICE Guidelines for Health Behaviour Change, obesity. Member networks are active and engage across professional groups, for example, the Diabetes Network comprises a range of healthcare professionals working within the field of diabetes, the network being led by a Clinical Psychologist.

FacCHP has had strong representation within DCP Conference for the past 4 years and this input will continue for 2014, with a keynote speaker contributing to Members Day. Plans are also underway for the 50th Anniversary Conference in 2015.

FacCHP is active in supporting an expert through experience within Committee and wider activities; this is an area of work we wish to develop as part of widening inclusion strategy.

Looking ahead

Our planned activity for the next 12 months includes:

  • support and input to the work of the DCP Health Rep (Angela Bussitil) with regards to the Physical Health Taskforce, survey of physical health posts, competencies mapping etc.
  • a joint two-day CPD event between FacCHP and DHP on ACT in physical health settings; liaison with MSU and the Learning Centre
  • further CPD event for mid-year in conjunction with FPOP (to be confirmed) related to anxiety/distress in older adults with physical health difficulties
  • increasing membership through engagement of networks across physical health specialties; unification of specialties within the wider FacCHP ‘umbrella’; increase the profile of FacCHP across the DCP and BPS

Our overall goal is to be able to provide timely responses to relevant consultations; to provide members with access to key policies and guidelines to enhance clinical service provision and support of the profession; to establish links with key policy makers and organisations with regards to the contribution of clinical health psychology to healthcare, for example, liaison with organisations such as Diabetes UK and BACPR.