Local framework to develop psychologically minded practice

An Inverclyde working group was formed to consider the task of raising the profile of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) agenda, in the context of Inverclyde’s TAMFS initiative at a local level. The group has identified promoting psychologically minded practice across the whole Community Health & Care Partnership (CHCP) area as a key objective, recognising psychological mindedness and emotional intelligence as essential components underlying mental wellbeing and community resilience. The aim is to develop a Framework which will support psychologically minded practice by all staff, whether a receptionist answering a call from a service user in distress, or a clinician dealing with a patient with healthcare problems.

Intended outcomes of the Framework

The Framework for psychologically minded practice will enable staff to:

  • be more aware of the importance of psychologically minded practice in day-to-day work
  • identify core skills possessed which can be built on
  • identify areas of learning to help build skills.

Developing the Framework

The Framework is being developed by the working group chaired by Susanna McCorry-Rice, Inverclyde CHCP Head of Services for Mental Health, Addictions & Homelessness, with support from Dr Chin Li, Lead Clinical Psychologist, the area’s Learning and Development adviser and staff from the Health Promotion Team.

Dr Chin Li explains the thinking behind the project: ‘We were keen not to burden managers and staff with paperwork, so we have devised a framework which encourages sustainable improvement in psychologically minded practice, while not adding on a layers of training. We wanted to identify the core skills people already have, and how existing in-service training courses could strengthen such practice.’

How does the Framework work?

‘Staff members and supervisors or line managers should identify which level in the Framework corresponds to an individual’s roles and responsibilities,’ explains Dr Li. ‘Managers will support staff in developing ways of gaining training and demonstrating application of the level specified in the Framework. This will feed into a review system, embedded in existing feedback and appraisal mechanisms.’

Example of developing a core skill

Communication is required for all roles. Psychological mindedness can be built into this core skill. This involves:

  • active listening
  • responding appropriately to emotions
  • not jumping to conclusion
  • giving people time to express themselves and their healthcare needs.

Wider implications for learning and workforce development

This flexible framework recognises existing capabilities and skills and helps identify areas to develop. It is useful at a personal and group level for development work of all kind. It also demonstrates how mental health improvement is relevant for all. This framework is an example of how national aims can be translated into local areas in a detailed local framework which meets needs at all levels.


Dr Chin Li, Lead Clinical Psychologist, Inverclyde Adult Mental Health, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde chin.li@ggc.scot.nhs.uk