As you may be aware The Innovation Agency (North West Coast Academic Health Science Network) has been leading a project to improve workforce supply in psychological professions, which has been funded by Health Education England (HEE). The project has included a ‘test of concept’ to introduce a graduate entry role into the NHS, known as a Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioner (TAPP).
In the first cohort, 50 psychology graduates have been employed as a band 4 TAPP and will be employed in a substantive role, as a band 5 Associate Psychological Practitioner (APP) post qualification, in December 2021. Salaries are funded by the employing organisation with the HEE covering the academic programme and supervision and support costs. Employers include mental health and acute trusts, with hosting and supervision arrangements in place for TAPPs working in Primary Care Networks (PCNs). HEE has agreed to provide a further £1.3m to support a second cohort (business case attached) of which £1.15 M is available to directly fund TAPPs. The project team will also be working with regional and national partners to agree an integrated career framework for psychological professions, to include the TAPP as a foundation entry role.
NB This is specific to the North West and in addition to the national roll out for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner (MHWP) role for serious mental health problems in adult mental health.
It is proposed that the funding will be divided equally amongst the three Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs). £10 K will be made available for each TAPP, to cover the academic costs and supervision. An additional £5K will be made available to TAPPs placed in Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to support specific placement mentoring and training . NHSEI has recently published an FAQ document regarding the Primary Care Mental Health Practitioner role, which is eligible for reimbursement as part of The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). It includes the following excerpt- ‘local partners may wish to explore other types of roles that fulfil the same criteria. In addition, certain non-registered psychological professions roles (including those on voluntary and accredited registers) may be included when under the direct supervision of a registered psychological professional’. The Project Team is exploring the opportunity for the APP role, as part of these discussions.
At this stage we are inviting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from Trusts and PCNs across the three ICPs (EOI template attached). It is essential that Trusts/employers are able to support the band 4 salary costs for the duration of the TAPP training and have a substantive band 5 role available, post qualification as an APP in March 2023. The course will be delivered by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and commence in March 2022 for a 12 month duration. As it is likely that demand for the TAPPs may outstrip availability, a final prioritisation process will be coordinated in the three ICPs and the outcomes will be communicated directly to you all. It is anticipated that recruitment will be undertaken throughout November/December and the project team will help support and coordinate this process.
Director of System Partnerships - Academic Health Science Network (Innovation Agency North West Coast)