COVID-19 BPC Update: 6 May 2020
Guidance and Resources
The BPC has updated its training and general clinical work guidance. It has become evident that since the initial Covid-19 training guidelines were published, periods of ‘lockdown’ may be a recurring pattern. We acknowledge that training and all clinical work needs to have the flexibility to adapt to such changes. The updated guidance for clinical and training cases can be found below.
The Psychological Professions Network (PPN) has published a useful summary of the pre- and post Covid-19 guidance around remote delivery of psychological services and information on governance issues of relevance to the psychological professions working in NHS commissioned mental health care. They have also collated resources from various national, regulatory and professional bodies to help guide psychological professionals in the care and treatment they provide during Covid-19.
The Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) has updated their guidance on working remotely and issued guidance on adapting to work with children.
We continue to publish on our website our registrants’ psychoanalytically informed reflections about Covid-19 or/and their experiences of adapting to working psychoanalytically during the pandemic. If you would like to share your thoughts, please email the BPC. We aim at providing a psychoanalytic thinking space to reflect on how the lockdown and the pandemic are affecting psychoanalytic work. The contributions received so far can be accessed here.
Campaign to Maximise the role of Counselling and Psychotherapy
The campaign to maximise the role of counselling and psychotherapy in response to Covid-19 exceeds 10,000 signatures.
Our letter to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, led by BACP, the BPC and UKCP has reached and gone beyond 10,000 signatures. A total of 23 organisations, including the Council for Work and Health and the IPPR and more than 10,000 people are now calling for a comprehensive and a collaborative plan to deliver consistent mental health support through a well-trained and professional workforce. If you have not signed yet, you can still do so by clicking here. We are in dialogue with parliamentarians and are waiting for a response from government.
NHS workforce wellbeing
The BPC is exploring possible collaborations with NHS Practitioner Health, that is managing the psychological wellbeing of NHS frontline staff during the pandemic. NHS Practitioner England are currently offering a wide range of psychological support to NHS staff, available here. If you can offer one hour a week for therapeutic work or you can deliver webinars on relevant topics to NHS front line staff, please email the BPC and we will provide you with more information on how to be involved.
How to Contact the BPC
The BPC team is now working remotely. We are still operating as usual but bear with us if there are some delays in replying to your queries as we adapt to the new working arrangements.
We are doing everything we can to make this transition as smooth as possible and we will get back to you. To enable us to do so, please contact us by email in the first instance email@example.com. Please provide your name, contact details including a phone number and your query. We will aim to respond within 48 business hours, Monday to Friday.
BPC Covid-19 GUIDELINES* 3
Since the onset of ‘lockdown’, trainings are delivering training remotely. It has already been agreed that the trainee’s own training therapy, and their existing training cases, can continue remotely and this will be accepted by BPC as part of their training requirement. As in every situation, if the trainers consider that the trainee has reached the required standard, they have the authority to qualify them even if they have not completed all the course requirements.
Since the first training guidelines, where it was expected that trainees should wait until they can see new training patients in person, it has become evident that the timescale is much longer than was foreseen, and that periods of ‘lockdown’ may well be a recurring pattern. Therefore, in these circumstances, it is possible for trainees to begin their training cases remotely. Trainers, having taken into account the trainee’s individual situation, the assessment of the potential training case and the specific setting issues which may pertain to the particular situation, have the discretion to allow trainees to take new training cases.
1] The trainee’s own training therapy, and their existing training cases which are continued remotely, will be accepted by BPC as part of their training requirement.
2] New training cases can be started remotely.
All Clinical Work
Clinicians perforce are [largely] having either to work remotely or to stop working. Discussions and theoretical explorations of the effects of this, and the pandemic, will be ongoing.
The BPC’s position is that normally, clinical work should involve the patient and therapist in the same room, and that the setting should be consistent and reliable. However, in atypical situations, clinicians have to reach an individual decision about varying this normal practice, taking into account the various factors in that individual situation.
In this atypical situation, clinicians will have to reach their own decisions about whether, and how, to carry on working, and whether, and when, to see patients in person. BPC strongly recommends that government guidelines about the correct social distance [2 metres] are followed, and that registrants remain aware of the updated general government guidelines.
Professional Standards Committee
* The BPC’s overall position as regulator is that it is the professional judgement of our senior clinicians that maintains the standards of training and practice. Thus MIs, including trainings, can vary the requirements if it is, in their professional judgement, the best course of action. All variations of the requirements and guidelines, and how this was decided upon, should be kept a note of and then produced for the process of reaccreditation. It is important that such decisions are reached by the relevant committee and subcommittee of the organisation, or by the usual management structure, rather than being taken by one or two people independently.