Principal Specialist Psychologist in Malignant Haematology Oncology

Job Title: Principal Specialist Psychologist in Malignant Haematology Oncology
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Ireland
Salary: See job description
Job Published: September 12, 2019 13:54

Job Description

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) is leading on the clinical and operational transformation of acute paediatric healthcare and consists of hospitals at Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght. The three children’s hospitals and CHI’s office transitioned from four separate, independently governed entities into one new single organisation effective on 1st January 2019 to govern and operate paediatric services in Dublin. This new organisation will operate as a single service across the existing locations of Crumlin, Temple Street, Tallaght and the CHI office before transitioning to the new facilities at the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals and the new children’s hospital on the campus shared with St James’s Hospital. The Minister for Health appointed a new Board in September 2017, initially on an administrative basis to support CHI’s Chief Executive and management team in the planning and implementation of the Children’s Hospital Programme and to prepare for the transition of services from the existing three children’s hospitals under the governance of the legally established Board, which commenced on 1st January 2019. Children’s Health Ireland Programme is a major programme of work led by CHI, focused on transformative service change to enhance services for children and young people, to integrate the three existing hospitals, while maintaining existing and new services, ensuring patient safety and quality until transition is complete. It will: 

  • Operationalise an integrated acute paediatric healthcare network 
  • Act as client for the government funded capital project to build the new children’s hospital and the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals, and a separately funded research and innovation centre
  • Act as client to a major ICT programme to digitize paediatric healthcare
  • Commission, transition to and operate the new children’s hospitals and the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres.

The new children’s hospital will be at the centre of a new model of care with two new Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres (OPD & UCCs) central to the delivery of this new model of care. The POPD & UCCs will be based at Connolly Hospital on the North side of Dublin (due to open Summer 2019) and one at Tallaght Hospital on the South side of Dublin (due to open 2020). The addition of the new OPD & UCC, together with the opening of the new hospital in time, will transform how healthcare is delivered to children in Ireland.

Reporting arrangements - The Principal Specialist Psychologist will report to the Head of Psychology but also has a responsibility to medical and surgical consultants and teams with which s/he works or other nominated representative. 

Key Working Relationships  - The Principal Specialist Psychologist will work closely with the Head of Psychology and the Malignant Haematology & Oncology clinical teams, Psychology and other HSCP colleagues at CHI at Crumlin. 

Purpose of the Role - To develop and be Clinical Lead for the Psychology service provided to children and families attending the Malignant Haematology/Oncology service at Children’s Health Ireland. The post holder will be expected to work with the Malignant Haematology/Oncology service alongside Senior Psychologists providing a service to children/adolescents with cancer and their families. The Principal Specialist Psychologist will work directly with children and adolescents, supporting them through cancer diagnosis and treatment. A key role of the psychologist is to ensure that psychological factors are taken into account in the child’s medical assessment and treatment. Both individual and group work where appropriate is encouraged. Attendance at weekly MDT Psychosocial team meetings and ward rounds is required. Children and adolescents are seen on both an in and out-patient basis and every attempt is made to maximise their time out of hospital. Many patients will be attending long term, from infancy through adolescence. Liaison work with adult hospitals will sometimes be required in helping older adolescents to make the transition from the children’s hospital. The successful candidate will become a member of the Psychology Department and will be expected to contribute to the overall running and development of the department and to attend weekly Paediatric Psychology meetings. 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities - 

Clinical Duties: 

  • Undertake psychological assessments and therapeutic interventions appropriate to the professional competence of a principal specialist psychologist managing own caseload effectively.
  • Liaison with medical, nursing, medical social work and other professional staff as well as outside agencies and schools to provide an optimal service to referred patients. 
  • Communication of information concerning patients and their families in a skilled and sensitive manner. 
  • Develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with all members of the multidisciplinary team, and with external agencies, to provide an optimum service for all patients referred to Psychology. 
  • Develop and enhance the psychology clinical service provided to Malignant Haematology/Oncology within CHI.
  • Lead and contribute to innovations in psychology practice in Malignant Haematology/Oncology within CHI. 
  • Attend meetings, ward rounds and case conferences. 
  • Demonstrate capacity for emotionally demanding work, and willingness to develop high-level psychotherapeutic and assessment skills including end-of-life care and bereavement support. 

Administrative Duties: 

  • Responsible for daily administrative tasks and overall caseload management for clinical area of assignment. 
  • Maintain records of clinical work in accordance with professional standards and department policy. 
  • Provide professional reports and other service-related information to the Head of Psychology and other professional staff as appropriate. 
  • Engage in service planning activities in collaboration with other psychology team members and the Head of Psychology. 
  • Deputise for the Head of Psychology as required as per the local procedure guidelines. 
  • Act as a Psychology Department representative as required. 
  • Comply with Psychology department policies, procedures, protocols and guidelines.

Research, Education and Continuous Professional Development:

  • The Principal Specialist Psychologist will be expected to acquire a thorough understanding of the psychological impact of cancer on children, adolescents and families, and to be up to date with research findings into best psychological practice. 
  • Undertake clinical research, audit and evaluation as appropriate. 
  • Make key contributions to the psychology service’s research, audit and evaluation culture and promote evidence-based practice. 
  • Participate in the delivery of education and training to other healthcare professionals in the specific clinical area, and act as a resource for other members of the multidisciplinary team. 
  • Provide clinical supervision of Senior Psychologists, Staff Grade Psychologists, Psychologists in training and Researchers as required. 
  • Maintain standards of practice and competencies through participation in CPD in accordance with statutory requirements. 
  • Remain informed of developments in national strategies, policies and legislation and potential impact on practice.
  • Comply with mandatory training requirements. 
  • Demonstrate behaviour consistent with the values of CHI. 

The above is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all duties involved and consequently, the post holder may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post which may be assigned to him/her from time to time and to contribute to the development of the post while in office. 

Eligibility criteria, qualifications and experience - 

Essential Criteria: 

  • Hold a recognised University degree obtained with first or second class honours in which Psychology was taken as a major subject and honours obtained in that subject.
  • Have a recognised postgraduate qualification in Clinical or Counselling Psychology. 
  • Candidates who have completed their postgraduate training outside of Ireland must ensure that their qualification is validated by the Department of Health and Children. 
  • Have at least 8 years satisfactory postgraduate experience in Clinical or Counselling Psychology inclusive of any time spent in pursuing a course leading to the postgraduate qualification, at least three of which are at senior grade. 
  • Possess the requisite knowledge and ability (including a high standard of suitability) for the proper discharge of the duties of the post.
  • Relevant experience in psychological assessment and therapeutic skills for children, adolescents and their families. 
  • Demonstrated competence in clinical audit and research skills.
  • Demonstrated competence in teaching and training skills. 
  • Experience of formal clinical supervision of Staff grade and/or Senior Psychologists and Psychologists in training. 

Desirable Criteria:

  • Postgraduate experience of working in an acute paediatric hospital setting. 
  • Experience of working with children and young people where there is a life threatening illness. 
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of neuropsychological assessment and intervention. 
  • Demonstrated competence in planning, development, delivery and evaluation of psychological services in an acute hospital setting. 
  • Relevant publications in the specialty area and dissemination of same. 
  • Experience of leading a team and training in leadership. 
  • Post Qualification Professional Training in Clinical supervision
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to and interest in research relevant to the post such as relevant publications in acute paediatric hospital based work. 

Knowledge, Skills & Competencies -

Leadership & Direction:

  • Develops networks and communications systems to ensure that they are fully informed in a dynamic and challenging environment. 
  • Is an effective leader and a positive driver for change; transforms the vision into a framework and structures for moving forward. 
  • Understands the challenges of leading a complex systems change. 
  • Balances change with continuity – continually strives to improve service delivery, to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking and to maintain focus, intensity and persistence even under increasingly complex and demanding conditions. 

Working With & Through Others - Influencing to Achieve: 

  • Has significant experience in engaging with healthcare organisations. 
  • Demonstrates the ability to work independently as well as work with a wider multidisciplinary / multi-agency team in a complex and changing environment. 
  • Is persuasive and effectively sells the vision; commands attention and inspires confidence. 
  • Sets high standards for the team and puts their work and the work of the organisation into meaningful context. 
  • Has excellent influencing and negotiation skills. 
  • Has excellent interpersonal skills. Managing & Delivering Results 
  • Places strong emphasis on achieving high standards of excellence. 
  • Commits a high degree of energy to well directed activities and looks for and seizes opportunities that is beneficial to achieving organisation goals. 
  • Perseveres and sees tasks through. 
  • Champions measurement on delivery of results and is willing to take personal responsibility to initiate activities and drive objectives through to a conclusion. 

Critical Analysis & Decision Making: 

  • Has the ability to rapidly assimilate and analyse complex information; considers the impact of decisions before taking action; anticipates problems.  Recognises when to involve other parties at the appropriate time and level.
  • Is willing to take calculated risks in the interests of furthering the reform agenda. 
  • Makes timely decisions and stands by those decisions as required. 

Building Relationships / Communication:

  • Possesses the ability to explain, advocate and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner, and actively liaise with individuals and groups internally and externally. 
  • Is committed to building a professional network to remain up-to-date with and influence internal and external politics. 
  • Is committed to working co-operatively and collaboratively with and influencing senior management colleagues to drive forward the reform agenda. 
  • Has a strong results focus and ability to achieve results through collaborative working.

Personal Commitment and Motivation:

  • Is personally committed and motivated for this complex role.
  • Demonstrates a strong willingness and ability to operate in the flexible manner that is essential for the effective delivery of the role. 
  • Demonstrates a commitment to further education in health services management. 


Remuneration is in accordance with the salary scale approved by the Department of Health: Current salary scale with effect from 1st April 2019: [Grade, Code 3272]. Rising in increments annually from point 1: €92,844 to €107,225 incl. LSIs).

Applicants will be shortlisted based on information supplied in the CV and covering letter submitted. Applications for this post must be accompanied by a covering letter, setting out relevant experience that illustrates how the essential criteria listed above is met. The criteria for short listing are based on the requirements of the post as outlined in the eligibility criteria and/or the knowledge, skills and competencies section of this job specification.

The closing date for submissions of CV’s and letter of application is Monday 7th October 2019, by 5pm. Applications must be completed through HR Talent Recruiter

Applications will not be accepted through any other method. For informal enquiries, please contact:  Dr Gillian Fortune, Head of Psychology/Principal Clinical Neuropsychologist,

 A panel may be created for “Principal Specialist Psychologist” from which permanent and specified purpose vacancies of full or part time duration may be filled.