In a world where remote-working seems to be increasingly accessible for all manner of professions, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners are seeing an increase in the demand to work from home or remotely to help patients.

A Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) is trained to assess and support patients with common mental health problems, primarily depression and anxiety disorders, and home working allows PWP’s the ability to help patients self-manage their recovery while affording them the flexibility of working from home.

Here is your guide to working from home as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner.

Step 1. Ask yourself if working from home is right for you?

Working from home is sometimes not right for all, but the benefits to working from home can be varied, including a better work-life balance, a reduction on stressful commutes, and the flexibility if a parent to be closer to your children. Is this something that appeals to you?

Step 2. Are you qualified to make this move?

If you are qualified and experienced working within an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service, then you are the most suitable placed PWP’s to make the transition to a home-worker.

NHS Departments and Private Healthcare will be looking for great communicators, whom they can trust to offer first-class support to patients.

Step 3. Engage and register with a specialist Recruitment Agency.

If you have decided remote-working as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner is an avenue you want to pursue, engage with a recruitment agency who specialise in Mental Health recruitment, and will have a deeper insight into the job market, and help you navigate the transition.

The team here at Hunter Mental Health have worked exclusively in Mental Health collectively for over 15 years. We can help you find more rewarding work, tailored to the hours, pay and specialisms you are entitled to.

Step 4. How will you be paid? Ltd, Umbrella or PAYE?

You have 3 options to explore.

Setting up as a limited company, your own business. Entirely on your own terms, this can afford you great flexibility but can bring more responsibilities than most are used to. We would always recommend you get professional advice, get an accountant – insure yourself if your income is ever threatened.

Another avenue that some take, is being contracted by an intermediary, sometimes an Agency or Umbrella company, they become your ‘employer’, in many cases affording you access to Statutory Sick Pay (while in a contract) and other perks.

The other avenue is being employed directly by the NHS department, Trust or Healthcare organisation. You are obviously employed in the more ‘traditional’ sense of being employed, with a contract of employment, support and employee benefits.

Please note, all these avenues will be driven by the end ‘client’ and their need of brief when trying to find a PWP that can work from home. Our team can help advise you on this for specific PWP Roles in the UK.

Step 5. Your induction.

Depending on your role, and which NHS Trust or department you will be working for, you will have to take part in their own dedicated induction process, which normally is located inside their hospital (although with the COV-ID 19 challenges, some of this may move online).

Most NHS Trusts tend to run a morning programme, taking all new starters through an induction, with some eLearning modules in the afternoon.

If you have been working in this field, you may already be aware of this, but just to inform you that a day may need to be allocated to travelling to the NHS Trust.

Step 6. You’ve made the move. Now its time to get technical! How is your local phone network?

Do you live rurally with poor reception? Will you be working exclusively on the phone with patients? Or will there be Video Calls taking place?

Your new employer will definitely take these into account when thinking of recruiting you, but it may be worth testing your phone network, your broadband connection to ensure you can always be ‘on’ when patients need you.

Step 7. Equipment. A lot of Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners can engage in lengthy consultations with patients, do you have access to hands-free kits for your phone?

This will allow you to walk and stretch your legs while talking with those you are helping. If you’re working via video, does your smartphone have a good quality camera embedded? Does your laptop or PC have a decent enough camera?

Depending on the contract or employer, or which way you are contracted – you may be provided with the correct equipment, you may have to buy your own and be reimbursed, or if running your own limited company, provide your own equipment.

Step 8. A designated space to focus.

Designate a space at home that is your pure work zone, ensure you are surrounded by all the tools you will need to focus on your work, focus on your patient and enjoy spending time in. Make it light, fresh and comfortable.

Or perhaps, you prefer the ability to work in any room, just be mindful of external noise and interruption while talking with your patients.

Step 9. Talk to colleagues, get some fresh air. Make sure you take lots of breaks and protect your own Mental Health.

You’re already well versed in the techniques to assist the potential for prolonged periods of time working ‘solo’, ensure you take lots of breaks, get fresh air – but you already know all this right?!

Step 10. Ensure your space is not going to be affected by housemates, friends or family members.

Remember, you will be talking with patients – sensitive subjects. Some of the PWP’s we help find work for, have a number of techniques to ensure they can keep their calls confidential, from working in garden offices away from the main dwelling, noise-cancelling headphones, or just a simple closing of the door to your space.

Step 11. Enjoy your new-found flexibility and all of the benefits that come with working from home.