Care Without Compromise, our sister company in Wales, supports people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health conditions and associated complex needs. With its own clinical team, Care Without Compromise has a particular expertise in understanding and supporting individuals with behaviours that challenge. We asked Dr Mark Smith, Consultant Clinical Psychologist about his work.
What do you typically do in a day in your role?
I am usually based in one of our homes, so we might have a care plan review scheduled, which our Assistant Psychologist will have been preparing for in the weeks leading up to this. I also have therapy sessions arranged with individuals who I am working directly with. If there have been any high intensity incidents, I may be running de-briefs and we often run reflective practice sessions for staff. Whilst I am on site, the Registered Manager will typically want to discuss a range of clinical matters with me which helps us keep on top of issues and ensures we are anticipating - rather than reacting to - people’s clinical needs.
What do you particularly enjoy about your role?
I most enjoy being close to the ebb and flow of people’s lives and seeing the whole picture when thinking about how best to support them. I get to see real progress, and it’s nice when hard work pays off. For example, we support one gentleman who would always miss appointments when he was seeing a Psychologist in the NHS, but as I am in his home every week, I spent a long time getting to know him before starting any work. When ready, he was able to engage in extensive anger management therapy, learned to recognise his trigger points and is better at coping with these. He now has two jobs that he attends without support, and I don’t really need to see him anymore. But if I’m in the home, he will generally come to find me and ask for a “catch up”. It’s lovely to know that he values my input.
Can you tell us a bit about your clinical team?
Our team undertake holistic assessments and develop psychological approaches that form the basis of comprehensive PBS Plans. We also deliver evidence based psychological therapies tailored to the needs of each individual. We liaise closely with Multi-Disciplinary Teams and are involved in managing complex risk, ensuring that we continually monitor and adjust care plans as and when people’s needs change.
I have a small but very busy team, consisting of one Assistant Psychologist (and a part time PBS Practitioner). I also have an Honorary Lectureship with Cardiff University, so I have Trainee Clinical Psychologists on placement with me, who are completing their Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
My clinical team are very hard working and do their very best for the people we support, often outside traditional working hours. I am fortunate to work with amazing Registered Managers- they value our input, and they are very psychologically minded in how they work- we usually find solutions to problems between us, and that’s what Team Work is all about.