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ME Association receive apology from Oxford NHS Trust regarding ‘inaccurate’ and ‘offensive’ job advert

We have now received an apology from the Oxford University Hospitals Trust NHS Foundation Trust (below) and Dr Shepherd will be writing to thank them for taking this action.

Dear Dr Shepherd
Thank you for bringing your concerns regarding the wording in a Clinical Psychologist job advert listed under the Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust to my attention in your email of 23 August 2023. I am sorry that you have had reason to complain, and I appreciate that you will not have done so lightly.
Your concerns have been investigated on my behalf by Dr Simon Prangnell, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist and Clinical Lead for Clinical Health Psychology.
Dr Prangnell would firstly like to apologise that the wording in the job advert caused offence and distress. The Trust did not intend to imply that all people with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/ chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) experience severe mental health conditions such as psychosis, or that all individuals would present with challenging behaviour. The general requirement for Clinical Psychologists is to be able to respond to urgent or emergency situations – not specific to ME patients but to any patients – when a particular individual may be experiencing significant mental health difficulties in addition to the long-term condition that they are managing. All staff are expected to be able to cross-cover in other areas where necessary and this may include areas where this kind of behaviour is more likely.
Following the concerns that have been raised regarding this advert Dr Prangnell can confirm that we have removed the previous version of the job description, revised the wording and reposted the amended job description. We will ensure that this updated wording is used on future job applications.
I would like to apologise for your experience and give you my assurance that we have taken your concerns seriously.

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