Our Clinical Team
Dr Carly Pointon – Head of Clinical Operations
Dr Carly Pointon is Head of Clinical Operations in the North. Carly started with Outcomes First Group in 2019 and has progressed, developing the Wellbeing and Clinical Hubs now as part of the Senior Clinical Leadership Team.
Carly has 23 years experience working in a variety of psychological settings after graduating in 2000. This includes an initial 8 year career in forensic settings as an Assistant Psychologist in a medium secure hospital and then a Forensic Psychologist in Training in Her Majesty’s Prison Service; where Carly won a Gold Standard Practice award and served as a Treatment Manager for the Regional Psychology Team across 12 Prisons in the West Midlands. Carly went on to manage a South Staffordshire wide substance misuse service before training as a Clinical Psychologist from 2010 in the NHS. Carly’s proudest moment as a Trainee Psychologist was playing a vital role in securing a £100,000 of government funding for a social enterprise project after presenting at the Cabinet Office during placement.
For the last 9 years since qualifying Carly has focussed on delivering and then leading clinical services both in the community, the private care sector and educational establishments. Carly has held leadership roles providing Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic services to children and adolescents in the community, and then went on to establish an independent special school for cognitively able autistic children and other diagnoses. The school received ‘outstanding’ at its first inspection with significant reference to the clinical provision and its impact on students. Before joining OFG Carly was a Regional Head for another large independent SEN provider.
Carly’s qualifications include a BSc Honours Degree in Psychology, an MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology from the University of Leicester, and a Clinical Psychology Doctorate from the University of Birmingham. Carly is registered with the HCPC as a Practitioner Psychologist and is a member of the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK (ACP-UK). Carly is qualified to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder using The Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorder as trained by the renowned Lorna Wing Centre. She can use a variety of assessments to understand an individual’s cognitive functioning, adaptive skills, mental health needs, trauma symptomology, personality, and the effect of substance misuse. Carly specialists areas of practice have been assessing the presence of, and risks in relation to, sexually harmful behaviour, violence, and substance misuse.
Carly has extensive experience of delivering interventions across all life stages and with a range of difficulties. Using person centred interventions which draw upon a strong evidence base the focus is always upon behavioural change and effectiveness. Subsequent interventions are aligned with assessment to inform high quality interventions alongside assessment of outcomes and progress. This can include cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, solution focussed therapy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness and other psychotherapeutic approaches.
Carly’s focus for the future is to lead the clinical services so that the best possible clinical provision is provided to the children, adults and staff teams across the UK.
Dr Helen Hughes – Head of Clinical Operations
Dr Helen Hughes is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and the Head of Clinical Operations in the South. After completing her Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Manchester in the mid 1990’s, Helen worked as a Support Worker in Gloucestershire supporting people who had an Intellectual Disability. Following her first Assistant Psychologist post Helen went on to complete her Clinical Doctorate at the Universities of Coventry and Warwick. Once qualified, Helen worked in a variety of inpatient, community and diagnostic services across the Midlands and South West before joining the Outcomes First Group in 2014. Helen is passionate about developing inclusive and empowering clinical services with robust governance processes.
Dr Freya Spicer White – Head of Neurodiversity Practice and Standards
Freya obtained her B.Sc. Psychology from the University of Manchester and started her career as a learning support assistant alongside Autistic college students instilling in her a passion for supporting Neurodivergent individuals to thrive in education. She gained experience as an Assistant Psychologist working within children’s community and adult residential services before completing her Clinical Psychology Doctorate in 2012 at Bangor University: dedicating her final year to understanding Autism throughout the life span.
Freya spent 8 years within different neurodevelopmental services in the NHS, pioneering new ways of delivering autism assessment and intervention services for children and adults. She joined the Outcomes First Group as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in January 2020 and as of April 2022 she has been the group’s Head of Autism and Neurodiversity Practice. In this role Freya is spearheading the group’s Neurodiversity Strategy to strengthen and continually progress the group’s approach to the provision of education, care and clinical services to Neurodivergent individuals in an environment and culture which is conducive to their strengths and needs.
Freya has an intense interest in the Neurodiversity Affirmative Movement and she enjoys sharing her work and knowledge, and has spoken at several events and conferences.
Dr Leanne Johnson – Head of Trauma Informed Practice
Leanne obtained her BSc in Psychology from the University of Liverpool and then worked as a Residential Educator in a specialist school before completing her Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Warwick University and working as a Special Needs Teacher. Leanne enjoyed working with children and their families to increase access to learning and reduce barriers to gain the best outcomes for young people. She went on to gain experience as an Assistant Psychologist within an inpatient unit for women who had experienced complex and developmental trauma. It was here that her interest and passion for working with trauma began.
Leanne has worked with individuals with complex and developmental trauma within NHS services and various residential settings, education settings and within fostering and adoption services. She is trained in a number of trauma therapies, such as Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for Adolescents (DBT-A), Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) and Therapeutic Life Story Work (TLSW) and incorporates all of the theory and practice from these in an eclectic way in her role. Leanne enjoys learning from and sharing knowledge and practice with others, speaking at conferences, and she also leads a DDP Special Interest Group for Residential Settings for DDP trained professionals working across the UK. Leanne has also recently joined the Division of Clinical Psychology Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families within the British Psychological Society (BPS), to support the work of Clinical Psychologists in Education.
Leanne is passionate about supporting those working with young people in their recovery of trauma, in particular with care experienced young people. A special interest is the importance of being aware of and recognising the impact of working with trauma on us as individuals and also as teams around the child/ren, with reflective practice being an integral part of developing and sustaining us as the best practitioners we can be. At Outcomes First Group, Leanne has developed our Reflective Practice Group Model and also leads our Trauma Informed Practice Strategy, which includes our Lived Experience Expert Group and developing ways to embed practice. Leanne enjoys contributing qualitative research, being passionate to understand how best to support trauma recovery. Leanne is passionate about responding to behaviour without sanctions in an attachment and trauma informed way, using restorative and relational ways to develop empathy and strengthen relationships to prepare children for their future.