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Senior Mental Health Practitioner

Livewell Southwest CIC
£35,392 to £42,618 a year pa, pro-rata
Closing date
30 Sep 2023

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Mental health, Mental health practitioner
Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
37.5 hours per week. Livewell Southwest is excited to be in a position to further develop the Liaison Psychiatry Service based at Derriford Hospital. Liaison Psychiatry at University Hospital Plymouth (UHP) is a fully commissioned Core 24 service.

Now is an exciting time to join the Livewell team. We continue to develop the service into a dynamic team who strive for the best for people they support. Successful candidates joining now, will be part of further developing our service.

Following investment in the Derriford Liaison Psychiatry team, we are looking for suitably qualified practitioners with excellent interpersonal and organisational skills with the ability to work under pressure. Experience of working with adults of working age and older people is desirable but not essential. Liaison Psychiatry in Derriford provides a 24hr, 7 days a week provision and successful applicants will be expected to work various shift patterns on a rotational basis.

The specialist function of the team is to provide bio-psychosocial assessments for individuals aged 18 years and above within the Derriford Hospital footprint, either attending via the Emergency Department or being an in-patient within the hospital. Patients seen may present with mental health difficulties eg. psychiatric crisis or an organic presentation such as a dementia /delirium.

Main duties of the job

As a member of the Liaison Psychiatry Team you will be assessing patients who are referred from the Emergency Department and ward areas within the acute general hospital.

The specialist function of the team is to provide bio-psychosocial assessments for individuals aged 18 yrs. and above within the Derriford Hospital footprint, either attending via the Emergency Department or being an in-patient within the hospital. Patients seen may present with mental health difficulties eg. psychiatric crisis or an organic presentation such as a dementia /delirium

You will be able to make clear clinical decisions based on the analysis of, often complex, presenting problems. This can include being the decision maker in terms of discharge of patients experiencing mental health needs. You will be required at times to make clear autonomous decisions, based on analysis of complex presenting problems and clinical judgement.

You will be able to demonstrate a high level of communication skills in terms of use of verbal, electronic and written formats.

You will be required to engage with patients who can be challenging and/or acutely distressed.

You will have freedom to act as a lone worker. Some autonomous working is expected.

The operational hours of this service, is currently 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, with different shift patterns to cover the service delivery. Post holders will be expected to participate in the shift patterns over a 7 day period including weekends and bank holidays.

About us

Livewell Southwest is an independent, award-winning social enterprise providing integrated health & social care services for people across Plymouth, South Hams & West Devon, as well as some specialist services for people living in parts of Devon & Cornwall. With teams in community hospitals, GP practices, sports centres, health & wellbeing hubs.

As an organisation with a strong social conscience, we always value being kind, respectful, inclusive, ambitious, responsible and collaborative. Transforming services to make them sustainable, ensuring that we value, support & empower each other.

We are committed to involving the people we care for, families & carers in everything that we do, working towards co-production where we can. Helping us to deliver the right care for people, in the right place & at the right time. By putting people at the centre of what we do, we ensure to support people to lead, healthy independent lives & be the very best at helping people to live well.

Valuing our employees making an investment in their development a priority. We offer:

Protected CPD time for registered staff

Various development pathways and ongoing regular training packages for all staff

Leadership & mentoring programmes

Access & funding for training including Care Certificate, Assistant Practitioners Course & Scholarship Into Nurse Training

A Robust Preceptorship

A bespoke induction programme

Existing members of the NHS Pension Scheme can continue their membership when they join the organisation.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Professional /Clinical Responsibilities:

In conjunction with other team members screen all referrals received by the team. Undertake holistic and comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessments incorporating assessment of mental state of patients referred to the service.

Utilise a range of highly specialised clinical skills appropriate to the needs of individual patients and the clinical setting in which they are seen

Conduct risk assessments on all patients presenting to the service in line with CPA policy. The post holder will have highly developed risk assessment skills to manage complex presentations and challenging behaviours.

Advise ward nursing, medical and other professional staff on the management of patients and contribute to care planning to meet identified needs.

Evaluate effectiveness of care interventions with all disciplines of staff, adjusting care plans where necessary.

Provide a consultation-liaison service to clinicians and clinical teams within the general hospital. This will include giving specialist advice on care, treatment and patients management issues.

Work in collaboration with colleagues in the promotion of care delivery and strategic objectives and taking responsibility/lead for specific areas of working e.g. liaison with police, drugs and alcohol, Safeguarding.

Refer and signpost people to appropriate mental health services as required both within and outside of the organisations area.

Work collaboratively with social care teams, discharge planning teams, onward care teams, community liaison teams and community mental health teams in devising appropriate discharge plans.

Deliver care that is evidenced based and reflecting current best practice.

Be accountable for own practice in accordance with NMC Code of Professional practice or HCPC relevant codes of practice.

Demonstrate sound understanding of the ethical and legal issues in caring for all older adults attending the hospital. This will include Mental Health Act (1983), Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding (2005) issues as required.

Raise awareness of mental health needs of older people in acute general hospital setting through discussion and collaborative working with staff of all levels and disciplines. Raise awareness of the mental health needs of the general population within the acute general hospital.

Provide support and advice for carers and families of people with mental health needs within the general hospital setting whenever possible. The Liaison Service is committed to the implementation of the Triangle of Care as fully as possible.

Work collaboratively with colleagues in the development of the Liaison Psychiatry Service.


Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, families and carers.

Work positively and sensitively with challenging and hostile behaviours to enable therapeutic and productive outcome.

Have highly developed interpersonal skills, self-awareness and empathy to engage with others and provide an effective outcome.

Demonstrate the ability to negotiate and problem solve in complex situations where agreement is required or communicate clear decision making and rationale when agreement cannot be reached.

Provide comprehensive information based on assessment to inform the care, treatment, or discharge planning process of patients within the acute general hospital.

Demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with colleagues within the Liaison Psychiatry Team and across other statutory and non-statutory organisations.

Maintain confidentiality of the patients as per policy whilst sharing information when appropriate to do so

Keep accurate and contemporaneous electronic/written patient records and comply with professional and Trust record keeping policies including CPA.

Comply with Local and National policies in relation to confidentiality and information sharing protocols.

Liaise with existing care coordinators regarding the status and progress of patients who are subject to CPA in the acute general hospital setting.

Demonstrate the ability to adapt communication to take account of others needs.

Maintain high standards of integrity when communicating with patients and others.

Demonstrate ability to use IT systems effectively including email, clinical systems used by the team.

Represent the team by attendance at meetings as delegated by Team Manager.

Act as a role model in providing a service for people with mental health problems for all staff within the acute general hospital.

Analytical and Judgmental skills:

Demonstrate the ability to analyse, often large amounts of complex information from a range of other specialists and assimilate these and their relevance to a persons mental health needs, formulate a clinical opinion including assessment of risk and advise on appropriate care plan.

Possess a good working knowledge of mental health legislation including Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty safeguards and use this in relation to advising and planning care, independently or with other professionals.

Assess the patients risk/psychiatric/psychological and emotional fitness for discharge from the hospital setting

Formulate a care pathway following assessment, with an appropriate onward referral to other NHS professionals, statutory and non-statutory services if necessary.

Planning and Organisational skills:

Demonstrate the ability to manage conflicting demands on time and the ability to prioritise clinical work effectively.

Demonstrate the ability to organise the work schedule and appropriate screening of referrals to the team each day in conjunction with colleagues, including medical staff. Where necessary there will be a focus on presentations to the ED. The post holder will need to be able to ensure that the needs of other referrals are not delayed due to ED work.

Coordinate the appropriate follow up of patients seen by the service.

Deliver formal and informal training sessions on behalf of the team to other professionals with the acute general hospital setting.


Take responsibility for agreed clinical, managerial and strategic projects associated with the provision of the Liaison Psychiatry service. This will include planning, implementing, reviewing and revising these projects as necessary.

In the absence of a Band 7, take responsibility for the coordination of all activities within the clinical area or equivalent sphere.

In the absence of a Band 7, take responsibility for the management of the Team and patient care provided, to the agreed local and professional standards.

Undertake line management supervision and appraisal of other staff within the team where appropriate.

As a band 6 practitioner, you will be viewed as a senior member of the team. Therefore, you will be expected to be a positive role member to others. You will need to demonstrate flexibility in your practice, support others and delegate where required.

You will regularly be shift lead and will likely also take the lead in the team on certain aspects of team function.


Participate in the mentoring and education of a range of students on placement with the Team.

Participate in the planning, development and delivery of educational programmes and training sessions for a range of clinical staff within the working and learning environments.

Provide clinical supervision to colleagues and students as required

You will need to participate in CPD regularly and keep your mandatory training up to date. The post holder will proactively ensure they are receiving clinical supervision.

Physical skills:

Be able to demonstrate IT skills, including keyboard use.

Show the ability to concentrate for sustained periods of time in often noisy environments with frequent interruption.

Be required to have ability to travel to other clinical sites for attendance at meetings.

Be involved with patients who at times present with physical and verbal aggression due to ill health, distress and/or non-concordance with care. Post-holder will need to be aware of how to respond appropriately and safely, with consideration to the safety of themselves and others.

Have the ability to work effectively in a busy and chaotic working environment of the ED.

Have an awareness of the Physical challenges presented by disturbed patients who attend the Ed by their own free will or via the Police.

Freedom to Act:

When required to, work without supervision and make autonomous clinical formulation and decisions in relation to the care, treatment and safe discharge of patients with complex mental health needs.

Post-holder will receive regular management supervision and appraisal on an annual basis, or more as needed.

Service Development:

Demonstrate a commitment to the improvement of patient care and the understanding of the needs of older adults and will work collaboratively with others within the team and within mental health and acute hospital services as required, in relation to development of the service provided for this client group.


In the absence of the team manager take responsibility for the management of the team and patient care provided by the team to agreed local and national standards.

Support the team manager in the supervision, monitoring and appraisal of the performance of registered and non-registered staff within the team.

With team manager ensure that rota is maintained to enable service is operationally covered and where diffi
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