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First Contact Mental Health Practitioner

Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
£32,306 to £39,027 a year pro rata, per annum
Closing date
2 Jul 2022

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Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
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GPpractices have begun working together alongside community, mental health,social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in local areas to form Primary Care Networks or PCN's. PCN's signal a significant change in the way practices interact, not only with each other, but the wider health andsocial caresystem. This collaboration will enable care to be delivered to a defined patient population, in a different way to meet the needs of that population. The focus will be on prevention andpersonalisationof care, whilst working together to make the best use of shared resources.

PCNs across Harrogate and Rural District and Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust are working together to transform local community mental health services for people with significant mental health problems. New funding has enabled the PCNs and local GP surgeries to create a multi-disciplinary team that will work in close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders. By working co-operatively, we will be able to provide meaningful support for people with mental health difficulties in a way that meets their needs closer to their communities and their homes. To achieve this ambition, we are recruiting x 4.6 Band 6 First Contact Practitioners to work within the PCNs as part of our developing multidisciplinary teams.

NMC Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers (England), HCPC Occupational Therapist encouraged to apply.

Main duties of the job

You will develop close working relationships with all our operational and clinical staff, including our existing First Contact Mental Health Practitioner. You will be embedded within Practices as a valued member of the Primary Care Teams, collaborating with other professionals both internal to and external from the PCN.

Your role will involve offering specialist mental health advice and providing expert clinical care for people with a range of mental health needs, ensuring that those with complex mental illness do not fall between gaps in services. You will improve access by being a 'first contact mental health worker', undertaking triage, assessments, brief interventions, and reviews. You will contribute networking and navigation expertise, enabling access to a range of appropriate mental health support across the community system. You will ensure that, once assessed, each person receives the best possible care in the right place at the right time by the right supporting service.

About us

All the PCN's operate multi-disciplinary teams with GP's, Nursing, Social Prescribers, First Contact MH Practitioners, Physiotherapists, and Pharmacy teams. Some of the PCNs additionally have Health and Wellbeing Coaching and Trainee Nurse Associates. The teams are expanding and diversifying to support the patient population and identified needs within that. Full PCN profiles are attached in documents

Heart of Harrogate: 4 practices, all of which are situated within the boundaries of the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. As practices we work closely to provide safe, effective, high-quality care to improve the health and wellbeing of our local population.

Knaresborough and Rural: 6 GP practices - 3 within Knaresborough town boundaries and 3 in rural settings. We share a commitment to joint working, maintaining the continuity and identity that our communities value with each practice essentially acting as an inclusive multi-disciplinary team.

Ripon & Masham: 4 practices, 3 based in the City of Ripon and 1 in the nearby market town of Masham. We support the mixed patient group across both the urban and rural settings.

Mowbray Square: 3 practices, all located within the same modern purpose-built health centre in central Harrogate. Our mission is to develop new opportunities for Mowbray Square patients so they can start well, live well, age well and die well.

Primary Care experience is not essential; however, a good understanding of how Primary Care works would be beneficial.

Job description Job responsibilities

This is a new, exciting and innovative post to support the needs of the local population living with a range of mental health difficulties. The role holder will fulfil a first contact specialist mental health role within GP Practices across the Primary Care Network (PCN), seeing patients who would otherwise have traditionally seen a GP. Within the primary care setting, the role holder will work in a collaborative and multi-agency way. This will contribute to the safe and effective day to day operation of the PCN and the efficient and timely management of clinical enquiries and decision-making.

The post will sit within the GP practices and will facilitate the interface between Primary Care and Secondary Mental Health Services to provide specialist advice and support, assessment, treatment, education and solution-focused approaches to the local Primary Care Teams, for patients and carers.

The role will offer expertise in networking and navigation to promote ease of access to a range of specialist mental health support services. This ensures that each person, once assessed, receives the best possible care in the right place at the right time and by the right supporting service.

The post holder will be an effective member of the multi-disciplinary team. They will be professionally accountable and responsible for patient care, undertaking initial assessment with signposting to appropriate services, or providing time-limited psycho-social therapeutic interventions directly, in e.g. GP surgeries, patients homes and other primary care settings. This will include providing clinical advice to GPs such as specialist opinion or prescribing support (within the parameters of the Non-medical prescribing/NMP framework).

The post-holder will manage their daily clinics and act as a specialist advisor to GPs, fulfilling a pathway management function and providing short term interventions and support, in collaboration with GPs and other practice based mental health workers.

You will support the establishment of partnerships and networks with key stakeholders across the PCN and the wider mental health care system. You will offer advice to, or obtain advice for, the Primary Care Team on appropriate interventions and on-going patient care management.

You will develop links and foster a culture of partnership between Primary Care Teams and Mental Health Services, promoting clear communication and access to specialist knowledge and advice. This will include the facilitation of joint working with PCN, Secondary Care providers, and Voluntary Care Sector to increase the range of services/interventions available to the communities served.

You will provide clinical advice, consultation, and support to other care providers within primary, secondary, voluntary and statutory services as required.

In line with the principles for community transformation, you will ensure systems/pathways are in place to enable smooth transition between primary care and secondary mental health services.

Due to the nature of the role it is essential that applicants can travel independently and have access to a suitable vehicle for business purposes. If necessary, adjustments can be considered in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

Person Specification Experience Essential
  • oSignificant experience working with people with mental ill health in a community setting.
  • Working collaboratively with service users and their families/carers.
  • oMentoring students on practice placement experience
  • oWorking in a multi-disciplinary team
  • oExperience and involvement with quality improvement activities
  • Experience working in primary care.
  • Experience working in a multiagency setting.
  • Leadership or management experience
Knowledge Essential
  • oDemonstrable knowledge to post-graduate level of evidence-based practice in caring for patients in the designated field.
  • oDemonstrable knowledge and experience of delivering psycho-social interventions and approaches
  • oKnowledge of Stepped Care model.
  • oUnderstanding of relevant legislation (e.g. Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act).
  • oDetailed understanding of Safeguarding and its application in practice
  • oClinical Risk Assessment and Management and its application in practice
  • oClinical Governance and its application in practice
  • oUnderstanding of psychological models of care and treatment
Qualifications Essential
  • oCurrent professional registration NMC or registration with the appropriate professional body.
  • Ability to evidence of Continuing Professional Development since registration.
  • oCertificate in mentorship, teaching & assessing in clinical practice as appropriate to own profession
  • oClinical Supervisor
  • oLeadership or management qualification
  • oPost-graduate qualification in a relevant area
  • oIf appropriate to professional registration NMP (or willing to obtain)
Skills Essential
  • oCommunicate complex and sensitive information effectively to patients, carers/families and all members of the multidisciplinary team.
  • oWork effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team and undertake lead professional responsibilities
  • oWork effectively across complex organisations, pathways and services

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