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Mental Health Liaison Practitioner

Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 (pro rata) per annum
Closing date
21 May 2024
An opportunity has arisen for a motivated and experienced mental health practitioner to join the Acute Hospital liaison service at Harrogate District Hospital.

This is an excellent and exciting opportunity for the right candidate to become involved in the continuous development of a proactive and forward-thinking team.

Mental health disorders are very common in general hospitals and research has shown that they are often not recognised or treated. Untreated mental health issues can lead to longer hospital admission and poorer physical health overall in hospital inpatients and increased health care costs.

The Acute Hospital liaison service is a team of Mental health professionals whooffer assessment and interventions for acute hospital inpatients and those presenting at Emergency Department. Depending on the clinical presentation, follow up and further therapeutic interventions will be offered according to need.

The service operates 7 days a week over 24 hours, therefore unsocial hours, including night duty is an expectation of this post.

Main duties of the job

  • Liaising with staff in the acute hospital, supporting them with the management of the mental health and well-being of patients who have been admitted for physical health care, but who require support with new or existing mental health need
  • Responding to referrals asking for a mental state assessment for people presenting with an acute mental health problem in the Emergency Department or on the ward
  • Being professionally accountable and responsible for giving specialist advice and support to facilitate the mental health care given to patients in the acute hospital
  • Presenting the views of patients and carers to the clinical teams in the acute hospital to facilitate collaborative working between all parties
  • Liaising with other professionals and agencies in the facilitation of a safe and effective plans of mental health care
  • Liaising with other professionals and agencies in the development and facilitation of safe and effective discharge plans - reducing hospital lengths of stay and readmission
  • Promoting the principles of the Recovery Model and Trauma Informed Car
  • Enhancing knowledge and skills in the field of mental ill health for staff employed in acute hospital through the provision of specialist advice and training.

About us

We are the Mental Health & Learning Disability NHS Trust for County Durham and Darlington, Teesside, North Yorkshire, York and Selby.

From education and prevention to crisis and specialist care --our talented and compassionate teams work in partnership with our patients, communities and partners to help the people of our region feel safe, understood, believed in and cared for.

We nurture the recovery journey of anyone in need of our help. In Our Trust, everyone has a say in how they are supported and treated because we listen to every person in our care until they feel understood. Our patients, their families and carers work together with us towards better mental health.

We're committed to new thinking that improves the wellbeing of our region. We connect with our communities and partners to get mental health care right, in areas that really need it.

We won't rest until everyone in our region has the mental health care they need, to lead their best possible life.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Harrogate Acute Hospital Liaison Service (AHLS) is multi-disciplinary team of skilled mental health professionals who work in partnership with the Departments, wards, and Multidisciplinary teams of the Harrogate District Foundation trust (HDFT)

The Acute Hospital Liaison team is the single point of access for all referrals from Harrogate District Foundation Trust for persons above the age of 16-years - attending Emergency and Urgent Care Departments and/or admitted to Acute trust inpatient wards.

The Harrogate AHLS provides mental health assessment, advice, signposting, and intervention to any person over the age of 16 years who are felt to be presenting with:
  • Suspected symptoms of mental health illness/disorder or distress
  • Actual diagnosed mental health illness either as a stand-alone presentation or in conjunction with a medical need
  • Complex and multiple comorbid conditions involving physical, mental, emotional, social, or psychological needs.

The service provides and all age pathway for psychiatric care in urgent care settings and acute hospital wards.

The liaison team act to facilitate prompt access to mental health assessment and intervention for those individuals who have an identified mental illness, working closely with the acute care pathway to access inpatient psychiatric admission or intensive home treatment and community response.

The team will also facilitate, where required, prompt medical assessment and intervention for physical needs of a person that have arisen because of an ongoing mental health disorder or behaviours in the context of such that has led to a compromise of that persons health.

Staff will liaise with other community services in the primary, secondary, and tertiary setting as well as with addiction services and third sector partners.

The team provide a resource to Acute hospital colleagues for information, advice and education on mental health issues and collaborate with the Acute hospital staff to support adherence to the Emergency care standards and auditing outcomes against targets.

Harrogate Acute Hospital Liaison team operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The team is located on site at Harrogate district Hospital

Team Objectives:

To identify early the emergence of, or existence of mental health symptoms, that may require timely treatment and management to improve patient outcomes and recovery - reducing risks associated with prolonged hospital stays.

To identify persons presenting with multiple medical needs in which a medical causation cannot be found, and psychological formulation is required to assess and promote recovery in persons presenting with medically unexplained symptoms or significant health adjustment.

Patients and carers mental health needs will be advocated by the liaison team to promote patient experience and care outcomes. The Acute hospital liaison team strive to promote a good understanding and positive attitude of mental health across the Acute Hospital trust.

The Acute hospital liaison team perform several outpatient pathways and processes to support discharge, transition, and access to the right care at the right time by the right team.

Outreach work includes the opportunity for discovery work and assessment of a persons needs as an alternative to repeat attendances at Emergency departments for help and assistance. They also promote stability in patients who are discharged from hospital with needs not otherwise met by existing community services to reduce the risk of readmission.

Our success depends upon working in partnership with patients and the people who support them, and in collaboration with staff of the acute services, other mental health, and mainstream health teams, and voluntary, private, and not for profit health and social care providers.

Person Specification



  • RNMH, AHP or SCW with current professional registration with NMC/ HCPC/ Social Work England
  • MIP, FLIP, ENB 998 Teaching & Assessing in Clinical Practice or City & Guilds 730 Teaching in Adult Education (or must be achieved within agreed timescale).
  • Evidence of Continuing Professional Development
  • Clinical Supervisor (within agreed timescale).
  • Recognised sign-off mentor (or must be achieved within agreed timescale).
  • Key skills in literacy, numeracy and ITQ level 2 (or equivalent)


  • Leadership or management qualification
  • Post-graduate qualification in a relevant area e.g. older people's nursing, physical health conditions etc.
  • Non-medical prescriber



  • Recent and significant experience in the assessment and care of adults and older people with mental ill health.
  • Supporting/mentoring students on practice placement experience.
  • Working in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Complex case management and risk assessment and management
  • Working collaboratively with service users and their families/carer


  • Experience working with people with dementia
  • Recent experience nursing across a range of settings e.g. acute hospitals, mental health units, care homes etc and including adults and older people.
  • Providing clinical supervision



  • Demonstrable knowledge to post-graduate level of evidence-based practice in caring for patients in the designated field including specialist knowledge of co-morbidity (physical and mental health) in relation to acute and chronic conditions.
  • Detailed understanding of the relationship between physical and mental health conditions and associated patient needs
  • Understanding of relevant legislation (e.g. Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act).
  • Detailed understanding of adult/child Safeguarding and its application in practice.
  • Clinical Risk Assessment and Management and its application in practice


  • Palliative care
  • The Trust's Quality Improvement System (QIS)



  • Interpret complex clinical information from a variety of sources and make clear and prompt clinical decisions.
  • Communicate complex and sensitive information effectively to patients, carers/families and all members of the multidisciplinary team.
  • Provide leadership and monitor, co-ordinate and prioritise the activities of a team.
  • Provide effective supervision, teaching, training and assessing in clinical practice
  • Able to engage with vulnerable people and work effectively in distressing and challenging circumstances

Personal attributes


  • Able to work flexibly and co-operatively as part of a team
  • Self-aware and committed to professional and personal development. Able to accept and respond positively to feedback from supervision
  • Committed to promoting a positive image of people with mental health conditions.
  • Committed to promoting a positive image of the Liaison Service.
  • Able to work in accordance with the Staff Compact and Trust Values and Behaviours.

Employer details

Employer name

Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust


Harrogate District Hospital

Lancaster Park Road



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