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Service User Network (SUN) Specialist Clinician

East London NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 per annum
Closing date
26 May 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
This post provides the opportunity to contribute specialist clinical skills to a new development in the Bedfordshire and Luton complex emotional needs offer - a Service User Network (SUN). The SUN service is a collaboration between the East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) Bedfordshire and Luton Complex Needs Service and Mind-BLMK, which will be responsible for operational management. SUN is an open access inclusive model of community-based facilitated group peer support for people experiencing complex emotional needs associated with complex trauma and/or a diagnosis of 'personality disorder'. The facilitated SUN groups will provide a structured, containing and supportive group environment that people with complex emotional needs can choose to access during the week, and will be delivered online and/or in person in different geographical locations across Bedfordshire and Luton.

Main duties of the job

The post holder will work collaboratively as a member of the integrated SUN team, which will include a Service Manager and Specialist Clinical SUN Facilitators employed by ELFT, and Lived Experience SUN Facilitators employed by Mind-BLMK. Full training in the SUN model, and weekly supervision by a Psychotherapist/Psychologist, will be provided for all team members. The post-holder will co-facilitate SUN peer support groups with Lived Experience SUN Facilitators, and will take the lead on working with Lived Experience co-facilitators and SUN group members to support new members to identify risks and develop effective safety plans that draw on available resources. The post-holder will also provide day-to-day support to Lived Experience Facilitators, thereby contributing to their professional development, and will assist the Service Manager in the delivery of the SUN service by working with them to organize and deliver the programme of groups across Bedfordshire and Luton.

The post holder will be required to actively participate in weekly SUN supervision and team business meetings, and will deliver presentations to teams, services and Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations across primary and secondary care to promote and publicise the SUN service. The post holder will also contribute to the co-produced development of the SUN service through participation in clinical audit, service evaluation and quality improvement projects.

About us

Our mission is to make a positive difference to people's lives by improving the quality of life for all we serve. Our values are: We Care, We Respect, We are Inclusive - so we are looking for people who live and breathe these qualities when supporting service users and carers, and in their relationships with colleagues in the Trust and our partner organisations

Job description

Job responsibilities

The post-holder will have a professional qualification in Mental Health Nursing, Social Work, Occupational Therapy or Art Therapy, and will be expected to work autonomously within professional guidelines and under the management and supervision of the SUN Service Manager. The post holder will be based at Mind-BLMK premises in Luton, and will be required to travel to sites across Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton, when necessary, for the delivery of SUN groups.

As a key member of a new team of Clinical and Lived Experience SUN facilitators, the post-holder will contribute to the development and delivery of a facilitated peer support SUN service across Bedfordshire and Luton. The key responsibilities include:
  • Working with the SUN service manager to organise and ensure the delivery of the programme of facilitated peer support groups in the area.
  • Delivering between 3 and 5 facilitated peer support SUN groups every week, both online and in person.
  • Co-facilitating SUN groups with Lived Experience SUN Facilitators, leading on safety plans and risk management.
  • Developing co-produced Resource and Support Plans with participants in the SUN groups, according to the service protocols.
  • Providing day-to day support to the Lived Experience SUN facilitators employed by Mind-BLMK, our Voluntary Sector partner.
  • Promoting SUN and ensuring robust relationships and links with other community-based mental health services and service provides (for example, Primary Care Link Workers, NHS Talking Therapies, core mental health services, Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams, Mental Health Street Triage).
  • Working with colleagues and SUN members to co-produce key elements of the operational arrangements of the service through member involvement.
  • Chairing team planning meetings and business meetings with support from the SUN Service Manager on a rotational basis.
  • Leading and supporting the Lived Experience SUN facilitators to plan, organise and facilitate focus groups and meetings with SUN members to further develop a truly co-produced SUN service.
  • Delivering online events, presentations (both online and in person) to widely promote and publicise the SUN service.
  • Inducting and training new staff in the SUN model.
  • Ensuring the collection of relevant data on work activities, inputting data onto SUN databases as required, and maintaining a high standard of clinical record keeping.
  • Maintaining a high standard of care in all areas of practice in accordance with the relevant professional Code of Conduct and guidelines.
  • Ensuring compliance with statutory & mandatory training.

  • Person Specification

    Education/ Qualification/ Training


    • oProfessional Qualification in Mental Health Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Arts Therapy or Social Work
    • oCurrent HCPC/NMC/SWE registration
    • oWillingness to undertake training in the SUN model, which is based on coping process modification, therapeutic community ethos and culture, and psychoanalytic principles.



    • oPost-qualification experience of providing a range of evidence- based interventions to people with a variety of mental health problems and serious mental illness.
    • oPost-qualification experience of working with people with a diagnosis of personality disorder or traits of this that interfere with daily functioning.
    • oPost-qualification experience of risk assessment and management of people with a diagnosis or traits of 'personality disorder'.
    • oExperience of facilitating groups within a mental health setting.
    • oExperience of working in a co-produced way, and of actively participating in co-produced service planning and delivery.
    • oExperience, skills and ability to liaise effectively with other agencies and professionals


    • oExperience of supporting and supervising staff and students.
    • oExperience of teaching/training others

    Knowledge and Skills


    • oAbility to apply an understanding of diversity, difference and rights to interactions with people with complex emotional needs associated with a diagnosis of 'personality disorder.'
    • oAbility to work collaboratively as a team member and flexibly across a service.
    • oAbility to undertake a dynamic risk assessment and develop a safety plan in collaboration with service users.
    • oAdvanced knowledge and understanding of risk management practice with service users who have a diagnosis of ''personality disorder''.
    • oExcellent communication and interpersonal skills both verbal and written.
    • oGood IT skills and sound understanding of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel.
    • oDemonstrable skills in clinical outcome evaluation, audit, research and/or clinical governance.


    • oKnowledge and skills in delivering the SUN model.



    • oEmotionally resilient and able to sensitively and effectively cope with stressful situations including staff and /or organisational challenges, child abuse, family breakdown, serious mental ill health, verbal abuse and hostility/aggression.
    • oCapable of reflective practice, and able to enable other teams/individuals to engage in reflective practice.
    • oSelf-motivated, and able to work both independently and as part of a team/community.
    • oWillingness and ability to travel between sites across Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and occasionally, London.


    • oDriving license and access to a vehicle insured for business use.

    Employer details

    Employer name

    East London NHS Foundation Trust


    Bedfordshire and Luton Service User Network (SUN) Service

    Mountbatten House, 56 High Street South


    LU6 3HD

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