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Senior Mental Health Practitioner/Clinical Psychologist

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
St Albans
£43,742 to £50,056 a year
Closing date
22 May 2024
The Mental Health Support Team in SEN schools are undergoing a majorexpansion, with our services across Hertfordshire and West Essex. We areseeking to appoint a motivated, committed, flexible and forward-thinking Band7 Senior Mental Health Practitioner, who is committed to supporting Childrenand Young People (CYP) with SEND.

The Mental Health Support Team offers early intervention mental health support, to childrenn and their families, within schools. The Sen's MHST is the only MHST within the country, to offer support specifically to SEN schools we are hosted by the PALMS service, and work withinHertfordshire and West Essex. We currently work in 20 SEN schools with a plan to expand, offering tailored support to children with additional needs, learning disabilities, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder aged 5-18. We offer group work, individual interventions with child orfamily, and support the school to develop their whole school approach to overall wellbeing.

This is a very exciting opportunity to be part of an expanding team and to participate in a fully funded qualification, at the university of Reading to become a fully qualified EMHP supervisor.

You will be working in a variety of school environments across Hertfordshire and West Essex, combined with being part of a virtual team to deliver our service. We operate from 7-7 Monday to Friday.

Main duties of the job

You will be working in a variety of school environments across Hertfordshire and West Essex, combined with being part of a virtual team to deliver our service. We operate from 7-7 Monday to Friday.

The post is permanent and will be full time However, the trust is open to exploring part time and flexible working.

The ideal candidate will be
  • A range of experience within the mental health field.
  • Able to develop individual case formulations for all CYP integrating clinical assessment data with evidence based therapeutic models to plan interventions for CYP and collaboratively engage them in the process of therapy.
  • Able to establish and maintain effective inter-agency and inter-team communication
  • Able to provide continued efficient and effective management of the team, providing leadership and supervision to a multi-disciplinary staff group
  • To provide specialist assessment, intervention, advice, and consultation on CYP's care to colleagues, professionals from other agencies and to other non-professional carers.
  • Able to undertake risk assessment and risk management
  • Able to plan and to lead workshops and therapeutic groups
  • Able to maintain a high degree of professionalism when working in settings where there is a highly emotive atmosphere.
  • Flexible in their approach and have resilience under pressure
  • Able to work both in a team environment and autonomously

About us

We can offer you:
  • Regular appraisal, personal development planning and opportunities for continuing professional development.
  • Opportunities to work closely with a multi-disciplinary team and learn from other evidence-based frameworks and approaches.
  • Involvement in service development including undertaking clinical audits, project work and service forums.
  • 27 days annual leave, 29 if you have worked for the NHS for 5 years and 33 if you have worked for the NHS for 10 years, in addition to 8 days bank holidays.
  • Entitlement to the NHS pension scheme.

Job description

Job responsibilities

A full valid driving license and access to a car to use regularly for business purposes is essential (unless you have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010).

Person Specification

Training and Qualifications


  • Degree or equivalent in relevant field Professional Qualification (RMN, DipSW, OT or equivalent) supplemented by post graduate diploma specialist training, experience, short courses plus further specialist training to master's equivalent level or Doctoral level training in clinical psychology (or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996), including specifically models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology.
  • Experience in relevant mental health/learning disability setting.
  • Specialist knowledge within the field of clinical skills gained through theoretical and practical training and experience.
  • Membership of relevant professional bodies


  • Approved mental health professional (AMHP).
  • Further training in relevant areas of Autism, Learning Disability and mental health.



  • Significant experience of risk assessment within a mental health or learning disability setting.
  • Comprehensive assessment skills
  • Significant experience of working clinically in a mental health and/or learning disability setting assessing, containing and managing complex cases in a multi-disciplinary setting.
  • Experience of working with people who have a learning disability and/or autistic spectrum disorder.
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of client groups, across the whole course of presenting problems that reflect the full range of clinical severity including maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the face of highly emotive and distressing problems, verbal abuse and the treat of physical abuse
  • Knowledge of child development, child and adolescent mental health and a range of therapeutic models
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of specialised therapies and assessment methodologies
  • Multi-Disciplinary Team and multi-agency working
  • Experience of dealing with Safeguarding Incidents.
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation and national policies
  • Knowledge of evidence based practice
  • An understanding of the impact of Learning Disability, Autism and mental health difficulties and challenging behaviour on family life.


  • To have good knowledge of local community services.
  • Provision of effective clinical/practice supervision
  • Experience of developing and delivering training and/or groups

Knowledge & Skills


  • Ability to lead professionally and managerially.
  • Ability to identify appropriate evidence based interventions for mental health and/or challenging behaviour.
  • Ability to communicate effectively when under pressure and dealing with challenging phone calls.
  • Ability to perform under pressure, to be able to analyse information effectively, therefore ensuring correct conclusion for action.
  • Ability to prioritise workload.
  • Evidence of well-developed critical decision-making skills
  • Ability to access various sources of information.
  • An ability to make autonomous clinical judgements involving highly complex facts and situations
  • High level of communication skills (written and verbal) including an ability to communicate effectively complex, highly technical and/or clinically sensitive information to a range of audiences.
  • An ability and commitment to work as a member of a team and effectively communicate with the team.
  • Excellent IT skills including use of databases and spreadsheets.
  • Ability to concentrate for prolonged periods
  • Ability to use supervision appropriately and effectively.
  • Ability to recognise the emotional consequences of working with children with distressing and life changing disorders and seek support if needed.
  • Ability to recognise signs of stress and to seek appropriate support.
  • Ability to work as part of a 'virtual team'.
  • Ability to think clearly and express self.
  • Ability to work with children & young people whose behaviour is personally challenging.
  • Ability to establish and maintain professional relationships
  • Ability to manage potentially distressing telephone calls and situations.
  • An ability to work effectively in a range of direct care settings with families, carers and staff.
  • Ability to work independently, reliably and consistently
  • Ability and willingness to work flexibly including evenings and weekends as required.

Personal Abilities


  • An interest in, and commitment to, working with children who have a learning disability and/or an autistic spectrum disorder and/or mental health difficulties.
  • Positive interpersonal skills
  • Able to meet targets and deadlines in line with triage times and returning phone calls.
  • Values that match positive behaviour ethos
  • Good organisational skills and an ability to manage own workload
  • Capable of using initiative and maintaining professional boundaries.
  • Able to challenge and to be challenged.
  • Professional attitude to work and team members.

Other Specifications


  • A full valid driving licence and access to a car to use for business purposes is essential (unless you have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010
  • Willingness to travel to alternate locations to provide services.
  • Eligible to live and work in the UK

Employer details

Employer name

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust


Sandridge Gate Business Centre

Ronsons Way

St Albans


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