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Occupational Therapist

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
£28,407 to £34,581 per annum
Closing date
5 Jun 2024

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Occupational therapist
Band 5
Contract Type
Full Time
Are youkeen to worka fascinating and ever-changing environment?

Are you curious, creative and always looking for new learning opportunities and ways toimplementthis into practice?

We have a Band 5 Occupational Therapist vacancy on Ash ward, a 15- bedded medium-secure ward for male service users.

Forensic mental healthcare is a unique and fascinating field which provides both challenge and opportunity in abundance.

At the Hellingly Centre, we specialise in the assessment and treatment of people with complex and enduring mental health needs, who have had contact with the criminal justice system.

You will be working with service users who have committed criminal offences, but have also often been victims themselves. Service users regularly experience stigma for both mental health and offending history, so our role is to develop trusting and safe relationships which balance being compassionate, collaborative and supportive with sound risk assessment and management skills.

Main duties of the job

Occupational Therapists (OTs) are recognised as essential, core members of the multi-disciplinary team and play a key role in supporting and advocating service users towards recovery while maintaining the legal requirements within the MHA and of public protection.
Main duties of the job
The post holder will:
  • Manage a defined caseload of service users on alongside a robust multi-disciplinary team.
  • Support service users to establish helpful routines, maintain and develop roles, grow motivation and confidence and develop and improve skills across the domains of occupation (self-care, productivity and leisure).
  • Use OT specific assessment tools (from the Model of Human Occupation MoHO), in order to identify meaningful goals and areas of focus for individuals, informing treatment and care plans.
  • Co-ordinate and deliver a programme of occupationally-focussed interventions (both individual and group sessions), according to the need of the service users and evaluate the effectiveness of these using outcome measures.
  • Alongside the MDT, contribute to service users' risk assessment and management plans and 'My Care and Safety Plan'.
  • Work alongside and provide supervision to Occupational Therapy support staff (post-preceptee OTs).
  • Support students on placement with the service as a practice placement educator (PPE), following completion of PPE training with the University of Brighton.
  • Support the development of the secure recovery college at the centre.

About us

The Hellingly Centre is a purpose-built secure hospital, comprising of three medium secure wards (Oak, Ash and Blossom) and one low secure ward (Elm).

We have access to a range of therapy facilities within the centre, including a gym, shop, music, woodwork and art rooms and on-site, Badger's Caf and allotment space (offering vocational and therapeutic horticulture opportunities).

Situated within the beautiful Hellingly Country Park and close to the Cuckoo Trail, we enjoy the benefits of both beautiful countryside and the nearby larger towns.

  • There is a small gym on-site, available for staff to use
  • Badger's Caf sells a good selection of hot drinks, meals and snacks
  • We have a large car park and parking is free for staff.

Development and Training:

We are committed to investing in staffs' learning and development and offer:
  • Regular supervision and reflective practice
  • Quality training and development opportunities.
  • OT-specific training available includes: Occupational Formulation, Sensory Processing Theory into Practice, Solution-Focussed approaches.
  • Access to well-established 'Communities of Practice' groups for evidence- informed and based interventions (e.g. Sensory Processing, Recovery Through Activity, MoHO and Occupational Formulation).

Hellingly Centre is a member of Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services and there are opportunities for staff to become certified peer reviewers for nationwide forensic services.

Job description

Job responsibilities

To be a successful Occupational Therapist at the Hellingly Centre you will be:
  • A qualified OT, registered with the HCPC
  • Have experience working within a mental health setting, either as an OT or in another capacity (including as a student/in another role).
  • Passionate about improving the lives of individuals who are being held within the criminal justice system
  • Understanding that this is a challenging but hugely rewarding work setting
  • Ability to create secure attachment relationships, and earn the trust and respect of patients who are likely to have had adverse experiences of authority figures.
  • You will not be put off by rejection, and will see this as part of the process of building a therapeutic alliance.
  • Work holistically and creatively with service users to improve occupational functioning and improved quality of life.

We support flexible working

We know that a positive work/ life balance brings about huge health-related benefits, which has a positive impact on the care we provide. Although this role is advertised as full time (37.5 hours), we are open to conversations regarding flexible working (part time hours / working pattern). If it works for you and works for the role/service, we'll do our best to make it happen.

We welcome you to contact us for any further information / with any questions or if you would like to arrange a visit, prior to making an application.

Person Specification



  • Degree/diploma in Occupational Therapy
  • Current registration with HCPC


  • Student Educator training



  • Experience in a clinical area related to the post (as a student/qualified or other relevant role)
  • Experience of working with service users on an individual basis and as part of a group
  • Experience of receiving supervision as an OT or OT student


  • Experience of working within a forensic mental health setting or other criminal justice setting (either as an OT or in another capacity)
  • Experience in the use of a range of assessment tools associated with the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO)
  • Experience of providing supervision to others.



  • An understanding of forensic mental health and secure inpatient services and the role of OT within this setting.
  • Knowledge of the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) and its associated assessments

Employer details

Employer name

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


Hellingly Centre


BN27 4ER

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