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Mental Health Practitioner in ASCC

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 a year pa
Closing date
20 Jul 2024

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Mental health, Mental health practitioner
Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
Somerset Partnership's Advice and Support in custody and court (ASCC) team provides a service to individuals appearing at Somerset's criminal courts (Taunton, Yeovil and North Somerset Magistrates' courts, Taunton Crown Court) and to those who have been arrested and are detainees in police custody (Bridgwater).

The service operates 7 days a week between the hours of 8.00am to 8.00pm. Working hours have some flexibility, although staff work predominantly 'long days' (8.00am-8.00pm) shifts to cover these hours.

The team is part of NHS England's national liaison and diversion programme (and in partnership with Avon and Wiltshire Partnership, provides the Advice & Support in Custody & Courts service to the wider Avon and Somerset police area).

The team's primary role is to complete mental health and other vulnerability assessments in criminal justice settings and identify unmet needs with a view to referring on to a range of relevant health and social care services. The team routinely share relevant information with criminal justice agencies (where consent has been obtained) to ensure that wherever individuals are in the criminal justice system, their mental health needs and information about other vulnerabilities are known, enabling the police and courts to make informed decisions about charging and sentencing.

Main duties of the job

ASCC practitioners are based in the Bridgwater police custody suite, courts of Somerset, and will work with people of all ages within the criminal justice system where potential mental health, learning disability and other vulnerabilities are identified.

You will be responsible for undertaking initial assessments within police custody and court system, and providing a rapid, high quality written screening report. You will offer professional guidance, advice and an educative role to colleagues working within the criminal justice system, along with liaison with community services. The service acts as a first point of contact, providing mental health advice for people held in police custody or appearing in court, alongside assessment, liaison and facilitating access to appropriate mental health and social care services. You will also be involved in implementing and reviewing referral pathways with the police so that they are able to effectively identify mental health problems and refer appropriately. In addition, you will compile and present health and social circumstances reports, and facilitate the production of psychiatric reports to court when required. At times, you may have to give verbal opinions to the courts.

About us

As an organisation, the NHS offers a wide range of benefits including flexible working, fantastic pension contributions, market leading annual leave allowance, career progression and regular conversations, not to mention our Blue Light Card and NHS exclusive discounts.The benefits of working in Somerset include the idyllic countryside, with our areas of outstanding beauty and stunning coastlines. You will get to enjoy these perks whilst still only being a stone's throw away from bustling city centres like Bristol, Bath and Exeter and only two hours away from London.There are excellent educational facilities in the area and, when compared to other regions, house prices are reasonable. You will to experience the best of both in Somerset, the countryside and the cosmopolitan -- there is truly something for everyone!

Job description

Job responsibilities

As part of the wider ASCC team, you will be part of a rota mainly covering Bridgwater police custody. You may also need to provide some cover to Taunton, Yeovil and North Somerset Magistrates' Court, and will be part of a voluntary attenders project, a service for those individuals who are suspected of committing an offence but interviewed at a police station or other location voluntarily, rather than being arrested and brought into police custody At times you will be working autonomously, completing rapid assessments and screening reports, but with support available from the senior practitioners and / or Band 6 colleagues. You will also complete monthly data returns as required by the Liaison and Diversion programme.

You will offer professional guidance, advice and an educative role to colleagues working within the criminal justice system, and liaison with community services. This involves a commitment to close partnership working with both statutory and voluntary sector agencies and a commitment to working with an often complex and diverse range of individuals with varying needs.

Person Specification



  • RMN/Degree/Diploma in Nursing, CQSW/Degree/Diploma in Social Work, Degree in Occupational Therapy, and current relevant professional registration.



  • Significant experience and knowledge of working with people with mental health problems.Significant experience of assessing risk and developing risk management plans.Experience of undertaking autonomous assessments.


  • Experience of working in a community mental health setting.Experience of working within a Forensic/Criminal Justice environment.

Additional Criteria


  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including presentation of cases.Compassionate - Open minded, treats colleagues, patients, carers and relatives with dignity and respect.Holds a valid driving licence and access to a vehicle to travel across offices.

Employer details

Employer name

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust


Broadway House

Broadway Park




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