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Mental Health SPA Practitioner

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 per annum
Closing date
21 Jul 2024

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Mental health, Mental health practitioner
Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
We are looking an experienced mental health professional to take on the role of a Mental Health SPA Practitioner in the Northeast Essex Single Point of Access (SPA). We are looking for a full or part time registered mental health nurse, occupational therapist or social worker. The role requires predominantly office-based working at our SPA office at Severalls House, Colchester, Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm.

Main duties of the job

The SPA Practitioner is responsible for monitoring and screening all referrals received into the dedicated NESPA inbox, ensuring these are directed to the most appropriate support in a timely manner. Where the necessary SPA will carry out dedicated initial assessments to fully identify service-user's needs. In order to do this effectively, the SPA Practitioner will work closely with referrers, people who access our services (as well as family, friends and carers), and other stakeholders.

About us

EPUT are looking for motivated staff who shares our Trust values of Care, Learn and Empower. In return, EPUT can offer you a range of benefits and development including
  • Season Ticket Loans
  • NHS discounts for staff
  • Excellent Training facilities and opportunities
  • Buying and Selling annual leave scheme
  • The opportunity to work bank shifts and expand knowledge and experience in other areas
  • Salary Sacrifice schemes including lease cars and Cycle to Work
  • Day One Flexible Employer

The Trust supports and actively encourages flexible working for all employees. We offer many options and you are encouraged to ask the recruiting manager what is possible for this role. If appointed, you will have the opportunity to apply for a flexible working request from the first day of your employment

Join our Staff bank

What is Staff Bank?

Our EPUT NHS staff bank is an entity managed by the trust that hires clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals to take on shifts at our trust hospitals and community settings. Here at EPUT we maintain our own bank of specialist staff to ensure that we are able offer safe and effective care at all times.

All our permanent staff are automatically enrolled onto the staff bank however this does not mean you have to work any additional shifts, but the option is there for you if you wish.

If you are joining our Trust in a fixed term role, please indicate on your New Starter Paperwork that you wish to join our staff bank.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Carrying out a range of assessments including telephone, virtual and face to face.

Travelling to different trust locations and service-users homes to complete assessments

Planning, attending, and contributing to a range of professional and MDT meetings

Keeping the people who access our services as safe as possible through the use of sound clinical skills, effective risk assessments and information gathering.

Ensuring the best possible clinical outcomes by using up-to-date skills and adhering to evidence based policies and procedures

Ensuring the people who contact our services have a good experience by respecting, empowering and working in partnership with people throughout the care planning process

Gather further information from the referrer, patient, their carers and other organisations as necessary to assist in appropriate screening and assessment of referrals.

Demonstrate good risk assessment and management skills, ensuring that decisions made regarding referrals are in the interests of the individual patients needs and their safety, upgrading referrals where necessary.

Be fully conversant with statutory and non-statutory services across Essex

Redirect referrals into specialist mental health services where appropriate, and liaise with these teams as necessary.

Liaise with Primary Care Network practitioners where appropriate

Signpost callers on as appropriate into non-statutory, third sector services.

Respond to referrals within time limits set out

Ensuring that referrals are prioritised depending on the urgency of the referral.

Ensure safe and effective delivery of care / advice to patients and their carers, utilising own knowledge and skills

Provide support, information and education to family members, carers and other professionals who may access the SPA

Build and maintain excellent working relationships with key stakeholders, such as PCN practitioners, GPs, IAPT, and others

Maintain a good public image of the SPA by dealing with all calls and referrals in a professional manner

Be aware of appropriate escalation procedures in relation to difficult calls, i.e. a suicidal patient etc.

Ensure that there is effective liaison / communication pathways with other services

Participate in both clinical and managerial 1:1 support in relation to the role

Participate in the ongoing training / teaching / reflective practice sessions as required

Participate in the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the SPA process, ensuring that all required data is collected

Monitor standards of clinical practice of the SPA, recommending changes where necessary

Ensure that all professional and Trust-wide clinical policies and procedures are adhered to

Be responsible for the maintenance and accurate patient records on relevant patient information system (i.e. Paris)

Attending and participating in a range of professional and MDT meetings including Child protection, MARAC, and other safeguarding meetings

Person Specification



  • Current professional registration with appropriate body in healthcare or social work


  • Evidence of additional relevant health care qualifications



  • Experience working in a Community or Primary Care Mental Health setting


  • Experience working in a Single Point of Access or Access & Assessment setting



  • Experience and knowledge of completing holistic mental health assessments

Employer details

Employer name

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust


Severalls House



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