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Senior Mental Health Practitioner

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
St Albans
£40,057 to £45,839 a year
Closing date
15 Aug 2022

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Child & Adolescent / CAMHS
Band 7
Full Time
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PALMS is evolving and we want to welcome additional clinicians to be part of our vibrant and multi-disciplinary team who include Clinical Psychologists, Positive Behaviour Analysts, Systemic Therapists, Learning Disability Nurses, Psychiatrists, Mental Health Practitioners, Speech and Language Therapists and Outreach Workers.

With the continued evolution of PALMS we are seeking to appoint 2 additional Senior Mental Health Practitioner's who is are motivated and forward thinking clinicians and leaders who can work flexibly and are committed to supporting CYP and their families across Hertfordshire and the full PALMS' team.

Main duties of the job

The ideal candidate will be:
  • Passionate about and have a desire to contribute to change in a vibrant NHS team
  • Dedicated to supporting CYP with autism and/or learning disability and their families.
  • Collaborative in their approach to work with families, networks, and others services
  • Able to work both in a team environment and autonomously
  • 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

About us

PALMS (Positive behaviour, Autism, Learning disability, Mental health Service) works across Hertfordshire providing a specialist multi-disciplinary approach. PALMS is a CAMHS commissioned service which offers individually tailored support for children and young people (CYP), aged 0-18 who have a global learning disability and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder, helping families to manage challenging behaviour, toileting, feeding and sleeping concerns which have not benefitted from community interventions and/or to support mental health needs which cannot be met with reasonable adjustment by other CAMHS services.

Additionally, PALMS also supports problematic sexualised behaviours.Interventions include workshops, groups, individual therapy, parent as therapist sessions, and a family clinic. PALMS aims to keep children and young people with their families within Hertfordshire thereby improving outcomes for all family members.

PALMS predominantly applies narrative, systemic, positive behaviour, and bio-psycho social models adhering to the STOMP / STAMP and Transforming Care Agendas.

Job description
Job responsibilities

PALMS principally deliver a flexible service according to need and personalcircumstances, in a planned way. For example, for a full-time worker this equates to flexibly working 37.5 across the working week. PALMS are open to flexible working and therefore part time / job share would be considered, working a minimum of 0.6 WTE.

The posts are fixed term for two years covering either the East and North of the county or South and West with principle bases in Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage or Watford and St Albans.

We have continued to support CYP and their families through the COVID19 pandemic embracing virtual working whilst continuing to offer face to face work where clinically appropriate. Virtual working offers flexibility to both team members and families and is now embedded in the PALMS team.

The PALMS team is friendly, cohesive and proactive. We value feedback and empower all team members to contribute to the continuous development of the service and welcome innovation and change.

We can offer you:
  • Regular clinical and professional supervision
  • Regular appraisal, personal development planning and opportunities for continuing professional development. This includes specific support with regards to fulfilling the PALMS role. Recent examples include the team undertaking training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), sleep assessment and intervention, and systemic and family practice.
  • Regular opportunities to meet as a team including peer reflection and Intervision.
  • Opportunities to work closely with a multi-disciplinary team and learn from other evidence based frameworks and approaches.
  • Opportunities to provide clinical supervision and line management to other members of the PALMS team as appropriate.
  • Opportunities to connect with local and national networks
  • Involvement in providing training.
  • 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.

Closing date for applications will be midnight on Sunday 14th August with interviews runningMonday22nd August. Interviews will be run using Microsoft Teams and full details and instructions will be provided to successful candidates.

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

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