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Specialist Diagnostician: Community Adult Asperger's Service

Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust
£41,659 to £47,672 a year p.a. pro rata for part time
Closing date
6 Feb 2023

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The Community Adult Autism Service (CAAS) is expanding following investment from Dorset HealthCare Trust and NHS Dorset. This is a brilliant opportunity to work in a specialist and very dedicated team and develop your skills in the recognition and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) in the adult population.

Although small, the Community Adult Asperger's Service (CAAS) is comprised of a supportive and eclectic team of professionals who care very much about the client group. Our staff feel valued and satisfied in their roles, which is why the core team has stayed in the service, with a low staff turnover since the service was founded in 2010.

We are currently offering 6 posts ranging from 22.5 hours per week to full time, and either fixed term/secondment for up to 15 months. You could take up this post alongside your current role in mental health giving you the opportunity to learn skills that can be shared with the rest of your host team. This post would allow you to become a Team Champion in this important area of clinical expertise. Remote working will be considered, and this should be stated on the application if this is a preference.

Main duties of the job

The post would suit a recently qualified clinical psychologist who is looking to develop their skills with this client group. It would also suit a more experienced psychologist, or an experienced nurse or OT. You will be able to develop specialist assessment skills with adults referred to CAAS and also skills in adapting standard therapies to suit the neurodiverse population through consultation to professionals in the wider Trust and beyond. Autism Spectrum Conditions now constitute an ever-growing part of all of our caseloads, whichever service we work in, and the number of adults with a diagnosis of an ASC across all health and social care services far exceeds the national prevalence figures of about one in 100 of the population.

This post is ideal for a motivated and passionate clinician who has a specialist interest in neurodiversity, and a respect for how important Autism assessments are in underpinning wider clinical formulation of need. Our service is able to help clients to gain access to the right specialist support e.g., in an educational or work setting.

Unless remote working, a car is essential for working in this service, which covers the whole of Dorset.

About us

At Dorset HealthCare we're on a mission to empower people to make the most of their lives through our outstanding, joined-up healthcare services. We're a dynamic, forward-looking Trust, running 12 community hospitals, specialist inpatient facilities and a wide range of integrated community and mental health services for a population of almost 800,000 people.

We do things differently here - it's one of the reasons the CQC rated us 'outstanding' in 2019. It's also why 95% of patients across our services say they have a good or very good experience of our services and 89% of staff feel they can really make a difference. Whether you're looking to work with us in one of our bustling market towns, vibrant urban locations, thriving seaside spots, or among the rolling hills of Dorset, there are lots of ways you can make a difference in our communities.

Our 7,000-strong workforce is at the heart of what we do and our success is a testament to our brilliant people. We're all about building a workplace for the future, we believe in equal opportunities and we celebrate diversity. We're an inclusive workplace, where everyone is welcome, everyone can be authentic, and we are all encouraged to be the best version of ourselves.

Working with us you'll be part of a strong team, challenge yourself, build a career, and teach us what we don't know. And you'll be working towards our vision to be better every day through excellence, compassion and expertise in all we do.

Job description Job responsibilities

The post will involve completing high quality NICE compliant assessments for Autism. The service also runs post-diagnostic groups for newly diagnosed people who are on the spectrum, so that they can learn about their diagnosis and how it affects them uniquely as individuals. Clinicians within the team include Clinical Psychologists, Occupational Therapists (who provide very specialist sensory assessment and treatment as well as functional assessment, vocational support and dyspraxia assessment), Nurse Specialists, Assistant Psychologists, and highly skilled Team Assistant and Administrative Assistants.

CAAS is a Primary Care Service but works closely with other secondary, tertiary and specialist care providers (eg, CMHT, in-patient-services, specialist Eating Disorder Services) throughout Dorset. We offer weekly specialist consultation to a range of professionals who are also working with adults who are on the Autism Spectrum.

This would be an excellent opportunity to gain specialist Autism assessment skills as well as developing a knowledge base of how Autism can affect other areas of mental health and how therapy can be adapted to suit everyones unique profile.

Dorset HealthCare is the first mental health trust providing community services in the Southwest of England to be given an Outstanding rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

For the main duties and responsibilities for this role please read the attached job description and person specification. When completing your application please ensure your supporting statement reflects the criteria set out in these documents by showing how your experience and skills apply to this post.

Person Specification Knowledge, skills and training Essential
  • Post-graduate doctorate in clinical psychology (or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996 or those in lateral transfer or with Statement of Equivalence) as accredited by the BPS or HPC.
  • Relevant specialist training or qualifications for Band 7 Psychologist
  • Doctoral level knowledge of research design and methodology, including complex multivariate data analysis as practiced within the field of clinical psychology
  • Knowledge of legislation, white papers, etc. and implications for both clinical practice and professional management
  • HCPC/NMC/RCOT registration
  • evidence based psychological therapy interventions ie: IPT, DBT, CBT, CAT
  • neurodevelopment: ADOS training , 3di or similar
Job specific experience Essential
  • Experience of assessment of adults (or children) with neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Clinical knowledge of Autism Spectrum Conditions and how these can present amongst different people
  • Experience of running psychoeducational groups
  • experience of working in a healthcare setting particularly within the community
  • experience of working in a multi disciplinary team
Information Technology Essential
  • Ability to use a computer and Internet for word processing, keeping electronic notes, spreadsheets, presentations, teaching and information seeking purposes
  • ability to use electronic patient recording system
Personal Qualities/Attributes Essential
  • Ability to use a range of assessment materials (including psychometric tests).
  • Must be capable of working on own initiative and acting independently
  • ability to supervise others
Additional Requirements Essential
  • Demonstrable skills in written and spoken English to a standard which enables the post holder to carry out the full range of duties and responsibilities of the role effectively.
  • Ability to conduct complex risk assessments and develop appropriate strategies to minimise risk
  • Evidence of continuing professional development as required by the BPS and HPC and working to professional guidelines. Must be capable of working on their own initiative and acting independently
  • Subject to the provisions of the Equality Act, able to travel using own vehicle on Trust business

Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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