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Autism Specialist Occupational Therapist

West London NHS Trust
£33,706 to £40,588 a year Per Annum
Closing date
17 Feb 2023

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Senior Occupational Therapist (band 6)

Full-time (37.5hrs/week), 1 year Fixed Term Contract/secondment, with the potential for permanent funding

We are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and ambitious Occupational Therapist. This post forms part of the innovative Autism Team within Acute Mental Health Services (AMHS).

This role is intended to provide specialist OT assessments and interventions to autistic service users in an acute crisis, with the overall aim of improving the care and experience of admissions and supporting earlier, sustainable and safe discharges. You will be an integral part of the AMHS Autism Team in promoting safe, effective and therapeutic care for autistic adults in acute mental health services. Covering all areas of occupational performance, this role gives the opportunity to develop specialist assessment skills, in addition to delivering individually-tailored interventions, including sensory interventions and planning for transition. As part of a pilot project, this post offers an exciting prospect to contribute to service development and to develop clinical leadership skills

Main duties of the job

This new post offers an exciting opportunity for an ambitious and experienced Occupational Therapist, looking to specialise in mental health and Autism. The successful candidate will offer a thorough, compassionate and evidence-based service to adults with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of Autism within acute mental health services (AMHS). As an integral member of the AMHS Autism Team, they will have knowledge and understanding of taking a strengths-based approach to working with autistic people, supporting the individual and teams to identify and meet unmet needs.

The role offers opportunities for service development and clinical audits. Multidisciplinary joint working will be central to the development of integrated care, and fostering strong relationships with stakeholders will be key.

The post will be split across Hammersmith & Fulham and Lakeside Mental Health Units, with Lakeside being the primary base.

About us

West London NHS Trust is one of the most diverse providers of mental health, community and social care in the UK.

Our 3,982 staff care for people in hospital and in the community, helping them to recover and go on to lead full and productive lives. We aim to be the best organisation of our kind in the country.

We provide care and treatment for more than 800,000 people living in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow, delivering services in the community (at home, in GP surgeries and care homes), hospital, specialist clinics and forensic (secure) units.

We'rerated good overall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Together, we're committed to promoting hope and wellbeing, working with patients, service users, carers, families and partners across the communities we serve.

We are keen to ensure that our workforce reflects the community it serves, particularly in terms of ethnicity, gender, disability, LGBTQ+ and experience of mental illness.

Job description Job responsibilities

To provide a client-centred Autism specialist occupational therapy service to a defined caseload of service users with complex needs, within the local services working with multi-disciplinary team members and the occupational therapy team. The post holder will be based within the AMHS Autism Team, delivering specialist occupational therapy assessments and interventions for individuals who are autistic or may be presenting with traits of Autism but do not have a confirmed diagnosis of Autism. The role will be based across both Lakeside and Hammersmith and Fulham Mental Health Units, with some in-reach input to other teams (such as Crisis Assessment and Treatment Teams) where appropriate.

To actively develop and implement a framework of care, which reflects a holistic approach to service user needs, and the seven pillars of clinical governance.

To use evidence-based principles to apply clinical skills and reasoning in occupational therapy, assessment, treatment planning, intervention and evaluation which include individual and group orientated approaches. To tailor assessments and interventions to the individuals autism-related needs.

To be a resource for the team, providing, occupational therapy professional guidance, and to lead on the evaluation and continued development of the occupational therapy service for autistic adults within AMHS.

Person Specification Qualifications Essential
  • HCPC Registration
  • BSc (Hons) or equivalent Occupational Therapy qualification
  • Training in positive behavioural support.
  • Training relevant to working with autistic people (such as sensory integration, Social Stories).
  • Training in an OT standardised assessment, e.g. AMPS
Experience Essential
  • Achieved Band 5 OT KSF sub-set (usually through 12 month preceptorship programme)
  • Achieved full KSF outline for Band 5 OT (usually second year post qualified)
  • Experience of working with people who have severe and enduring mental health conditions.
  • Multidisciplinary team working
  • A minimum of two and a half years post qualified experience as an OT (or equivalent role) in a health or social care or voluntary sector setting.
  • Involvement in research and clinical audit.
  • Experience of undertaking sensory assessments and sensory-based interventions.
  • Lived experience of mental health difficulties. Lived experience of autism, either as an autistic person or carer/supporter.
Knowledge/skills Essential
  • Knowledge of mental health difficulties and of a holistic approach to understanding an individual's presentation in the context of wider biopsychosocial aspects.
  • Knowledge and understanding of how mental health difficulties can impact on a person's occupational performance and functioning.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of Autism, including applied understanding of how different aspects of Autism might impact on a person's occupational performance.
  • Models of practice applicable to OT within a mental health setting.
  • An understanding of trauma-informed care.
  • Clinical/case supervision training.

Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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