Current vacancies

Go to a more accessible version of this jobs board
Please wait, loading

Mental Health Practitioner

NHS AfC: Band 6

Main area
Mental Health Practitioner
NHS AfC: Band 6
Fixed term: 1 year (Potential extension)
  • Full time
  • Part time
  • Job share
  • Flexible working
37.5 hours per week (37.5 hours per week)
Job ref
Sandridge Gate Business Centre
St Albans
£33,922 - £40,872 per annum (pro rata if applicable) plus HCAS
Salary period
30/01/2022 23:59
Interview date

Job overview

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 Mental Health Practitioners to join our Mental Health Support Team (MHST) who is committed to supporting Children and Young People (CYP) and their families across Hertfordshire.



Main duties of the job

The ideal candidate will:

  • Be creative and flexible in their approach
  • Have a good understanding of children with additional needs learning styles, and how to adapt practice to support children and their families
  • Be able to work and build relationships with a wide variety of professionals, schools, and families
  • Have a good understanding of risk assessing and how to risk manage.
  • Be able to provide supervision and support to members of the team
  • Have a willingness to participate in the MHST supervisor’s course
  • Be flexible in their approach and have resilience under pressure
  • Be able to work both in a team environment and autonomously

Be able to maintain a high degree of professionalism when working in settings where there is a highly emotive atmosphere

Working for our organisation

The Mental Health Support Team is a National trailblazer scheme offering early intervention mental health support, to children and their families, within schools. The Sen’s MHST is the only MHST within the country, to offer support to SEN schools we are hosted by PALMS and work within Hertfordshire and West Essex. We currently work in 14 SEN schools offering tailored support to children with additional needs, learning disabilities, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder aged 5-18. We offer group work, individual interventions with child or family, and support the school to develop their whole school approach to overall wellbeing. As the only SEN’s MHST in the country we are also paving the way, and supporting other teams to develop their wellbeing services, for children with additional needs.

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

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.

PALMS principally deliver a flexible service according to need and personal circumstances, 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 post is Fixed Term until 2023 with potential of extension. You will be working in a variety of school environments across Hertfordshire and West Essex, combined with being part of a “virtual team” to deliver our service

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 MHST role such as co-facilitating workshops.
  • Regular opportunities to meet as a team
  • Regular CPD and Peer Reflection
  • Opportunities to work closely with a multi-disciplinary team including from PALMS and Crisis service, learning from other evidence-based frameworks and approaches.
  • Involvement in service development
  • Opportunities to provide line management and clinical supervision to other members of the MHST team
  • 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 30 January 2022 with interviews running Friday 11 February 2022. Interviews will be run using Microsoft Teams and full details and instructions will be provided to successful candidates.

Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment (VCOD) for Healthcare Workers - Candidates offered a role with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, who are aged 18 and over and who will have direct, face to face contact with service users as part of their role will be required to evidence that they have received a complete course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, subject to limited exceptions, by no later than 1 April 2022. This will include front-line workers, as well as non-clinical workers not directly involved in patient care but who nevertheless may have direct, face to-face contact with patients, such as receptionists and ward clerks.

Person specification

Qualifications & Training

Essential criteria
  • Qualification relevant to child mental health at postgraduate level or accredited as a mental health practitioner within a core profession (Social Care, Nursing, Allied Health Professional, and Clinical Psychologists)
  • Experience in relevant mental health/learning disability setting.
  • Membership of relevant professional bodies
Desirable criteria
  • Further training in relevant areas of Autism, Learning Disability and mental health.
  • Mentoring and assessing students qualification
  • Training in a specific mental health intervention such as CBT, attachment focused or systemic psychotherapy

Experience & Knowledge

Essential criteria
  • Relevant experience of working with children or young people with emerging mental health needs
  • Post qualification experience of working within a CAMHS or Child Mental Health related field Multi-professional working/case management
  • Experience of risk assessment within a mental health or learning disability setting.
  • Comprehensive assessment skills, including mental health assessments
  • Experience of working clinically in a mental health and/or learning disability setting assessing, containing and managing complex cases in a multidisciplinary setting
Desirable criteria
  • Experience of working within an education setting
  • Recognised experience of working with a specific therapeutic approach. e.g. CBT, Family Therapy
  • Service development and Change Management

Skills & Abilities

Essential criteria
  • An understanding of the needs of children and young people with mental health problems
  • The ability to provide and implement an appropriate needs-led assessment
  • Knowledge of legislation and policy regarding the provision of Mental Health care/services and other relevant legislation
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective links with statutory and non-statutory agencies
  • Knowledge of research methodology and research design to inform service development
Desirable criteria
  • Experience of service development/leading change


Essential criteria
  • Hold a full, valid, UK driving licence and have access to a car to use for business purposes (unless you have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010)
Apprenticeships logoNo smoking policyHSJ Best places to workDisability confident employerCare quality commission - GoodStep into health

Applicant requirements

You must have appropriate UK professional registration.

This post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020 and it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Documents to download

Apply online now

Further details / informal visits contact

Sarah Garvey
Job title
MHST Team Lead
Email address
Telephone number
01727 732031