Current Vacancies

Criminal Justice Mental Health Practitioner, Band 5 (Indicative)

Band 5

Main area
Mental Health
Band 5
37.5 hours per week over 7 day rota (hours of operation 8.00am - 8.00pm / 7.5 hour shifts)
Job ref
£22,128 to £28,746 per annum
28/02/2018 23:59

Somerset Liaison and Diversion Service (LADS) require a qualified mental health or learning disability professional (i.e. mental health or learning disability nurse, social worker, or occupational therapist) to join our growing team.

Somerset Partnership’s Liaison and Diversion Service (LADS) provides a service to individuals appearing at Somerset's criminal courts (Taunton and Yeovil Magistrates’ courts, Taunton Crown Court) and to those who have been arrested and are detainees in police custody (Bridgwater) regardless of their residential address.

The service currently operates 7 days a week between the hours of 8.00am to 8.00pm, with staff working 7.5 hours shifts to cover these hours.

The team operates as part of NHS England’s national liaison and diversion programme (and in partnership with Avon and Wiltshire Partnership, provides a liaison and diversion service to the wider Avon and Somerset area). The team’s primary role is to complete mental health and other vulnerability assessments in criminal justice settings and identify unmet needs with a view to referring on to a range of relevant health and social care services. The team routinely share relevant information with criminal justice agencies (where consent has been obtained) to ensure that wherever offenders are in the criminal justice system, their mental health needs and information about other vulnerabilities are known, enabling the police and courts to make informed decisions about charging and sentencing.

Somerset LADS staff are based in the police custody suites and courts of Somerset, and will work with people of all ages within the criminal justice system where potential mental health, learning disability and other vulnerabilities are identified. You will be responsible for undertaking initial assessments within police custody and the court system, and providing a rapid, high quality, written screening report. You will offer professional guidance, advice and an educative role to colleagues working within the criminal justice system, along with liaison with community services. The service acts as a “first point of contact”, providing mental health advice for people held in police custody or appearing in court, alongside assessment, liaison and facilitating access to appropriate mental health and social care services. You will also be involved in implementing and reviewing referral pathways with the police so that they are able to effectively identify mental health problems and refer to LADS appropriately. In addition, you will compile and present health and social circumstances reports, and facilitate the production of psychiatric reports to court when required.

At times, you may have to give oral opinions to the courts.

As part of a team of qualified workers, you will be part of a rota mainly covering Bridgwater police custody, and Taunton Magistrates’ Court, with the team office being in Bridgwater. You may also need to provide some cover to Yeovil Magistrates’ Court, and be part of a “voluntary attenders” project, a service for those individuals who are suspected of committing an offence but interviewed at a police station or other location voluntarily, rather than being arrested and brought into police custody In the future the team may also provide some cover to North Somerset Magistrates’ Court (Weston).

At times you will be working autonomously, completing rapid assessments and screening reports, but with support available from the Lead LADS practitioner and LADS Band 6 colleagues. There will also be the requirement to regularly record service activity by using a data spreadsheet, and completing monthly data returns as required by the Liaison and Diversion programme.

We are an Equal Opportunities Employer. We welcome applications from people that have personal experience of mental health difficulties.

All posts require a criminal background check via the DBS disclosure

Closing Date: 28th Feb 2018

Shortlisting Date: 1st March 2018

Interview Date:  20th March 2018

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Applicant requirements

You must have appropriate UK professional registration.

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

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Further details / informal visits contact

For an informal discussion, please do not hesitate to contact either John Meacock, Lead Liaison and Diversion Service Practitioner or Ben McEvoy (Team deputy) on 01278 411860.

If you have problems applying, contact

01278 432023