Somerset Liaison and Diversion Service (LADS) require a highly motivated and enthusiastic qualified mental health professional (i.e mental health nurse, LD nurse with some mental health experience, social worker, or occupational therapist) to join our growing team, having recently merged with the police custody based drug and alcohol Arrest Intervention Referral Service (AIRS). The service now operates under the name of Advice & Support in Custody & Courts (ASCC).
The team provides an assessment and triaging service to individuals appearing at local criminal courts (Taunton, Yeovil and North Somerset Magistrates’ courts) and to those who have been arrested and are detainees in police custody (Bridgwater). The service 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 is part of NHS England’s national liaison and diversion programme (and in partnership with Avon and Wiltshire Partnership, provides the Advice & Support in Custody & Courts service to the wider Avon and Somerset police area). The team complete mental health and other vulnerability assessments in criminal justice settings with a view to referring on to relevant health and social care agencies as required. We routinely share relevant information with criminal justice agencies (where consent has been obtained) to ensure that wherever individuals are in the criminal justice system, their mental health needs and information about other vulnerabilities are known, helping the police and courts to make informed decisions about charging and sentencing.
Practitioners are based in police custody and court, and will work with people of all ages within the criminal justice system where potential mental health, learning disability and other vulnerabilities are identified. Practitioners are 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.
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 will also need to provide some cover to Yeovil and North Somerset 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. 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 complete monthly data returns as required by the Liaison and Diversion programme.
The team sits within Somerset Partnership’s Forensic Liaison Service, providing excellent opportunities for additional training and access to a wide range of professional expertise.
Please do not re-apply if you have already been unsuccessful for this post.
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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Closing Date: 28th Nov 2018
Interview Date: 11th Dec 2018.
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