LuckyG89 wrote:Hey I would love some extra info on the post...I am currently filling in the application so would be helpful to know what they look for and what exactly it is they do
Ok, you have to bare with me because the post literally is as vague as it sounds so forgive me if this doesn't leave you too better educated...
What they look for: - On the course at the moment there's people of all ages and all experiences. Most of us are Psychology graduates, some with Masters, some without but some people have Sociology or other Social Science degrees.
They're not hugely clear on this but the post literally is very novel and you will find yourself having to explain your role to pretty much everyone you come into contact with in the NHS. With that in mind I think they're looking for people with a bit of a drive for making a difference. The theory is to provide a generic role, someone flexible who can adapt their training and knowledge to aid different members of the multidisciplinary team. For instance I worked on an Acute Inpatient Psychiatric ward so rather than having another student nurse there learning how to risk assessments and medication, they had someone who could liaise with Psychotherapy, Day Therapy and Occupational Therapy to organise and help run therapeutic groups. They had someone who comes from a non Medical background with insight into various disciplines and who can work effectively across them.
As you;d only be the 3rd cohort of this program in London you are paving the way for future Trainees and helping to make their transition easier as well as helping to increase the notoriety of this position. With that in mind you need to be prepared to stick by what it says on your Job Description which involves a lot of being assertive to managers that you need to be involved in X, Y, or Z. NHS services are overstretched and so I can see why it's easy to view a position like this as another Support Worker or student nurse or just another pair of hands in general and so I think the coordinators of this program are looking for someone who is prepared to speak up when they believe their skills are not being used to the advantage of the service in the way that they should be.
You have PPD groups to discuss this in and get support / advice about what to do if this is the case.
They look for caring people who are passionate about mental health and prepared to go the extra mile.
An important thing to remember is that you're doing a PGDip alongside working and sometimes you have essay submissions due when you are in work and so good prioritising skills are a must have.
- what exactly they do: - This is the tricky question. I can only speak for Barnet Enfield & Haringey (BEH) Mental Health Trust. 3 trusts are involved in the program; BEH, Camden & Islington (C&I) and Central North West London (CNWL) and all fund a certain number of people through the course as well as employing them. You'll be provided information on all of these and asked to give a preference for who you wish to work for.
In BEH we had 2 clinical placements. The first placement was an Acute placement. I was placed on an Acute Psychiatric Inpatient ward which focussed on assessing and treating acutely unwell individuals with severe and enduring Depression and Anxiety, people who had attempted to take their own lives and people experiencing Psychotic episodes. Other placements included: Psychiatric Intensive Care Units, Home Treatment Teams, Dementia, Occupational Therapy and Day Therapy. Duties vary from placement to placement as is the way with this post. I was able to get involved in and observe assessments, attend tribunals and Care Program Approach reviews as well as co-facilitate Patient Community Meetings and therapeutic groups. Members of the Home Treatment team mostly went on home visits to provide clients with medication and reassurance. People in the Dementia service worked in the Day Unit supporting clients as well as in the memory clinic. Day therapy members saw clients from the community as well as spending time carrying out activities with inpatients from Psychiatric wards.
Our second placement was a community placement. I currently work for the Complex Care Team which was previously Psychological Therapies. I am very lucky to be supervised by a Counselling Psychologist. I am also lucky to be carrying out a program of Behavioural Activation with a client with Anxiety so I have been required to research this and how it can be used to tackle Anxiety and I carry this out in a self directed way with Supervision from a Consultant / Professor. I attend team meetings and work with 2 Associate Mental Health Workers who did the course last year and wer offered a job here (so there are good job prospects). Other people's placements include START, which is a signposting service where Trainee Mental Health Workers help assess people and point them in the right direction for the help they need, an Eating Disorders service, Home Treatment Team etc. Some Trainees have been involved in research and audit projects. There's scope and room if you can back it up with a good reason to gain any experience you want. Some people have been sent on Motivational Interviewing courses.
Mostly you have access to client care plans and have a hand in reviewing and updating these, you have a hand in risk assessing the clients you work with and engaging in interventions with them.
I hope this has, at least in part, answered your questions. I'm happy to expand on anything you're not clear on. I wish I could be clearer but the nature of the job is so diverse that it's hard for me to give you an idea of exactly what you'll be doing. This job is what you make of it to be honest. You can get as much or as little out of it as you want but where else can you work with every discipline you can think of in mental health services!