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Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Lead for Forensic Social Work and Safeguarding

Job Type



North West



£41,659 - £47,672

Posted Date

27 October 2022


Closing Date

6 November 2022

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Social Worker to join Secure & SPLD Division within Mersey Care. We are looking to recruit a dynamic and skilled Social Worker into a band 7 Lead for Forensic Social Work and Safeguarding post at Whalley Hospital to work across the Low Secure Unit providing leadership to the social work teams .

The service will transfer from Whalley Lancashire to Maghull Health Park Liverpool, in September 2023, the designated place of work will change to Maghull Health Park. Potential applicants need to be aware that this will require a change to office base.

Shortlisting is planned for: 7th November 2022

Interviews are planned for: 11th November 2022

Main duties of the job

The Whalley LSU services provide care and treatment to patients detained under the Mental Health Act who require their care to be delivered within conditions of low security. Patients routinely have complex needs associated with a severe and enduring mental illness and or learning disability. Patients may also present a risk of offending or challenging behavioural needs which may be associated with significant risk.

The successful candidate will be experienced at working with Forensic populations and have experience working in a Lead role. They will be required to work closely with colleagues from other disciplines to assess needs and risks within a population of users of forensic services and their families. We are looking for someone with the ability to work collaboratively whilst maintaining professional independence. The successful applicant will work initially at Whalley LSU services but may be asked to work in any part of the secure and spLD division in order to meet service need.

Applicants must be qualified Social Workers, registered with Social Work England and have relevant experience in a leadership role.

Working for our organisation

Mersey Care is one of the largest trusts providing physical health and mental health services in the North West, serving more than 11 million people.

We offer specialist inpatient and community services that support physical and mental health and specialist inpatient mental health, learning disability, addiction and brain injury services. Mersey Care is one of only three trusts in the UK that offer high secure mental health facilities.

At the heart of all we do is our commitment to ‘perfect care’ – care that is safe, effective, positively experienced, timely, equitable and efficient. We support our staff to do the best job they can and work alongside service users, their families, and carers to design and develop future services together. We’re currently delivering a programme of organisational and service transformation to significantly improve the quality of the services we provide and safely reduce cost as we do so.

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

You will be an active member of a multi-disciplinary team and will bring the social care perspective to service planning meetings and individualised care planning. The role involves providing case management to a defined caseload within the CPA framework and working collaboratively with multidisciplinary colleagues to assess needs and risks within a forensic patient population. You will provide a professional social work service to patients, their families and carers and routinely liaise with external stakeholders from the point of admission to discharge.

The successful candidate will have the ability to deliver an efficient and high quality social care service, have well developed assessment and analytical skills alongside effective interpersonal, communication and organisational skills.

You must have good knowledge of the key relevant Health & Social Care and Criminal Justice legislation to work in a forensic setting as well as a good knowledge around safeguarding frameworks. You should have well developed report writing skills as routinely you will be required to complete mental health legislation reports for Manager’s Hearings and Tribunals alongside assessment reports for admission and discharge.

Person specification


Essential criteria

• Degree in Social Work or DipSW or CQSW. • Current Social Work England registration. • Post-qualifying training (formally or work based) in relevant areas of social work and/or mental health, learning disability or forensics. Evidence of significant continuing professional and personal development.

Desirable criteria

• Masters Degree (MSW) or Post Graduate (PGDipSW) • Qualifications relating to the Mental Capacity Act, e.g., Best Interest Assessor. • Practice Educator qualification 1 & 2 (PEPS). • Approved Mental Health Professional Qualification.

Knowledge and Experience
Essential criteria

• Suitable post qualifying experience as a Social Worker. • Good working knowledge of legislative guidance and policy e.g., Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act, Care Act, Human Rights Act and criminal justice frameworks e.g., MAPPA, Victim Liaison, MARAC and Carers’ Rights. • Knowledge and application of professional standards, codes of conduct and Social Work England standards of proficiency and Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). • Good working understanding of Information Governance, Data Protection and confidentiality. • Ability to assess and manage complex cases in a multidisciplinary team setting. • Skilled at assessing and implementing risk management frameworks. • Skilled at assessing and promoting the involvement of people in developing their own care/ support plans using a strength and asset based approach. • An understanding of Equality, Inclusion and protected characteristics. • Experience of working with service users with mental disorders and/or learning disabilities. • Experience of multidisciplinary team working and promoting social work/social care. • Experience of presenting reports in formal setting, e.g., Courts, Mental Health Tribunals, Safeguarding Strategy. • Experience in working with families. • Experience of child and adult safeguarding.

Desirable criteria

• Experience of working with forensic service users. • Experience of supervising others

Essential criteria

• Continuous Improvement • Accountability • Respectfulness • Enthusiasm • Support • High professional standards • Responsive to service users • Engaging leadership style • Strong customer service belief • Transparency and honesty • Discreet • Change oriented

Essential criteria

• To be able to practice safely and effectively within scope of practice. • To be able to practice within the legal and ethical boundaries of Social Work profession. • Understand the key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to Social Work profession. • Be able to draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform practice. • Develop written documents including report writing relevant for practice. • An ability to manage time, prioritise work and meet deadlines. • To be able to practice as an autonomous professional. • To be able to communicate effectively. 29/06/2022 • To be able to build compassionate and effective relationships. • To be able to maintain records appropriate. • Interpersonal skills and resilience to manage complex clinical case work. • Written and verbal communication skills to engage with patients, carers and professionals. • Well-developed analytic and judgement skills, dealing with complex situations where required to lead on professional social work opinions


We celebrate diversity and promote equal opportunities; we are committed to challenging and eliminating racism and other forms of discrimination and advancing and promoting equality of opportunity in the provision of services and creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We believe that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Please ensure you check the email account from which you apply.

All information regarding your application will come from not NHS Jobs. Only those applicants who demonstrate clearly how they meet our person specification will be shortlisted for interview.

Should you require a reasonable adjustment to our recruitment process please contact the recruitment team to ensure that measures can be put in place to support you.

We reserve the right to close any vacancy earlier than advertised in exceptional circumstances once we have received a high volume of applications.

The Trust expects all post holders who require an enhanced DBS for their role subscribe to the DBS Update Service. You will be required to enrol for this service for a fee of £13 per year and maintain registration. Trans applicants who require a DBS check and do not want to reveal details of their previous identity can contact the DBS Sensitive Applications Team (01516761452 or email with their application number once they have completed their DBS application form. The team is able to prevent any previous identity showing on the DBS Certificate, unless the applicant has a conviction under their previous details in which case this will need to be disclosed.

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