Meet the Team

The staff team here at the Beacon is made up of individuals from a wide range of professions including admin staff, prison officers, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers and nurse therapists. Each staff member holds a role within the unit that is specific to their discipline but also holds a more general practitioner role. Both roles are viewed as equally important in supporting the residents on the unit.

Core practitioner role

Every staff member is expected to adopt this approach. This approach is an attempt to maximise the therapeutic potential of every interaction. It involves validating the experiences of others, sensitively challenging/exploring the men’s clinical and risk presentations and utilising core psychological principles and techniques to achieve the same.

Team secretaries

This role involves receiving referrals at the first point of contact with the referrer, collation of information and providing an administrative service for the team and the service. In addition they are involved in all procurement activities, minute-taking, work as PA to the clinical and operational leads, and supporting the organisation of the staffing rota to ensure that cover is provided at all times.

Clinical lead

The role of the clinical lead is to develop, manage and ensure the delivery of systematic, comprehensive and coherent clinical interventions and a clinical programme which is consistent with the model of intervention as outlined within the service specification for the Beacon. The clinical lead also has responsibility for ensuring the programme is up to date with developments in research and the evidence base for personality disorder treatment and risk management. The clinical lead ensures appropriate supervision, training and support for all members of the team to maintain an effective and appropriate clinical programme. This work is undertaken in partnership with operational managers across the clinical and officer team and with colleagues within the offender PD pathway.

Clinical operational manager

The role of the clinical operational manager is to take lead responsibility for the development, operational management and day to day delivery of the HMP Garth offender personality disorder service, in partnership with HMP Garth key prison personnel. The post-holder maintains an integral role within the partnership to ensure key elements and deliverables are met in accordance with the key principles underpinning the DH and MoJ charter for offender personality disorder services.

Custodial manager

The custodial manager is responsible for the operational running of the service as well as the management of all operational prison staff working on the Beacon. The post-holder ensures that the Beacon operates as a partnership between HMPPS and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and adheres to prison rules, policies and procedures. The custodial manager also has responsibility for delivering staff briefings, attending meetings and ensuring security reports are received and compacts are signed and agreed prior to a prisoner's transfer to the Beacon. Alongside this, the post-holder will also participate in Beacon reviews and referral meetings and in the interview and selection process of both clinical and operational staff.

Prison officer/key worker

A hybrid role that involves prison officer duties whilst also working collaboratively as a core practitioner with clinical staff within the service.


To provide assessment of men referred to the service and to provide assessment and consultation regarding mental health difficulties experienced by residents on the unit, including assessment for medication.


Psychologists in the service work to support both staff and residents in developing a psychological understanding of the type of difficulties experienced by residents and to implement effective psychological interventions. This involves providing 1:1 and group psychological sessions to develop an understanding of the men’s experiences and needs and working collaboratively with all other disciplines in the development and implementation of interventions to bring about positive change and reduce risk.

Assistant psychologist

Assistant psychologists on the unit work under the supervision of qualified clinical psychologists. Assistant Psychologists provide support to residents throughout their time on the Beacon, working collaboratively to develop an understanding of their experiences and provide psychological intervention to support residents in bringing about positive change.

Occupational therapist

Occupational therapists on the unit provide activity and meaningful occupation to develop skills, work towards goals and identify interests through adaptation of activity and providing support to remove barriers to engagement. For further information on occupational therapy please see Appendix 1.

Occupational therapy assistant

Occupational therapy assistants deliver structured and meaningful activity sessions for residents following recommendations from Occupational therapy staff generally based around productivity and leisure occupations.

Social worker

Social workers on the Beacon support the men to develop and maintain relationships with families/friends and wider social support networks. This can be achieved through 1:1, group work sessions and undertaking home visits to family members in the community. This can support the men to repair and build relationships with family members as part of their overall treatment plan. Regular liaison with offender managers and external agencies also allows for a multi-agency and collaborative approach to an individual’s treatment plan. In addition, safeguarding plays an important role of social work on the Beacon, helping people with care and support needs to live lives free from abuse and neglect. This includes working to prevent abuse, minimising risk without taking control away from individuals, and responding proportionately if abuse or neglect has occurred.

Nurse therapist

Nurse therapists at the Beacon work closely with all disciplines, both within the Beacon service and also providing an important liaison service with the wide prison healthcare team. The role involves 1:1 and group work with residents, looking at both mental and physical health needs. In addition, nurse therapists on the unit offer 1:1 structured psychological therapy.

Art therapist

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and help to resolve issues as well as develop and manage behaviours and feelings. It can reduce stress and improve self-esteem and awareness.

The overall aim of practitioners is to enable a client to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe facilitating environment. The art therapist will often work on a 1:1 basis with residents