Lead Practitioner

Location: Craigmillar

Contract Type: Permanent - Full Time

Closing Date: 10 May 2021

Salary: £29,206 Per Annum

Specific Hours: 39 Per Week + Paid On Call

Lead Practitioner

 Job Description

  1. Job Details

Job Title

Lead Practitioner


Line Manager

Strategic Lead




£29,206 FTE



Supported Living


Health & Wellbeing



Thistle Foundation, 13 Queens Walk, Edinburgh, EH16 4EA








  1. Job Purpose

The post holder will develop and deliver holistic self-management and/or self-directed support services and projects to support people with long term condition(s) and/or disabilities. The role will involve developing and maintaining links and coordinating Thistles work with other relevant services, external organisations and local communities. The post holder will develop their competence and practice to support people to achieve their personal outcomes using person centered, solution focused and collaborative strengths based approaches. 
The post holder will contribute to leading, supporting and developing other Thistle workers, volunteers and paid peer supporters by supporting them to develop their knowledge, skills and practice to build positive relationships and achieve the strategic aims of Thistle Foundation.


  1. Main Responsibilities


Seek out and create new opportunities to develop person centred, solution focused, strengths based approaches to working with people and communities.


Liaise with other professionals and leaders in health, local authority, voluntary and community organisations to create meaningful and constructive relationships; and, develop collaborative approaches to delivering support.


Engage in planning and development discussions through team meetings, supervision, reflective practice and the personal review and development process. Seek support from their manager where required.


Contribute to the design, delivery and evaluation of Thistles training and learning programmes by working with the training and consultancy team.


Use the ‘Good Conversations’ approach to help people identify their best hopes and to think creatively about how to plan and use support to achieve their personal outcomes.


Provide one-to-one and group based support, using person centred, solution focused, and collaborative strengths based approaches as appropriate.


Determine how to approach own work within limits agreed with their manager. Effectively manage workload for all delegated tasks or projects.


Coach, mentor and support people to develop  

  • Person centred approaches 
  • Participative leadership 
  • High levels of engagement  
  • Sharing of learning  
  • Capability to interpret and act on information (e.g. service evaluation data, data relating to finances, customer feedback, HR information, family feedback). 
  • Creativity and problem solving approaches 
  • Planning and review approaches


Work with colleagues and teams to ensure that operational out of hours systems are in place and working effectively where required. Participate in management on call system where required. Work flexibly to support out of hours work activities where necessary.


Provide supervision and development support for Thistle workers, volunteers and paid peer supporters as appropriate and agreed


Identify learning requirements for yourself, staff, volunteers and paid peer supporters, and liaise with the training and consultancy team to ensure that these requirements are met via appropriate learning opportunities.


Ensure that staff and/or volunteers are working to Thistle’s Vision, Mission and Manifesto and in ways that are compliant with relevant legislation, policies and procedures.


Monitor and report on aspects of service and/or project performance and quality such as personal outcomes, budgets and other evaluation indicators using agreed tools and processes at regular intervals.


Work with other colleagues to audit, monitor and develop services and/or projects in line with key quality indicators as required. e.g: 

  • Reviews of personal outcomes 
  • Feedback from people accessing services 
  • Complaints 
  • Medication records 
  • Risk assessments 
  • My Life, My Support Plan 
  • New staff completing their in-team induction 
  • Financial procedures


Contribute to the development of organisational strategy by participating in strategic planning workshops and events.


  1. Thistle Approach: Core Competencies



Understanding self

We develop a good understanding of ourselves and the impact we have on other people.  Being genuine, respectful and listening with empathy to other people’s perspectives lies at the heart of all our interactions. We believe this practice is nurtured by the ability to continually reflect on ourselves and the impact we have on others.

Building person centred relationships

We develop supportive, collaborative and enabling relationships. We also believe that people are the experts in their lives and that they are doing their best and that by working alongside people we are more likely to succeed. We reflect on the extent to which we create trust in all our relationships and how well we work within teams.

Making a difference using person centred approaches

We believe that using person centred approaches can be critical to whether people make the changes they want in their lives or not. We do this by focusing on what matters to each person and what they want specifically to achieve including taking life enhancing risks. We always encourage feedback in order to learn and improve on what we do.

Focusing on strengths, resilience and contribution

We believe that people have strengths, skills, knowledge and resilience and the ability to contribute to their own and others’ lives. We need to be flexible and innovative to enable people to share these attributes and make the most of all contributions in order to find creative solutions. We celebrate the successes this brings and build our resilience by learning from setbacks.

Promoting wellbeing, citizenship and community

We believe that everyone is a citizen with rights, responsibilities and a contribution to make to their community. This is only meaningfully possible when you have genuine wellbeing and are fully included in your community. This belief drives the work we do at Thistle so we know we must try to influence the unequal and discriminatory aspects of our society in order to change how things currently are. This requires us to share the ‘Thistle Approach’ more widely and in turn, learn from the world around us. To do this well we must continually reflect on what this means for us as individuals and as an organisation.


  1. Key Contacts and Relationships
  • Strategic leaders and directors 
  • Other professionals and leaders within external organisations 
  • Family members of individual/s or Advocates 
  • Supported Living Teams 
  • Other Thistle Staff and departments 
  • People we Support 
  • Health and Wellbeing Managers 
  • Thistle volunteers and paid peer supporters


  1. Dimensions
  • The post holder may work with a range of teams and individuals  
  • The post holder’s work normally takes place in a supported persons home, in Thistle offices or on the premises of other partners organisations e.g. other voluntary organisations, local authorities or the NHS 
  • This is a permanent/fixed term position 
  • The job holder may have direct reports who are other Thistle workers, volunteers or paid peer supporters  
  • Significant travel/work across Scotland may be required


  1. Job context and other related information
  • The job holder is expected to commit to continually developing a personal understanding of diversity and inclusion in line with the vision, mission and manifesto and strategic aspirations of the Thistle Foundation.


We are looking for a Lead Practitioner to join our Supported Living team on a full-time permanent basis.

This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.

 You will:

  • Lead a small number of teams delivering person centred support to a wide range of people living in their own homes.
  • Work alongside people we support to plan and create great support plans focused on what really matters to them.
  • Support teams to think creatively about all aspects of working with the people we work alongside so they have great lives.
  • Be able to provide teams with strong leadership, which motivates and delivers your passion for really high standards of support. You will be able to provide effective coaching and to give strong direction when required.
  • Set up new services and support the creative use of personal budgets to support people to have great lives.
  • Provide individual supervision to your staff, facilitate regular Practice Development Group meetings, and set clear objectives for all your staff.
  • Have 3 years’ experience in supporting people with disabilities, working in a person centred way, facilitating groups and ideally managing teams, together with excellent organisational and IT skills.
Apply now