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   Liz's story 

I trained as a Mental Health Nurse in London after working as a Healthcare Support Worker for a number of years in an Adult Mental Health inpatient Hospital.

Once I qualified I decided to move back to Southampton and saw a role within Bluebird House which is a medium secure forensic CAMHS site. Although I had done a placement in community with CAMHS I had never considered it as a career path.

Bluebird House is a well-known site and I heard lots of different things about working there. I was very career minded and I wanted to upskill myself in risk, self-harm, violence and aggression. When I visited Bluebird I could see that not only could I make a difference to young people but I could also reach my personal development goals so I decided to join the nursing team.

The young people we work with are very challenging but looking after them is incredibly rewarding. Unlike adult sites you feel you can help them before they reach adulthood and we have a very high success rate. Many of the young people we help will have had other placements breakdown before being admitted to Bluebird so we spend a lot of time building a relationship with them by providing a safe, controlled environment where we act as role models.

There are lots of fun times at Bluebird and we get to do lots of fun things with the Young people both inside Bluebird and on visits outside. I can honestly say life is never boring and being part of the nursing team is unbelievably interesting.

We are a nationally commissioned service and can offer lots of opportunities for development in CBT, DBT, Advanced Nurse Practitioner as well as many others.

My name is Liz and I am now one of the Ward Managers at Bluebird. If you are a qualified or newly qualified Nurse, I would encourage you to come down and see for yourself what life at Bluebird is like.


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  Why work in specialised services?

Our specialised mental health services provide secure and intensive support for both male and female patients from the age of 12. We currently have 5 specialised services including two Children and Adolescent Mental Health units.

Some of the patients within these units have been detained under the Mental Health Act or have committed a crime. The patients admitted to our specialised service units present with a range of mental health issues including psychosis, personality disorder and depression or eating disorders.

Our current units are:

Ashford Ward | A 10-bed inpatient low secure learning disability ward for men. 

Bluebird House | A specialist, forensic medium secure mental health inpatient unit for young people. 

Southfield | A 28-bed specialist low secure forensic mental health inpatient unit for adults.

Ravenswood House | A medium secure unit for adults with serious mental illness.

Leigh House is an acute adolescent psychiatric unit for young people between the ages of 12 to 18 years. This unit doesn't admit anyone who has committed a crime or that is held under the criminal justice act. Leigh House treats young people with a variety of mental health illnesses and has specialist eating disorders beds.

At all our sites we have a Multi-Disciplinary team made up of Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, medical teams and many more to ensure all the needs of our patients are met. Our teams are dedicated to providing the best possible care for our patients with the aim of recovery and allowing the patient to return to the community.        

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  Living in Hampshire

Hampshire is based in the centre of the South Coast. As well as the idyllic New Forest National Park we have some the country’s best beaches and coastline on our doorstep. If it’s culture you’re after then we have the historical cities of Portsmouth, Winchester and Salisbury within easy reach. There’s some amazing museums such as Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstoke and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with the prestigious Mary Rose.

The county is served with some great travel links with quick and easy access to London. Southampton also has its own airport with large motorways including M3 and M27 serving the whole area.

If you like to be kept busy then we can help here too. Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester have a great range of shops, restaurants and bars with fantastic leisure facilities. You can pop on the ferry to Isle of Wight and join in with the annual music festival. There are also regular Farmers’ Markets held in villages across the county selling fresh, local produce and a range of homemade treats.

For those of you who enjoy sport we have a county cricket team and a premier league football team. If you love the water, then Hampshire is for you! We host Cowes Week sailing event, and a kite surfing festival every year. There are also many opportunities for kayaking, windsurfing and SUP.

If you currently live further afield then, get in touch to enquire about our attractive relocation packages and join us to enjoy south coast living.


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  Meet Beth

"As soon as I started to care for people with dementia I immediately fell in love with it."

 Beth Lawrence, Older People's Mental Health Nurse 


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Meet Tracey

“With the right training and the right outlook, CAMHS can be an enormously fulfilling career.”

Tracey Bogalski, Modern Matron 


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 Meet Richard

"Making a difference to people’s lives is so rewarding."

 Richard Ilsey, Head of Nursing 



Who are we?

Southern Health is one of the largest NHS Foundation Trusts in the country, specialising in mental health, adult and child community health and learning disability services. Whatever you’re looking for from your career, with over 6,000 employees, you’ll find it at Southern Health.

There are hundreds of opportunities to expand your skills through our diverse range of services. As well as our inpatients services and community contacts we run a wide range of specialist services including diabetes care, frailty services, MRI scanning, an eating disorder service, stalking clinics and an award winning perinatal service. We also have a range of secure services including a specialist unit for young people aged 12 -18. Our research team is dedicated to conducting research into many areas of mental and physical health and you will have the opportunity to be part of our studies.

We passionate about providing remarkable care and we’re looking for people that share our mindset. People want different things from their career and we’re here to find the perfect package that’s right for you. From making sure you have time for family, working on the other passions in your life or finding the next rung on the career ladder, we can support you.



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