AMHP workforce faces squeeze with third over 55, warnings over lack of trainees and increased workload

Figures highlight ageing workforce as Mental Health Act reforms herald need for increased numbers and sector leader warns employers putting too few people forward for training

mental health act
Photo: Gary Brigden

The approved mental health professional (AMHP)  workforce faces a significant squeeze, with one-third aged 55 or over, government reforms heralding a need for increased numbers and warnings over a lack of trainees.

In a government-commissioned workforce briefing, published this week, Skills for Care estimated that of the 3,900 AMHPs in England in 2020, 33% were over 55, compared with 23% of all social workers.

The findings come at a time when government reforms to the Mental Health Act suggest the AMHP workforce would need to grow by 7% above current estimates by 2023-24. In addition, AMHPs are due to take on a new role in May referring people in mental health crisis treatment to have a moratorium placed on certain debts while their treatment continues.

However, AMHP leads network lead Steve Chamberlain warned that local authorities and NHS trusts were struggling to put practitioners forward for training because of the challenge of backfilling their roles.

The data revealed the AMHP workforce had grown by 1% since 2019, from 3,850 to 3,900. Last year’s briefing estimated the workforce had shrunk by 4% since 2018, but Skills for Care has now determined this to be incorrect and estimated it had decreased by just 1%.

Similarly to 2019, the 2020 briefing showed that 65% of AMHPs combined their role with another and 11% were not primarily working as an AMHP or regularly on the AMHP rota. Just 24% of AMHPs solely performed that role.

Ageing workforce ‘a constant anxiety’

Chamberlain said while the data around the ageing workforce was not surprising, it was a “constant anxiety to a certain extent”.

He said it was inherently challenging to train AMHPs as they required two years of post-qualifying experience, while training courses then ranged from six months full-time to one-two years part-time.

However, he added that employers were increasingly struggling to send people on training because of the challenge of backfilling their roles.

“If you release staff for a major piece of training, who’s going to take on their work? Once upon a time you were backfilled routinely, now you aren’t and a lot of places will only release one person per year for training for example, so that struggles to maintain the numbers,” he said.

Chamberlain added: “If you want to increase numbers you’re going to have to send a group of people, which will increase pressure on the whole service because they are going to be away for their day-to-day work for three or four months.”

The Skills for Care briefing highlighted the challenge of recruiting AMHPs from the other eligible professions – nursing, occupational therapy and psychology – with social workers accounting for 95% of staff performing the role.

Another challenge highlighted by the research was that the pay premium for social workers in being an AMHP had declined, from £3,500 in 2018 to £2,700 in 2020.

Demand ‘constantly increasing’

While Chamberlain said it was positive the AMHP workforce wasn’t shrinking, as previously thought, demand was “constantly increasing”, an issue exacerbated by the pandemic, which had affected both the numbers of AMHPs available and the scale of demand.

He said the other concern was the potential changes to the Mental Health Act, currently out for consultation, which could see the AMHP role expanded.

The White Paper proposals would involve an increased workload for AMHPs, particularly through more involvement in renewals of community treatment orders, and also moots a new role for AMHPs in managing transfers of people from prisons or immigration removal centres to hospitals.

The impact assessment on the White Paper states that, by 2023-24, the full-time equivalent AMHP workforce would need to grow by 7% above current projections to take on their proposed responsibilities, excluding the suggested prison transfer role.

AMHPs are already due to take on a new role later this year, assessing people receiving mental health crisis services who are in debt so they can gain access to a freeze on their debt repayments and any enforcement action for the duration of their treatment plus a month.

‘Even greater pressure’

“Local authorities are already struggling in terms of staffing and responding to demand is going to be an even greater pressure,” Chamberlain said.

Under the Mental Health Act code of practice, local authorities are required to ensure that sufficient numbers of AMHPs are available to carry out their roles under the act.

The government’s 2019 national workforce plan for AMHPs stated that councils should monitor, among other issues:

  • the number of AMHPs required to provide a service across 24 hours;
  • the workforce and succession planning needed to ensure the ongoing sufficiency of AMHPs;
  • the pressures on the AMHP role, including out of hours;
  • regional differences in pay or conditions affecting recruitment or retention.

It also said that Social Work England, which is responsibility for monitoring AMHP training, should “consider the reform and development of AMHP training courses to ensure improved accessibility whilst quality is maintained”.

28 Responses to AMHP workforce faces squeeze with third over 55, warnings over lack of trainees and increased workload

  1. Terry McClatchey March 5, 2021 at 4:53 pm #

    We always need to be careful when talking about raw numbers of AMHPs. Many who are qualified in that role don’t do it full-time time. They may work part-time or combine the role with other duties such as BIA or generic adult or out-of-hours services. That is not a bad thing in itself but in working out the numbers who need to be qualified (and who may also take on the new AMCP roles), a more sophisticated approach is required if LAs are to assure that adequate capacity is available.

  2. Anonymous March 5, 2021 at 8:50 pm #

    There need to be real safeguards in place to protect those at the raw end of shortages of experienced AMHPs.

    The changes coming are all about imposing even more severely traumatising assessment and detention on individuals where already for at least 7yrs + it has been de facto policy to contrive removing P from their home or holding them under the MCA in the ED. Because of AMPH and EDT shortages.

    Because MH Trusts don’t have ANY crisis response in place outside of telephone lines. Or ED attendance or hubs where the severely unwell person is now required to make an appt to attend.

    At THAT point and from when it was agreed to abuse the MCA AMHPs should have spoken out but for professionals with such power they have been unacceptably quiet about the abuses of the MH system.

    MH Trusts dont promote alternative crisis interventions because that means funding goes elsewhere.
    It is that simple.
    It’s a protectionist system.
    Where P is never at the centre.

    You also have to ask what responsibility, if any, the social worker workforce take in monopolising the role.
    Why aren’t other professionals taking on the role?
    You have to look much further back at recruitment to training courses to change some of the ingrained cultures that mean other professionals see MH as something too dangerous to touch.

    If AMHPs concerned their role is growing but numbers falling then actively and loudly promote non NHS crisis interventions where those who cannot engage with MH or are excluded can be safe.
    Ppl don’t ask for help because MH services are considered unsafe .
    Safety is often a place where no referrals or gatekeeping or risk assessments are in place.
    Different culture completely to the current crisis pathways.

    Thereby allowing for crisis support without threat of often unlawful violent detentions and removals with the inevitable reduction of need for MHA assessments that will follow.

    ALL the severely traumatised P and family experience right now is a system where the fracture lines between professions is glaring.

    Give us examples of how AMHPs have a formal organised professional presence at CCG and funders meetings .

    Give us egs of where AMHPs have actually canvassed those they assessed to ask what would have prevented .
    Where is the organised formal presence in planning services?

    Give us egs of where there have been active co working with the 3rd sector because at the raw end no one sees any .

    MH is a monopoly. There is NO choice of provider. And that is why the problems in crisis care exist because there us no alternative.

    That creates a stale pressurised violent system where ALL anyone hears about the AMHP role is how impossible it is to do well. Or at all.
    And in turn makes it deeply unattractive to other professionals.

    Imagine being the unwell individual or family harmed by the politics of all this.
    For this is what it is.

    Divert funding away from the NHS in crisis care and pressure on AMHPs will fall.
    After all, it is what pts, families and carers have been saying for 20 yrs.
    The answers do not lie with any professional group or statutory agency.
    It lies with those who have been severely harmed by these failings.

  3. Andrea J. March 7, 2021 at 12:05 am #

    The assumed reluctance of non-social workers not wanting to become AMHPs are a lot more complex than the suggestion that we are scared to practice. I am an AMPH who just happens to be an OT by professional background. By and large this seems to annoy my social work AMPH colleagues.The undermining and the disparaging comments about how professionals like me lack the supposed inherent aptitude of social workers as AMPHs is actually quite unpleasant. But we plough on. If social workers dained to be respectful and supportive others from different backgrounds would come forward more readily. If I was younger and less confident I would wilt from the ‘banter’. The numbers game is a red herring actually. As long as there are safely available AMHPs to cover the work or the rota it’s actually irrelevant whether staff work full time or part time. Be less arrogant about social worker uniqueness and services will have a broader range of AMHPs. Who knows we might than have an emergency mental health response that embraces health and tratment as its focus rather than the pseudo lawyering that seems to obsess social worker AMHPs.

  4. Abigail March 7, 2021 at 8:13 am #

    Perhaps if mental health services didn’t put AMHPs as their core response, we would have a more holistic care system. But that is potentially more costly so we have to pretend that thousands of people can only be cared for if they are hauled away to hospital. It would be good to hear AMHPs acknowledge that in the debate about more personalised mental health services, the over reliance on them to flood inpatient beds is actually a hindrance. What we actually need is fewer AMHPs so that we have space to think about future person centered care. Strange that a mainly social worker led service is so subservient to Health Trusts.

  5. Alan Hopkirk March 7, 2021 at 10:18 am #

    Perhaps if the myth of the omnipotent AMHP with extraordinary powers denied the rest of us was challenged more vigorously we wouldn’t have the inevitable outcome that comes with rigid minds and preserved exclusivity. Set yourselves up as an elite squad and of course numbers over time will dwindle as you age.This is what happens when social workers live in self regulated echo chambers. Thankfully we have the MHRT to hold AMHPs to account. Certainly BASW and AMHP Leads Network don’t have any inclination to tackle the privileges of AMHPs. But perhaps I have a warped view. Having been hauled out of my home with threats and harassed by AMPHs more interested in grandstanding to doctors and the police than seeing my distress, I dont really have much respect let alone trust in the ‘independence’ of AMPHs.

  6. Jerry March 7, 2021 at 9:15 pm #

    That 24% of the workforce practice exclusively as AMHPs is a more concerning statistic than the other points being made here. Given that the core tasks of the AMHP role involves zero social work skills, the new expectation of debt management will disproportionately fall to those AMPHs who have developed relationship based skills through their diverse caseloads. How and who is going to address that skill deficit?

  7. Ex AMHP March 8, 2021 at 9:44 am #

    Given that the sole function of AMHPs is to enforce the Mental Health Act I am not sure why the training is so long. Stop trying to couple the AMHP role with human rights, liberty, anti-discrimination and any other activity. That’s the antithesis of the role. We all need to feel righteous but really all the fluffiness that tries to obscure the reality of the role is not honest.The MHA allows AMPHs to force admission to a hospital from which the person can’t leave, in which they can be treated and medicated by force, where all individual choice is denied. This is not comparable with the Human Rights act. Hospitals and non-consensual treatments do have a place but don’t pretend that it needs 6 months to train how to section people. As with most of social work today, there is a desire to pretend to complexity when the tasks are little more than mechanistic bureaucracy. I commend Alan Hopkirk for cutting through the pretence and showing us the reality.

  8. Nigel Drummond March 8, 2021 at 12:02 pm #

    Perhaps Steve Chamberlain or the AMHPs commenting here can tell us how much of the many hours it seems that is needed to organise and conduct an assessment is spent with the person being ‘assessed’?

  9. Jay March 8, 2021 at 7:39 pm #

    This is what’s wrong with social work. Dominated by the white, middle class and middle-aged. I am a newly qualified social worker on my ASYE. My manager told me today people don’t get promoted unless they are liked and you have to play the game, I thought I wouldn’t have to do that when i left the Army. What happened to hard work and merit. So it makes it hard for a young black enthusiastic social worker who has ambitions of becoming a senior leader, those hopes seem very dim.

    Coming to the end of my ASYE, I found out that Local Authority Social Work is toxic and very institutionally racist. Would I relish the opportunity to do the AMHP training? Most definitely. Would I get the opportunity, most likely not. I’m black, I am very outspoken and they aren’t used to that :).

  10. Adrian March 8, 2021 at 9:53 pm #

    Black, scum class but it’s true I am a tad over middle aged. Two out of three so no bullseye Jay. Dont worry though. If you put yourself forward for AMHP training once your two years are up, white guilt will jump at the chance to prove how empowering they are. Whether you will want to practice as an AMHP so you can help incarcerate a disproportionate number of fellow black citizens is the point however. I know the twists I contort to make me believe I do good as a black AMHP. Merit? No chance given we also work in the embrace of capitalism in social work. You are not in the army now, social work doesnt scour the unemployed working class for its recruits. “The game is the game” as my privately educated but proud black manager used to say before she scampered off to the City of London to truly embrace self improvement, or something.

  11. Andrea March 9, 2021 at 10:17 am #

    That social work is middle class, mainly white and suffers delusions about being anti-racist is a given.That social workers are so demoralised, so rudderless, so de-motivated that their primary focus is to become leaders as soon as possible and leave frontline practice says a lot more. I’ve yet to meet a newly qualified junior doctor whose aspirations is to become a medical bureaucrat at the earliest opportunity. The ‘profession’ should take a moment to reflect on that. When I was forced to leave Liverpool to get a job in London, my Scouse accent was more of a ‘problem’ for my colleagues then me being black. But then most northerners worth their intelligence have always understood class prejudice. Time it caught on again.

  12. Janet Tallgate March 9, 2021 at 2:33 pm #

    Dear Nigel, I am not an AMHP or a social worker but I have had a relative sectioned so can reply to your question from a relatives point of view. We waited 3 days for an AMHP to respond to our GP when she phoned them about my uncle. They contacted the family on the 4th day. This was our first contact with social workers although my uncle was at that time in known to health services. After a cursory identification the AMHP asked us who lived with my uncle, was he married, did he have children. My aunt was in hospital on the day having had an operation few days before. As soon as we said this the social worker told us he could not discuss any further as the nearest relative was not available. We had no idea what the nearest relative was and said we are his relatives but he terminated our call saying he was bound by confidentiality and could not discuss the “matter”with us. I remember the term “matter” as if he said it just a minute ago, it was so impersonal and hard to our ears. He did not ask us which hospital my aunt was in. He apparently than rang our GP to say the assessment could not go ahead as he wasn’t able to locate my aunt. Anyway our GP gave him the details. On the 5th day, by which time my uncle had tried to jump off the balcony, we hadn’t heard so on the advice of our GP called the police, who asked paramedics to visit. They cane and were brilliant. They took my uncle to A&E where it was decided he needed to be admitted. He refused so they called the mental health team. I am sorry this is so long winded. My uncle was eventually admitted to a psychiatric ward on the 7th day of our GP contacting them. I don’t know if this is usual as thankfully we have had no reason to use that service again but I can tell you that our experience was of the social worker being abrupt and very much about what the law said. This is right of course but we would have been reassured by a bit of warmth. That’s the family experience. As for my uncle, the A&E doctor told us that the 3 people that saw him spent about half an hour with him in the cubicle. I would say that in the 7 days it took for my uncle to be admitted his wife, and us included, the social worker one hour with the family and my uncle. As I say this may not be always like this but our experience is that the social worker spends very little with the family and the ill person. It must be very difficult to do this job but please remember you might know every thing about this process but most families are just bewildered and the ill person very scared so please be patient and kind if we are being annoying, we don’t mean to be.

    • Ruth Cartwright March 10, 2021 at 10:30 am #

      I think this is all fair comment Janet, and I am sorry you had such a bad experience. Technically the SW had a point but as you say could have been kinder and more informative. Yes, s/he could well have been frantically busy, but we must never forget the need to show empathy and to keep people informed about processes and procedures.

  13. Ruth Cartwright March 9, 2021 at 3:08 pm #

    It is the job of the AMHP to carry out a mental health assessment and establish what resources would be available to meet the need of the person and mitigate danger to themselves or others. It is not their job to ‘section’ people, and that should be a last resort. AMHPs are in a good position along with patients and their supporters to be pointing out the lack of community-based alternatives to hospital and stating what is needed. Do they?

  14. Arthur March 9, 2021 at 9:23 pm #

    Given the over capacity occupation of hospital wards, its clear that most AMHP work is dedicated to detaining people and not in identifying the almost certainly non- existent alternative safe suitable resource. We just need to be honest if we are to be trusted and make changes. The Code of Practice is of little to no relevance given the resources we have to work within. We need to be humble enough to hear the experinces described by Alan Hopkirk and Janet Tallgate.

  15. Nigel Drummond March 9, 2021 at 9:37 pm #

    Thank you very much for taking the time to write Janet. I am sorry that your family had such a distressing time. It was for those reasons that I asked the professionals for their comments. It doesn’t look as if any will reply which is a shame as I thought transparency was important to social workers. I wish you all the best Janet.

  16. Janet T March 10, 2021 at 2:17 pm #

    My best wishes to you and your family also Janet. As for transparency I am not sure that it is as important to AMHPs as they would like us to believe Nigel. I am a social worker in an adults assessment team. We share an open plan office in normal times with the specialist AMHP service. I am afraid hearing their conversations is a dispiriting experience. As others have said here there is barely concealed contempt for anyone who is not an AMHP. Apparently we don’t know what we are doing, we are thick, we wouldn’t last half a morning if we had to do AMHP work and on it goes. Some of this has been said to my face but apparently it’s just “banter” so my offence is my over sensitivity. As said by the AMHP manager when I complained to him about this and sexism. My heart goes out to our OT/AMPH colleague, it must be horrible to grapple with that mindset daily. Given the public nature of this thread I won’t quote comments about clients but the disparagement, the exasperation, the impatience, the “not again” comments out weigh the more caring ones. It’s time we had some honesty about the role from AMHPs too. We all do a difficult job, we all struggle with exhaustion, with inadequate resources; but it seems only AMPHs are above scrutiny over their claims and behaviour. Actually, being on the phone for hours trying to get a bed organised probably is no more difficulty than me trying to get adaptations organised. Actually refusing to visit someone without police presence is rather more safe than me having to negotiate stairs with heavy equipment. If only it was the way you portray it Ruth. My sincere apology to those empathetic, comradely AMHPs who I know are as fed up with the “we are it” posturing as the rest of us. You do deserve all our support. And better leadership.

  17. Emily March 10, 2021 at 10:37 pm #

    The ultimate social worker cop out is “technically” and “confidentiality”. Catch all terms for covering up insensitivity, incompetence, harm caused, jobsworth rule following, obeying orders mentality. Try seeing the person and responding like a human being. Everything anybody ever does in any job is “technically”. I thought our job was to always show empathy. I’ve been a social worker for 29 years and not me nor any other person I have worked has been so “frantically busy” that they can’t practice with humanity. Well done the AMHP for being so sanctimonious that you could not spare a moment to talk like a living breathing grown up rather than a Code of Practice regurgitating robot. One way of trying to avoid work I suppose. Is this what we have become? Shame on anyone who hides behind this kind of social work. Shame on any one who justifies this kind of practice. Sad days.

  18. Skilled March 11, 2021 at 11:00 am #

    I am an AMHP and proud of being part of a well trained and skilled cohort. The level of ignorance about our role and legal responsibilities expressed here is not a surprise to me. Perhaps when you hear us talk “disparingly” about other staff it’s because they haven’t grasped the complexity of the AMHP role. With respect, ordering equipment from a catalogue is not equivalent to the challenges of organising a mental health assessment. And we are different simply by being expert specialists. No other social worker or OT, has to be well versed in law, medical practice, medication, therapy options and the criminal justice system but these are our bread and butter. If this sounds arrogant so be it but it’s also true. You don’t always get it right when you belive someone is unwell. We have to be right all the time or we break the law. So no excuses for taking our time to ‘respond’.

    Nigel, assessments take as long as the circumstances demand. Sometime that means spending more time with the patient and other times more time in getting the services in place to get them treated. Both are person centered. Nothing to fear from transparency here.

    • Anon March 15, 2021 at 8:12 pm #

      My experience. As someone subjected to assessments under the MHA can honestly say that the longest time an AMHP stayed in the room with me was 21 mins. The shortest 7 mins. After police stay in my home of 7 hrs.
      Reasons listed for detention include refusing to work with male crisis team workers which as a rape victim I will always refuse to do.

      My NRs are black. 3 x the AMHPs have refused to consult with them and the comments about disproportionately white middle class ring so true when they are routinely described as angry, antagonistic and aggressive . Stereotyped because they dare to challenge why they are expected to stop their lives to care for me and why AMHPs don’t seem to have the humility to apologise for turning up 5 days too late.

      I don’t care about the legal semantics that the s12 Dr is responsible for actually finding a bed – however delegated. What I care about is the aggressive approach towards distressed people and the absolute disdain of carers and family happily used by the NHS to do the 24hr crisis care they won’t.

      And if as an AMHP you detain me knowing full well as a woman that my risk of sexual violence on a ward is a guarantee then guess what – I will get agitated by your presence. Because in my legal brain your duty of care extends to the environment you force me in to that put me in danger and cause very real harm.

      Someone on Twitter suggested that every pt ever detained should have an exit interview. I would extend that right to detained in the ED or 136 suite but then released. Because this violence and aggressive and such wearing down of family members does nothing for the reputation of the process.

      I don’t understand why the default position of the AMHP is hostility. As someone subjected to MHAAs you terrify me. Something has gone very very wrong with the role.

  19. Mike Turner March 11, 2021 at 5:23 pm #

    Have I missed the part where Skilled humbly acknowledges that belief in a personal fantasy about the highly skilled “specialist” becomes a delusion if no one else shares it? Or the response to the experiences Alan and Janet so eloquently and movingly told us about. Insulting other professionals without bothering to understand their unique skills must be so rewarding. For transparency, I write as a current AMPH who became an ASW in 1985. I have practiced continually as a “specialist” since. I understand the AMPH role. I also know that without the important contributions of other colleagues none of us can discharge our AMPH duties safely. Vulnerable people would be short changed without their skills and our assessments poorer. Smug certainty in ones own superiority is a little hollow without specifics though Skilled. AMPHs “well trained”? Really? How?

  20. Susie March 11, 2021 at 8:12 pm #

    Now let me think, do I need to know about legislation, medical practice pertaining to end of life care, medication options as per end of life care, therapy options in hospice settings, criminal law applicable to prison hospice care? Well ofcourse. Just like any other worker from any discipline in their “specialist” setting. AMPHs highly skilled? Yes. Skilled showing the doubts lurking in their subconscious by shrouding thoughts in arrogance? Possibly. Skilled craving validation? Probably. Now what was that about therapy options? The consequence of this kind of AMHPs better than the rest self aggrandising isn’t just embarrassing to the more self aware AMHPs, but that it invites ridicule to the debate. Apologies for indulging in the latter.

  21. Katherine Huntley March 12, 2021 at 11:52 pm #

    The debate shouldn’t be about whether AMPHs are skilled or arrogant bigots, rather whether the powers granted to AMHPs are appropriate. The power to forcibly remove any free citizen from their own environment and place them in a hospital where they lose not just their liberty but all rights of citizenship, shouldn’t be entrusted to a body of workers who have next to no sanctions against them. The only right a detained citizen has to challenge effectively is the very limited access to a Tribunal hearing. I have represented numerous patient at Tribunal hearings and that process has none of the legal safeguards on evidence and perjury. Just think about who writes reports to the tribunal. Just think what the consequences are if reports contain errors. Just think why it’s up to a patient to prove they meet the conditions for discharge when the AMPH and the multidisciplinary team only have to ‘evidence’ that the patient is unwell and their symptoms can only be treated in hospital. I suggest that if we are serious about humane health care, if we are serious about civil liberties being sacrosanct, if we beleive in treatment being a patients choice, than the powers of the AMHPs are incompatible with these principles. No other person with an illness loses their rights to self determination. It’s time this applied to mental illness too. The AMPH role has become too mechanistic and I am afraid slightly too pompous in ignoring challenges to its inequitious application. It has no place in any truly humane mental health system.

  22. Carol Briggs March 15, 2021 at 10:51 am #

    I agree with all the points made by Katherine Huntley. That social workers relish the powers of the AMHP is very dispiriting. I used to be a hospital social worker covering general medicine wards. In 15 years in that role I had very good colleagues in psychiatry. They would despair at the lack of follow up or even enquiry about the patient after the AMHP arranged admission. Ofcourse AMHPs are busy and the rest but it is not social work to hand over a service users and then forget about them as if the duty of care is only to enable admission. Where is the supposed championing of human rights and person centered care in that? The system is pitted very much against the patient in psychiatry and however much the AMPH may be hampered by the system they work in, they are a huge part of it. They are not powerless. A network of ‘sectioning’ machines is not social work. Where is ethical practice in that?

  23. Skilled March 15, 2021 at 1:50 pm #

    Again a series of mis-ingormed comments about the AMPH role I am afraid. Our duty of care does stop once we have factored an admission. It’s mental health teams to conduct needs assessments and follow up. We do not have time nor do I think it’s particularly productive for AMPHs to dilute their expertise by getting mired in case work. We make people and the community safe. It’s your jobs to ensure they remain safe. Similarly, I will not take criticism from Solicitors. The average solicitor attending a Trubunal hearing has next to no understanding of mental disorder. By all means challenge the legal.application of our work but the rest is not in a lawyers competence.

    • Anon March 15, 2021 at 8:18 pm #

      Seemingly you also don’t take criticism from the vulnerable person or family harmed by the process and total lack of person centred approach. Your arrogance is dangerous to those like me detained.
      THAT is the point people are trying to make

  24. Trainee March 15, 2021 at 5:07 pm #

    As a trainee AMHP I don’t feel that you are selling it to me @ Skilled. In what way would an AMHP be diluting their expertise by having enough human compassion and curiosity to phone a ward and find out how someone is who has been admitted under distressing circumstances ? What would the problem be with or making a follow up phone call to a relative to check on their well-being ?

    Hopefully the training doesn’t strip professionals of their values and interest in working with people to make a positive contribution at times of distress. That would be a sad state of affairs and a waste of money and money if so.

    OTs are all around amazing, it is awful to hear that they are not getting the respect they deserve in some areas.

    I think it is right that we all have respect for solicitors and all other colleagues from our own professions and outside. Working for the best outcomes for vulnerable people should be a joint effort, not a competition in who is most ‘expert’.

  25. Claire March 17, 2021 at 1:40 pm #

    Powerful points made by Anon and Trainee. Surely we should be more interested in how AMHPs practice and how those in contact with them experience their practice than who in the mental health network is the most expert. Until we have a properly reformed mental health system and a more ‘patient’ empowering mental health act, we have to make what we have more human and less punitive. I work with some of the most compassionate colleagues from all the disciplines and I know if I became less patient focused they will rightly pull me up; regardless of my AMPH skills. We may need more AMPHs but we should also examine why more people are needing mental health interventions and the part AMHPs play in mainaining current structures. Our job shouldn’t be about making the best of a broken system but on how we can drive proper reforms working in collaboration with users of services and their families/carers. We have to discharge our statutory duties but let us also reclaim our voice to criticise both our shortcomings and that of services. We should be proud to stand with service users for all the reasons Trainee and Anon articulate but also because we know that in the round the people we bring into services, acute or community, don’t want these. We have to hear that people are scared in our resources, they have been victimised and abused in our services, families feel ignored.