This advice sheet is intended to equip Directors with the information and advice they need to both understand and assure themselves of the quality and availability of Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) within their area.

The ADASS Mental Health Network undertook survey work in the autumn of 2017 in collaboration with NHS England and the NHS Benchmarking Network, to benchmark local data against regional and national information. The outcomes from these surveys should help readers interrogate information about local issues. Individual reports are available for those who took part - ask your AMHP Lead for more information.

AMHPs coordinate Mental Health Act Assessments with psychiatrists and other doctors, and make independent professional decisions about whether a detention in Hospital under the Mental Health Act is the most appropriate way forward.

Local authorities have a statutory obligation to have sufficient AMHPs to provide a 24/7 service. However, local authority obligations in Mental Health go beyond ensuring Mental Health Act assessments can happen in a timely manner, to include ensuring the availability of AMHPs to undertake the Social Supervisor Role for forensic patients, and the management of complex risk in the community.

Please see below to download the full document.