In order to help local authorities calculate how many AMHPs were needed in each authority, in 1991 the Social Care Inspectorate recommended a ratio of between 1:7,600 and 1:11,800 approved staff to population (dependent on locality). The lower ratio was expected to be in inner city areas, where more deprivation was evident, with lower levels of full time equivalent AMHPs being needed in more affluent areas.

Overall, in 2005 there were estimated to be 3,900 full time equivalent AMHPs in post, in England (1:12,000). By November 2017, this was estimated to be 3,250 (1:16,000), a decrease of 17%.  In the same period, the numbers of detentions under the Mental Health Act increased by 47%, from 43,000 to 63,000. As the numbers of assessments have increased, the numbers of AMHPs have decreased. 

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.

DASSs have a legal responsibility to ensure there are sufficient AMHPs in their area to provide a 24/7 service. This top tips doc is therefore aimed at helping directors and others understand the issues of recruitment and retention of AMHPs, and to be able to advocate for them across the system.

Please see below to download the full document.