Issue - meetings

New operating model for the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) service

Meeting: 09/09/2020 - Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee (Item 7)

7 New operating model for the Approved Mental Health Professionals pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Report by Director of Law and Assurance.


The report details the proposed new operating model for the Approved Mental Health Professional Service.


Additional documents:


7.1        The Committee considered a report by the Interim Executive Director for Adults & Health and Head of Health & Social Care Commissioning (copy appended to the signed minutes) which was introduced by Alan Adams, Interim Executive Director for Adults & Health who told the Committee: -


·         Following a review of the service in 2019, an interim arrangement was put in place in February 2020 to deal with the immediate risks

·         The new arrangement will be a hub and spoke model based on learning from other authorities and staff consultation – it will cost more than the old service, but less than the interim arrangement


7.2           Summary of responses to members comments and questions: -


·         The Committee was disappointed that it had not been made aware earlier of the issues surrounding the service and was told that problems were a result of administrative errors due to with the old service were caused by a combination of it being under resourced and a lack of oversight of staff when they staff were seconded to the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT)

·         The Council had allowed the pool of staff who could be trained as Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) to be reduced to just those seconded to SPFT so this was being widened to former levels

·         The new model will be county-wide and have a specific AMHP lead manager and team which would do more than AMHP work

·         It was hoped that the service could use existing Council IT systems, but this did not prove possible, so a new solution was being sought

·         The new model solved the problem of night shift cover

·         Customers had been offered the chance to input into the development of the new model, but none had accepted due to the nature of the service

·         The hub would have a fixed number of staff with more in the spokes to supplement it

·         Although the new model would be more expensive than the old service, the budget would be balanced by making savings elsewhere and using improved Better Care Fund money

·         AMHPs come from many backgrounds, including Children’s and Adults’ services so there are always people with appropriate experience to deal with referrals regardless of the age of the patient

·         The increase in detentions under the Mental Health Act was not related to the number of AMHPs

·         There was no requirement to have Mental Health Act legal advice out of hours but was considered best practice


7.3           Resolved – that the Committee


                i.         Welcomes the direction of travel and is assured that, based on the information provided in the draft key decision report and following the debate, that the Council will be able to provide a legally compliant service able to meet demand into the future


               ii.         Requests that the new operating model is regularly monitored by the relevant internal governance mechanisms and asks to receive an update in 12 months’ time