Tag: approved mental health professional

Nursing and the approved mental health professional role

AMHPFurther to my mentioning of a new paper on the development of the approved mental health professional (AMHP) role, and what this might mean for nurses, here now is a link to a full text open access version downloadable from ORCA.

In this article, my friend Michael Coffey and I discuss the implications of the changes made in 2007 to England and Wales’ Mental Health Act for the role of the mental health nurse. We were helped on our way by Jackie Neale, Michael’s colleague and Co-Director of the AMHP programme at Swansea University and by Dr Martin Webber, Reader in Social Work at the University of York, both of whom read and commented on an initial draft of our paper. Writing for this blog, Michael says:

Nurses for the first time can make applications for detention in hospital based upon their independent judgement and with regard to the opinions of their medical colleagues, based upon a social perspective and the principle of least restriction. This is as far as we know unprecedented in UK mental health law. In many ways this changes the provision of mental health nursing in ways that have as yet to be measured. These changes reflect similar moves internationally in mental health law.  There are huge challenges here though. Nurses are creeping into the territory of other professions who are not exactly welcoming them with open arms. Specific occupational knowledge and values are claimed by social workers who have traditionally fulfilled the approved role. These may be seen as jurisdictional claims and nurses have to show that they too can ‘pass’ as workers with a social perspective who are able to be independent of doctors. This is easier said than done and nurses have a chequered history in relation to occupational biomedical dominance. Added to this nursing is chiefly a biomedical task nowadays despite all the claims to being ‘holistic’ and being as focused on the social aspects of people as on anything else. Claims by nurses to be ‘psycho-social’ oriented or even ‘bio-psycho-social’ should be treated with some scepticism as many of these nurses subscribe to ideas of genetic determinism and are overly chemotherapy-focused. So can nurses actually juggle both a primarily biomedical focus and a social one to come to independent decisions in cases where the person might lose their liberty?

The backstory to this publication includes the fact that, with Jackie Neale, Michael runs Wales’ only AMHP programme. You can find out more about this post-qualification, postgraduate, course here. Our new article also comes out of Michael’s and my shared interest in mental health work and roles, and in thinking about (and researching) what nurses and others do. Another piece of behind-the-scenes detail is that Michael and I were once part of a team which came pretty close to getting a large grant to investigate AMHPs, and the experiences of people on the receiving end of their services.

Abstract-sifting, a new publication, and music to work by

Not much time for blogging lately, what with one thing and another. I’ve turned into a kind of abstract-sifting machine, poring over the details of papers for possible inclusion in two unrelated evidence syntheses/literature reviews. Amongst other things I’ve also been making some final preparations for a day away (as an examiner) later this week, catching up with colleagues over various bits and pieces, and arranging to meet up with undergraduate students.

Some good news over the weekend was confirmation of a new paper being accepted for publication, in the International Journal of Nursing Studies. My friend Michael Coffey is lead author, and we’ve written about the emergence of the role of approved mental health professional and what this means for nursing. A quick look at the SHERPA/RoMEO website suggests we’ll be able to add post-peer review versions to our respective institutional repositories. I’ll then add a link, and perhaps a bit of a commentary, on this blog.

As an aside, I am reminded of the majesty of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. It’s more than a decade since I was first introduced to this, and it now occupies a special place in my (eclectic) music collection. I mention this as Kind of Blue is an album I often turn to when I’m fretting over tasks requiring concentration: like writing, or indeed sifting abstracts. I listened to it today, in its entirety. Then I listened to it again.