- 2005 Health Care Service Group Conference
- 31 December 2004
- Carried as Amended
This conference is becoming increasingly alarmed at the introduction of a new worker called the Associate Mental Health Practitioner (AMHP) within a large mental health trust in the South East of England.
The AMHP was originally introduced in response to a shortage of registered mental health nurses in that particular geographical area but is now being promoted throughout other parts of the country under the same rationale.
We are concerned at this initiative because:
·It doesn’t deal with the fundamental problem of attracting people into mental health nurse training;
·It does not deal with the issue of retention of mental health nurses which are manifold and complex;
·It doesn’t provide for regulation and protection of the public in the way that other registered professions do;
·It is extremely confusing to introduce a completely new worker at a time when Trusts are struggling to fill newly created posts such as Primary Care Mental Health Workers and Gateway Workers;
·It will potentially tempt many Trusts to go for this cheaper “quick fix” as opposed to employing registered nurses and other health professionals.
Whilst we would acknowledge that having a range of different jobs and employment opportunities in mental health services should be welcome, especially if this is properly linked to systems of lifelong learning, an effective skills escalator, and the facility for individuals to advance careers, such developments need to be appropriately thought through and planned for.
Conference therefore requests that the Health Group gather as much information as possible on the introduction of the AMHP with a view to raising our concerns at the Department of Health and also alerting branches and regions within the UK that this initiative may be being actively considered within your own trust.