Show/hide main menu

New roles

Who wants to be an Approved Mental Health Professional?

Study outline

The overall aim of the research is to identify factors encouraging and discouraging the recruitment of mental health and learning disability nurses, chartered psychologists and occupational therapists as Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs). 

Research team

Martin Stevens (PI)
Jill Manthorpe
Caroline Norrie
Nicole Steils
Stephen Martineau


Department of Health Policy Research Programme


Since 2008, a range of registered and professionally qualified mental health professionals, namely chartered psychologists, mental health and learning disability nurses and registered occupational therapists (OTs) can become AMHPs, as well as social workers. AMHPs are empowered to make decisions in relation to people who have been removed to a place of safety by the police, and to coordinate decisions about whether a person will be offered inpatient hospital care, either on a voluntary or statutory basis. Almost a decade after widening the recruitment net, only 5.5% of AMHPs are not social workers, despite there being a shortage of AMHPs. 


A multi-method approach will be adopted to explore different perspectives on the recruitment and retention of AMHPs. Four separate aspects of the research will be undertaken:

  • Interviews with nurses, psychologists, and OTs
  • A survey of Local Authorities and NHS Trusts
  • Interviews with people with mental health problems and their families
  • Interviews with professionals (police, psychiatrists, managers, commissioners, regulators) working within and with mental health and associated services


May - December 2017


Martineau, S. (2017) 'Who wants to be an Approved Mental Health Professional?' (blog post), Social Care Workforce, 18 July.

Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454