The schedule has been finalised, the flyer has been sent out to the agency leads across the region and can also be be downloaded from the website – AMHPA – Chester Zoo 2017
As with any of the other events, please submit any requests to attend via whoever is responsible in your Local Authority for overseeing AMHP training requirements – usually the professional lead or somebody in workforce development – as we know that agencies like to keep a handle on who is attending the events and the impact on rotas.
The big issue on the minds of a lot of AMHPs is the pending implementation of the amendments to sections 135 and 136. There has been some debate online about the immediate force of the amendments brought in by the Policing and Crime Act 2017 (which received Royal Assent on 31st January 2017) – the NHS Confederation website suggests that the mental health measures will be implemented in May. It seemed premature to book anything specific on this issue for Chester but I’m certain it will be mentioned.
We have a strong practice focus in the line-up for this event. I’m sure our opening speaker, Peter Edwards, will be familiar to all of the AMHPs attending and we anticipate a thought-provoking and impeccably well-informed presentation that will be up-to-the-minute in terms of legal developments. It is a cast-iron certainty that Peter will have a considered view on the pending amendments.
Following Peter, we are delighted to be joined by Claire Barcham, whose name will be familiar to anyone who has used her useful Pocketbook Guide to Mental Health Act Assessments, previous visits to events in the ASWIG days and the various forums and projects she is involved with. She will be joined by Ceri Owen – a fellow board-member and expert by experience in one of the current projects that Claire will be discussing.
In the afternoon, we’re hoping to have a brief video presentation from Ruth Allen – the Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers. Ruth’s background is in adult mental health services – she was Director of Social Work for a mental health trust before her current appointment – and so brings a deep knowledge and understanding of AMHP practice to her role. We’re still hopeful that Ruth will visit one of our events in person as she has been supportive of what AMHPA does.
We are pleased to be joined by Mary Smith for a presentation on the regulation of AMHP practice – the plans having developed further from when we first heard about them alluded to by the CQC and in more detail from Steve Chamberlain (from the AMHP Leads Network) last year. Mary is the head of adult social care for Manchester City Council and is an AMHP herself. Her role in Manchester places her at the epicentre of many of the systemic and organisational changes that will impact on frontline AMHP practice over the years to come.
The final presentation of the day is from an Dr. Helen Spandler – an academic researcher from the University of Central Lancashire, whose presentation is title ‘Bridges Not Walls: Alliances between Workers and Service Users’. Helen’s recent work has looked at the often difficult nature of the relationship between service users and the workers delivering mental health services and what can be done to improve the experience for patients.
We look forward to seeing you there!