Alliance policies: Workforce Issues

The many professional bodies who have joined the Alliance have expressed their concern on the effect of the Government’s proposals, both in terms of the nature of their likely future work and the undermining impact of the Supervised Community Treatment and removal of the treatability test on their therapeutic relationship with patients.

The British Association of Social Workers have stated: "the Government’s assumption about the present number of ASWs who will transfer to AMHP posts is grossly optimistic and flies in the face of recent research evidence, which shows that numbers are still falling rapidly and are likely to continue to do so."

The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health has warned that the creation of AMHPs could be problematic in the short term: "The existing shortage of ASWs will be exacerbated by the need to train them in the new role and the likely wastage from that process of those nearing retirement. That will place the greatest pressure on nursing staff, for whom the transition to AMHP status will require considerable training, and whose former roles will need to be back-filled."

The Alliance believes that if resources are allocated to prevent compulsion being needed, and the conditions are appropriately set so that compulsion is seen as a last resort, then the resource implications of proposed reforms would be more proportionate.

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