Senior Lecturer, Course Leader Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) Qualifying and Post-Qualifying training
School of Health, Social Work and Sport
Jill is Course Leader for UCLan’s Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) programme and post-qualifying AMHP CPD. Both are delivered nationally as standard or bespoke (accelerated or on-site) delivery. Jill’s doctoral research and training is around the independent role of the AMHP and various decision-making aspects including Shared Decision-Making (SDM) and the statutory Empowerment and Involvement principle. Jill contributes to national AMHP policy initiatives, conferences and workforce development. She continues to practice as an AMHP.
Jill has a Course and Module Lead role for the AMHP programme which runs on different sites. Her teaching includes law and policy (including applying the Statutory Competencies to practice), diversity and mental health, social perspectives, ethics (legal and professional) critical reflection on mental health and power and communication. Jill’s post-qualifying CPD suite of training includes decision-making, psychosis and communication and Shared Decision-Making. Jill is also working with agency partners to develop the National AMHP Workforce Standards. Jill has published work in this area (Matthews, O’Hare and Hemmington, 2014) and planning for a second book underway. Jill is now developing training materials to look at Shared Decision-Making, linking to the principles of service user involvement becoming statute through the Mental Health Act reforms. Jill is part of a small group leading on unique annual national conferences supporting AMHP Research-Informed Practice and Practice-Informed Research for any colleagues who are undertaking or planning to undertake research in the area.
Prior to working at UCLan, Jill was an Integrated Team Manager within a community mental health team, an Approved Social Worker (ASW) and an ASW Practice Assessor. She has worked in the field of mental health since 1989 in a range of mental health settings, mainly Mental Health Social Work. Jill continues to practice as an AMHP and is an external panel member for a Local Authority’s AMHP reapproval panel. Jill is an External Examiner for other universities’ AMHP programmes. She has a role as an Education and Quality Inspector (AMHP and BIA) with Social Work England. Jill retains close links with practice developments (for example being part of the AMHP Leads Network) and supporting current national AMHP Workforce Development initiatives.
- Approved Mental Health Professional qualification; Best Interest Assessor qualification, University of Chester (2007)
- ASW Practice Assessor Award, Manchester University (2003)
- Approved Social Work Award, Manchester University (2001)
- MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Individuals with Psychosis and their Families, University of Manchester (2000)
- MA Applied Social Studies, Lancaster University (1998)
- Diploma of Social Work, Lancaster University (1998) (HCPC Registered Social Worker SW50158)
- BA (Hons) Social Policy, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1995)
- AMHP research and training: Decision-Making, Assessment and Communication, Empowerment and Involvement and Shared Decision Making
- AMHP Workforce Development including standards of the national AMHP Workforce plan (particularly AMHPs’ Psychological, Personal, Physical and Professional Safety)
AMHPs undertake statutory assessments and have overall responsibility for the decision to detain (or not) in hospital without service users’ consent. AMHPs are required to act autonomously and make independent decisions within complex systems. They are required to embed the Empowerment and Involvement statutory Guiding Principle whereby service users should be ‘fully involved in decisions’. This indicates that MHA assessments are a place for Shared Decision Making (SDM). Jill’s research evaluates the significant factors affecting AMHPs in the decisions that they make; develops further understanding of the dynamics and power relations between AMHPs and service users in assessments and considers how AMHPs can facilitate empowerment and involvement and promote SDM in assessments. Jill conducted an ethnographic study and gathered in-depth information about AMHPs’ experiences and perspectives of the work, particularly how this was influenced by different AMHP service and team configurations. Jill then observed and audio-recorded Mental Health Act assessments in order to evaluate patterns of communication and decision-making, using Conversation Analysis to analyse the data. This method supports examination of content and style of communication as well as power relations. AMHPs and service users were interviewed following the assessments. Research addressed views that service users do not have capacity to take part in decision-making, and Jill’s work further explores ways of facilitating this. In particular, this focuses on ways in which patters of communication take place and how power sometimes operates at a subtle level around negotiated decisions. Research supports broader evidence that formal SDM methods are not well-developed within a mental health setting, and are not always considered within MHA assessments. Professionals can have difficulty understanding what service users’ priorities are, and there is more to be understood around the way that communication patterns can forward or block conversations. Jill’s research continues to focus on the process of MHA assessments and future work will look at enhancing SDM within revisions to the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended 2007).
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- AMHPA: The Approved Mental Health Professional Association (North West) (Chester, 2019) (Shared) Decision-Making in AMHP work: Exploring the Evidence
- AMHP Research Network: Practice Informed Research and Research Informed Practice conference(Birmingham, 2019): Co-developer and presenter AMHPS’ Shared Decision-Making in Mental Health Act Assessments
- AMHP Leads Network (2019) AMHP Practice and Decision-Making:
- Looking for the Evidence
- International Conference on Social Work and Mental Health (ICSW) York (2019) AMHP Practice and Decision-Making: Exploring the Evidence
- Oxford County Council annual AMHP conference (2019) Can we really ‘Empower and Involve’ people who are subject to compulsory admission?
- YAMHP (Yorkshire AMHP Network) (2019) AMHPs’ (Shared?) Decision-Making in Mental Health Act Assessments: Looking ahead to the Choice and Autonomy principle