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The County Council’s statutory responsibilities to provide a Mental Health Act service are described in the Mental Health Act 1983 (revised 2007), and its associated Code of Practice, Rules, Regulations and Practice Directions.
Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) are professionally qualified in social work, nursing or occupational therapy and have undertaken further specialist training in the use and application of the Mental Health Act. They are then authorised to work on behalf of the Council in this specific role.
AMHPs are ambassadors for health and social care practice. Across West Sussex AMHPs are very aware of the distress caused to people of having to be assessed under the Mental Health Act. They will always do of their best to ensure that people are informed as much as is possible about what is going on and why. As well as co-ordinating and undertaking assessments of individuals under the Mental Health Act, they follow-up matters subsequently as and when required in order to keep people, their family and friend carers, and other agencies, informed of what is going on. The Council reinforces the importance of the AMHP role in numerous ways including through, for example, providing professional supervision and reflective study days.
The County Council operates a 24 hour referrals service staffed by trained and dedicated professionals who are supported by Lead AMHPs working on a rota basis, with back-up management support and oversight.
The referrals telephone line for Mental Health Act assessments is 0330 22 28866 or
This document sets out the County Council’s policy on Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983 and its Code of Practice (2015). It is accompanied by a separate practice guidance document that details how applications for Guardianship are made by Approved Mental Health Professionals and how those applications are then processed by the County Council. Version 4, September 2016
S.117 Mental Health Act covers the arranging of after-care services to particular patients who continue to have both health and social care needs on leaving a mental health hospital in which they have previously been compulsorily detained for treatment. This updated policy and procedures document is in use by the County Council and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Version 6.2, April 2020
Arrangements for the conveyance of patients subject to the Mental Health Act are specified in this pan-Sussex document. Note: This version remains current until the revised document is made available; this document does not include the 11th December 2017 briefing note that has been issued separately to Sussex Police and to Approved Mental Health Professionals in relation to the role of the ambulance service and the revised S.136 provisions. Version 4.0 October 2015
The policy and practice guidance has been updated to take account of legal changes with effect from 11th December 2017. The changes relate to the identification of places of safety and for how long a person may be held there pending a Mental Health Act assessment. Version 8.0, February 2019
The organisation of NHS mental healthcare is different in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to what exists in England. This practice guidance sets out the legal responsibilities on Approved Mental Health Professionals where specific cross-border or inter-UK situations arise. Version 2.0, June 2020
Template initial MH1 report in MS Word for completion by an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) in association with an admission to a hospital whether informal or detained under the Mental Health Act. This should be followed by completion of a full MH1 report. Version 1.0, January 2019
Template report in MS Word for completion by an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) in association with a Community Treatment Order application Version 1.0, January 2019
Template report in MS Word for completion by an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) in association with an application for the extension of an existing Community Treatment Order Version 1.0, January 2019
Template report in MS Word for completion by an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) in association with the revocation of an existing Community Treatment Order. Version 1.0, January 2019
Template full MH1 report in MS Word for completion by an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) in association with an admission to a hospital under the Mental Health Act. This should be preceded by handover to the admitting hospital ward of an initial MH1 report. The full report must be completed as soon as possible and no later than within 72 hours of the assessment. Version 1.0, January 2019
Mental Health Act assessments require evidence to be collated by AMHPs and presented as the documentary record of an assessment, whether or not this has resulted in an admission of the person to a mental health hospital or to a Community Treatment Order. This revised practice guidance explains what is required. Version 1.1, June 2020
The correct identification of the Nearest Relative under the Mental Health Act is a vital safeguard of the patient’s legal rights. This practice guidance advises what may be done where no Nearest Relative exists or can be identified, or if an existing Nearest Relative wants to delegate their authority to someone else. Version 1.0, May 2020
The correct identification of the Nearest Relative under the Mental Health Act is a vital safeguard of the patient’s legal rights. This template letter can be used where an existing Nearest Relative wants to delegate their authority to someone else. Version 1.0, May 2020
Guidance for Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) seeking authorization from West Sussex County Council to practice, or to continue to practice, in this specific role as set out in the Mental Health Act and its associated Regulations. Version 3.1, April 2019
This document details how applications for Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983 and its Code of Practice (2015) are made by Approved Mental Health Professionals. It also explains how those applications are then processed by the County Council. The County Council’s policy on Guardianship is described in a separate document. Version 4.0, September 2016
There are particular aftercare planning provisions set out in statute where a person has been admitted to a mental health hospital for treatment. These agreement forms, embedded in the linked policy and procedures (version 6.0), are included here separately for ease of access. Version 6.0, February 2019
A Reading Well for Mental Health booklist contains 37 titles to support people living with mental health needs and their carers; people with dementia and their carers; young people’s mental health and people living with long-term conditions. Some are available as eBooks. All are accessible in West Sussex libraries where they can be reserved, borrowed or downloaded free of charge. Information on all the available reading lists.
Joint Protocol for Assessment of Persons under the Mental Health Act 1983. It is under review and awaiting multi agency sign-off. Version 1.0, May 2014
S.117 Mental Health Act is concerned with the provision of community-based aftercare services for people with a mental disorder who have recently been detained in hospital for treatment. This form is to be used where a person moving to a care home wants to pay for care above the rate assessed by the County Council. Version 1.1, May 2019
Adults' Services has introduced professional triaging of all incoming referrals for a Mental Health Act assessment by an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP). The triaging is undertaken by the Lead or Night AMHP on duty. This practice guidance describes the triaging priorities in terms of a red, amber, green or blue response. Version 1.0, April 2020
Lead or Night AMHPs, a dedicated role within the County Council and working on a rota basis, respond to telephone requests for a Mental Health Act assessment. They work as one team, whether those requests are received in usual office hours or during out of hours. This guidance describes the logging in and handover arrangements. Version 1.1, June 2020
The County Council signed Covenants with the Armed Forces community in West Sussex in 2012 and 2017. This guidance describes the resources currently available to support the health and social care of veterans and explains what needs to done and by whom if a Mental Health Act assessment is required on a serving member of military personnel in the county. Version 2.4, September 2019