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AMHP work: dirty or prestigious?: dirty work designations and the approved mental health professional

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Social Work
Issue number3
Volume46
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)703-718
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/02/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The paper explores the notion of ‘dirty work’ in relation to the newly created role of the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP). An AMHP undertakes various duties set out in the 1983 Mental Health Act, as amended by the 2007 Act, in relation to assessments to make applications for compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital. It has been argued that undertaking this social control function is ‘dirty work’. However, the findings from a study of social work AMHPs in England suggest that the picture is more complex. Extracts from narrative interviews are analysed using dialogical narrative analysis. Rather than being designated as dirty work, AMHP duty was presented as prestigious and as advanced social work. However, through their storytelling, the social workers clearly delineated the aspects of AMHP work that they did designate as dirty, specifically the lack of beds, the complexities of co-ordination and the emotional labour which is an inherent part of the work.