Memorandum submitted by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)[1] (MH 24)

The then ADSS produced its response to the Bill in February 2007.  The ADASS shares the range of concerns expressed by many organisations.  These have been outlined elsewhere and we will therefore wish only  to draw attention to specific parts of the Bill.


Independence - it is essential that the new legal framework preserves the independence of the role of Approved Social Workers that is an important part of the current system.  The new arrangements for the commissioning of AMHPs can mean that all the professionals involved in  assessing a person for detention could be employed in the same multi-disciplinary team.  It would also be possible that here will not be an input into the process from a professional with a  social care background. Safeguards need to be put in place to ensure that social care functions are not lost in the new arrangements.

Sufficient Supply of AMHPS - local authorities with social services responsibilities will have the responsibility for the provision of an adequate number of ASWs.  It is not known whether there will be sufficient professionals interested in taking on this role and we know from a recent survey that the ASW workforce is currently reducing. We are concerned that the transitional arrangements for the training and approval of AMHPs will be sufficient to ensure an adequate supply while the new arrangements are put in place.


The ADASS has expressed concern that the there must be adequate resources to meet the impact on local resources of those subject to Supervised Community Treatment.   This is particularly important if the new arrangements are not to skew priorities toward those subject to orders away from those with serious mental health problems.

We regret that the opportunity of the change in legislation has not been taken to address the problem of a lack of consistency in arrangements made between ASWs and the emergency services to convey people subject to detention to hospital.  Consistent and adequate arrangements are essential for the safe discharge of the responsibilities of the legislation.

April 2007

[1] This organisation has succeeded the Association of Directors of Social Services