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Multi-professional approved clinicians’ contribution to clinical leadership

Selma Ebrahim (Selma Ebrahim is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Psychological Services, Northumberland Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust, Morpeth, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 12 March 2018




The purpose of this paper is to explore how multi-professional approved clinicians (MPACs), responsible for the care of patients detained under the Mental Health Act (2007), can enable clinical leadership in mental health settings.


A questionnaire was completed by clinical psychology and mental health nursing practitioners in a mental health trust in the UK working towards or having gained approved clinician (AC) status, identifying barriers to implementation of the roles and enablers. Qualitative interview data were also gathered with psychiatrists, clinical psychologist and Mental Health Nurse ACs (three in each group).


There are a number of barriers and enablers of distributed leadership promoted by the MPAC role. Themes identified focused on enabling person-centred care, clinical leadership and culture change more broadly within mental health care. The AC role is supporting clinical leadership by a range of professionals, promoting patient choice by enabling access to clinicians with the appropriate skills to meet needs. Clinical leadership roles are promoting links between organisational priorities, teams and patient care, fostering distributed leadership in practice.

Research limitations/implications

This project reflects the views of a limited number of practitioners within one organisation which limits generalisabilty.

Practical implications

Organisations need clear strategies linked to workforce development and implementation of the roles to capitalise on their potential to support clinical leadership and person-centred care.


This study provides initial qualitative data on potential benefits and challenges of implementing the role.



The author would like to thank all the practitioners who took part in the project and helped with the data analysis.


Ebrahim, S. (2018), "Multi-professional approved clinicians’ contribution to clinical leadership", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 65-76.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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