Dr Simon Abbott


My research interests involve mental health social policy and practice. This focuses on the social factors and mechanisms that contribute to mental distress, and how mental health professionals and others can respond to this. 

I am currently working on a study exploring the contextual factors driving demand and provision of adult social care and mental health services in England.

I am interested co-producing research with people who have lived experience , such as those with mental health problems who have experienced compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital.

My doctoral research was undertaken at the Centre for Social Work Innovation and Research, University of Sussex. My doctoral thesis involved a hermeneutic phenomenological study on how social work Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) use the law in practice. This involved an in-depth qualitative study, across three different London boroughs. This focused on decision making under the Mental Health Act 1983.

I am  a registered social worker and Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP). My career has involved practice in community mental health teams; specialist community services for people experiencing psychosis; and as a forensic social worker, working with mentally disordered offenders in regional secure services and in the community. 

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer


  • Doctorate in Social Work, University of Sussex.
  • Masters of Applied Social Studies.
  • LL.B (Hons)
  • Diploma in Social Work

Teaching and learning


I have received a first grant award of £10,000 from Kingston University & St George's University of London. This will fund a study to explore the contextual factors driving demand and provision of adult social care and mental health services in England. I will be working on this project over the next 12 months with colleagues, Allie Goldacre and Dr Rick Hood. The study builds on the department's growing expertise in secondary data analysis and the application of systems ideas to social care.

Scholarly affiliations

  • Dr Rick Hood Kingston University & St George's University of London
  • Emerita Professor Suzy Braye, University of Sussex
  • Dr David Orr, University of Sussex


Number of items: 4.


Hood, Rick, Brent, Maria, Abbott, Simon and Sartori, Daniele (2019) A study of practitioner–service user relationships in social work. The British Journal of Social Work, 49(3), pp. 787-805. ISSN (print) 0045-3102

Book Section

Abbott, Simon (2020) Navigating practice at the interface between mental health and social care law. In: Braye, Suzy and Preston-Shoot, Michael, (eds.) The Care Act 2014 : wellbeing in practice. London, U.K. : Learning Matters. pp. 113-128. (Transforming Social Work Practice) ISBN 9781526446879

Conference or Workshop Item

Abbott, Simon (2018) Using the law in mental health social work practice in a changing national and global context : challenges and opportunities offered by a therapeutic jurisprudence lens. In: 8th European Conference for Social Work Research : Social Work in Transition : Challenges for Social Work Research in a Changing Local and Global World; 19 - 21 Apr 2018, Edinburgh, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Abbott, Simon (2017) Using the law in social work AMHP practice to navigate coercion and care. In: 7th European Conference for Social Work Research : Challenges in Social Work Research – Conflicts, Barriers and Possibilities in relation to Social Work; 19 - 21 Apr 2017, Aalborg, Denmark. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Sun Nov 29 06:44:25 2020 GMT.