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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

ACCEA and Berlin

Friday, 25 November 2011

It was a real pleasure to be part of the joint BPPA-BAPA Annual Conference in Solihull at the weekend, on the State of the Art of Psychopharmacology. The conference combined high scientific content with clinical utility, set in a deep understanding of impact of cultural context

I spent Monday spent with the Divisional and Faculty leads going through ACCEA submissions. It was difficult tthis year in view of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the whole process. But what it told me, loudly and clearly, is that we have a wealth of clinicians who are delivering over and above their contractual obligations

On Tuesday I flew to Berlin for the DGPPN Congress, which was themed under the motto “Personalized psychiatry and psychotherapy". I was able to have very constructive meeting with Presidents from many of the other European psychiatric associations, and work is progressing as to how we can act and speak as one voice to influence policy workers across the Union. Practical and positive outcomes are possible. For example, over 20 Presidents recently wrote to the Netherlands government, who had issued plans which would seriously disadvantage their citizens with mental illness. The President of the Netherlands Psychiatric Association, Prof. Dr. Rutger Jan van der Gaag, has - as a result of these letters - now been asked to help the government rethink their proposals. I hope that many of the European psychiatric association presidents will come to our next International Congress in Liverpool (10-13 July 2012), so we can take forward our workplan.

While in Berlin, the only newspaper in English that I saw was the Wall Street Journal. Intersetingly, among the doom and gloom of world finances, I found the "journal page" which was advising (I presume) bankers and investors how to best explain psychosexual development to their pre-school offspring .

Waiting for the plan home, I read a new draft report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges on consultant-led and delivered services. I would welcome your views on this topic as it is I think critical to our future as psychiatrists.



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