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

Handbags and appointments

Wednesday, 20 June

Yesterday, I was on my way to a discussion on neuroscience, children and the law at the Houses of Parliament when I was distracted by an exhibition called Bags of Attitude.

Bags of Attitude ExhibitionThe project was developed last summer by artist Charlotte Newson, in partnership with Oxfam, who worked with women from across Greater Manchester to explore the effect that increasing financial hardship was having on their lives. The women decided to creatively express their current financial difficulties by making exhibition handbags. Each woman filled their bags with to show how they have been affected. The handbags revealed multiple medications (evidence of chronic ill health) but also messages of determination and challenge, all delivered with attitude and creativity.

Last week, Oxfam published a report, The Perfect Storm, which documents how the Government's deficit reduction strategy is disproportionately impacting those on the lowest incomes. It states that having a job is no longer necessarily enough to lift someone out of poverty. The final recommendation of the report is to ‘rethink how we measure value’ and whether what is being done to ‘fix’ the economy is really sustainably benefiting society.

Yesterday, I was interested to see that Ian Cumming was confirmed as the first Chief Executive of Health Education England (HEE). Ian Cumming is currently National Director for Quality at the Department of Health.


The NHS Commissioning Board has also confirmed the appointment of four new Non-Executive Directors. Interesting to see that none of them are clinicians. You can see the full list of who’s who on the Board too.



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