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

On my way to the WPA

Monday, 19 September 2011

I spent the weekend travelling to Buenos Aires for the 15th World Congress of the World Psychiatric Association. En route to Argentina, I was given a timely reminder of the ever-increasing demands on the curriculum by a colleague in Manchester who runs the local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Following publication of the government’s strategic vision to end violence against women and girls, work has started on curriculum-mapping and development for all staff – which of course includes psychiatrists.

Juggling these demands on the curriculum will be a task for our next Dean. We need to think about bringing many core common elements together, as they apply to all psychiatrists across all stages of their careers. Shared learning would be better learning, as each specialty brings with it its unique knowledge and skills. As you know, elections for a new Dean are taking place at the moment and I urge all Members to take part and register their vote.

At the meeting of Council last Friday Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, the chair of our Faculty of Addictions Psychiatry, said he is hearing of yet more cuts to and closure of addictions services. He will shortly be sending a survey about this out to Members, and I ask you to please respond with any information you have. Dr Adrian James, chair of our Westminster Parliamentary Liaison Committee, and Will Pickering, our Public Affairs Manager, will be raising our concerns about the demise of addictions services at all three party conferences over the next three weeks.

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