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

Unifying themes

Friday, 2 December 2011

It’s felt like a hectic week, with a great many meetings. But the same themes have emerged from many of them.

In England, most things seem to be waiting on the publication of the second stage Future Forum report, andmany other important issues appear to be on hold. This is frustrating for clinicians and service providers alike. At the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Council Meeting on Tuesday, we discussed an interesting document about cost-effectiveness of consultant delivered care. As many of you will know, the Academy has been undertaking a study into the evidence for beneifts to patients of secondary medical healthcare in the NHS being delivered primarily by consultants. There is evidence of this, but obviously not to the level of RCT trials.

The Policy Unit here at the College has also been looking at the specific literature with regard to consultant-delivered care by psychiatrists. I have just had a quick look and, at least from the abstracts, there does seem to be, if anything, stronger evidence of the cost-benefit of consultant delivered care by psychiatrists. We are now going to look at the full papers in more dept.

The other major concern at both the Academy and the joint meeting between the Academy and the BMA, was a growing belief across our systems that there is a movement to have the delivery of postgraduate medical training undertaken by universities. This would thus diminish the role of the Royal Medical Colleges, and is something we need to take very seriously.

It was great to be at the Officers meeting yesterday afternoon with all the new Officers now in place. I particularly welcome Dr Wendy Burn as the new Dean. 

Yesterday morning, together with Lucy Thorpe, our Head of Policy, I had a really constructive meeting with the Chief Executive of Turning Point, Lord Victor Adebowale. The meeting allowed us to discuss some issues from their key areas of work, i.e. providing services for users of services across the fields of forensic learning disability, and in particular addiction services. I hope to be taking some joint work forward with Victor Adebowale, who is of course an Honorary Fellow of our College.

And of course it's also that time of year again. This weekend, I'm due to take a trip into the loft at home to look at the state of the Christmas decorations!



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