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

Your views on the Bill

Thursday 6 October 2011

I want to let all Members and Fellows in England know about a new College survey on the Health and Social Care Bill. As you know the Health and Social Care Bill reaches its second reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday, 11 October. We, along with the other medical royal colleges, have been involved in seeking amendments to the Bill. But it is really important that I have your current views on the Bill, as we brief peers in more detail about our concerns.

The survey is short, and should only take a few minutes of your time. It has been emailed to all our members in England for whom we have a working email address. If you are a psychiatrist working in England and have not received an email about the survey. please email Chris Fitch. Please help me by responding as soon as you can before the survey closes at 1pm on Monday 10 October.

Regular readers of this blog will know I visited the Northern & Yorkshire Division last Friday. Yesterday, I travelled to Leicester for the Trent Division AGM. At both meetings, I’ve been impressed by the quality of the programmes, the enthusiasm of the attendees, and their willingness to share their thoughts with me. In both regions, I heard members’ concerns about adult mental health services, and the pros and cons of functional team ‘splits’. I will take this discussion forward into the General & Community Faculty meeting next week.

Congratulations to Dr Wendy Burn, who was elected as our new Dean earlier in the week. She’s certainly hit the ground running, attending her first Heads of School meeting as Dean today. I’m very much looking forward to working with Wendy in the coming weeks and months.

This afternoon I attended a meeting of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England Advisory Group. This will be my second meeting about suicide prevention this week. It is very sobering to sit in the same room and work with parents who have lost an adult child through suicide. A key concern for parents and carers of adult service users is that of confidentiality. This is also a matter that’s been arising in discussions between our Service User Recovery Forum (SURF) and our Carers’ Forum. I would very much welcome your views and experience on how we can balance the confidentiality and rights of individual patients with the concerns of carers, and the knowledge they may and do hold about risk of suicide (there's a feedback form below).

Tonight, I fly to Naples for the annual meeting of the Council of the European Union of Medical Specialists. We'll be discussing a wide range of issues including continuing professional development, e-Health, postgraduate training, quality in patient care, and specialist practice in current health systems.

 I have another busy week lined up next week, but hope to take some time out the week after. I’ll be spending it with my family, and my new grandson who has just started smiling. 


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