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

Winners of inaugural RCPsych Awards announced

Embargoed until 06 October 2009

The nine winners of the first annual RCPsych Awards have been announced at a prestigious ceremony at the Royal Society of Medicine.

The awards mark the highest level of achievement within psychiatry, and are designed to recognise and reward excellent practice in the field of mental health.

The winners of the RCPsych Awards 2009 are:

  • Psychiatric Team of the Year – The Bridge Substance Misuse Service, Solihull
  • Psychiatrist of the Year – Dr David Fearnley
  • Core Trainee of the Year – Dr Ian Harwood
  • Advanced Trainee of the Year – Dr Susham Gupta
  • Psychiatric Academic of the Year – Professor Michael Sharpe
  • Medical Manager/Leader of the Year – Dr Ify Okocha
  • Mental Health Service Provider of the Year – Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
  • Public Educator of the Year – Dr Philip Timms
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Professor Sir David Goldberg

The awards ceremony, held on 6 October, was hosted by journalist and broadcaster Libby Purves. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Professor Louis Appleby, National Director for Mental Health in England. Phil Hope MP, Minister of State for Care Services was also in attendance to celebrate the occasion.

Speaking at the ceremony, Libby Purves said: “I was delighted to be invited to host the RCPsych Awards. I lost my son Nicholas to suicide three years ago this summer. I am someone who has accepted that there will always be cases of suicide. I maintain a greater respect for psychiatrists because of my experience, and I believe we need the blend of scientific and intuitive skills offered by psychiatrists.”                                                                   

Professor Dinesh Bhugra, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “We received hundreds of nominations and the judging panels were extremely impressed by the high standard of entries. I heartily congratulate the overall winners, as well as the excellent individuals and teams who were shortlisted for each category.

“Psychiatry does on occasion receive bad press, so it is hugely inspiring to recognise through the RCPsych Awards those examples of outstanding individuals and brilliant mental health services.”

Professor Bhugra paid a special tribute to Professor Sir David Goldberg, winner of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Bhugra said: “Throughout his career, David has contributed prodigiously and fruitfully to areas of academic activity. David is a natural leader. People follow him for his wisdom, his dedication to the subject and his awareness of differences and similarities across cultures and societies. His teaching skills, his mastery of the subject, and his wise ambassadorship on behalf of patients and psychiatry make him a charismatic figure. David is the ideal candidate to receive the College’s first Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a richly deserving winner.”

Nominations for the RCPsych Awards 2010 will open in December.

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896


Note to editors:

The RCPsych Awards 2009 were generously sponsored by:  NCI Information Systems Inc. (Diamond sponsor)  St Andrew’s Healthcare (Gold sponsor)  CHK Charities Ltd (Silver sponsor)  Cambridge University Press


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