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

January 2011

College news


Other news


Professor Dinesh Bhugra, President of The Royal College of Psychiatrists; Congressman Mike Quigley, Ken Busch MD, Chair of the Congressman's Health Care Advisory Committee College news


President’s update and plans for 2011: find out more

“This autumn, my priority has been with meeting colleagues and representatives from other international psychiatric organisations, many of whom are interested in developing professional and educational links with the RCPsych. This year has been a very busy one for all the elected Officers and members involved in College activities, working on your behalf both nationally and internationally. So Seasons Greetings and a happy New Year to all members, colleagues and staff. I hope 2011 is full of joy for you and your loved ones.”


Presidential election









Annual Review 2010









Independent review of the Work Capacity Assessment
  • Presidential election: how to vote

    All College members will receive election papers by post. Members can use the traditional postal vote or, for the first time, an online vote. In the papers will be clear instructions about how to vote on-line. Each member will get two unique numbers and a website link to the Electoral Reform Services website and the College’s online voting paper and supporting statements. There are security precautions to avoid the use of both methods. If you do not receive your ballot paper by 4 January 2011, please contact Paul O’Connor. The closing date for voting is 12 noon on 24 January 2011.



  • Vacancies

    Diploma in Mental Health (DMH): Question Writing Panel Working Group

    The Examinations Unit is developing a Diploma in Mental Health aimed at GP trainees and other healthcare professionals within the Primary Care sector. We are looking for consultants interested in joining the Question Writing Panel Working Group, responsible for producing questions for the DMH written paper. Contact Fauzan Palekar, Head of Examinations & Education Policy for details.

    Are you interested in volunteering? Information from International Advisory Committee

    There are a number of volunteering opportunities in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Gaza, Mongolia and the Pacific Islands. The College’s volunteer scheme aims to facilitate contact between hospitals, clinics, projects and communities in need of psychiatric expertise and training, and psychiatrists who are willing to offer their time and support.



  • RCPsych Annual Review 2010

    Read about some of the College’s major achievements and activities during the past year in the Annual Review 2010.



  • News from members
    Baroness Hollins delivers maiden speech in House of Lords 

    Former-President, Baroness Sheila Hollins, delivered her maiden speech in the House of Lords on 2 December 2010. Speaking during Lord Alton of Liverpool’s debate on human rights abuses worldwide, she shared her concerns about the rights of people of all ages with learning disabilities.

    National award for eating disorders pioneer 

    Leicester-based eating disorders specialist Professor Bob Palmer has won a national lifetime achievement award from eating disorders charity Beat. The award is presented in recognition of significant, worldwide clinical work, research or advocacy.



  • The College in the news
    Independent review of the Work Capacity Assessment 

    The Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) has published its findings and recommendations in late November 2010. Responding on behalf of the College, Dr Jed Boardman said: “The College welcomes the report and hopes that the Government responds to the concerns it raises. We have been aware for several years that the WCA is a flawed process and often denies people with mental health problems the benefits that they are entitled to. The review has picked up many of the problems in the process of assessment that contribute to this. The process needs urgent revision to ensure that it is fair and effective."

    New Drug Strategy launched

    The key elements of the strategy, Reducing demand, restricting supply, building recovery: supporting people to live a drug-free life are:

    • taking more action to seize assets of those involved in the drugs trade, at home and abroad
    • giving teachers greater powers to search and confiscate drugs and alcohol in schools
    • creating a support network of 'recovery champions' who have conquered their own addiction
    • Meanwhile, power to tackle drugs problems will be passed to local partnerships which will be responsible for designing and commissioning services.

    Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, Chair of the Addictions Faculty, also welcomed the plans, including the "renewed ambition for people with substance misuse problems to move through treatment and into sustained recovery. Accessible, high quality treatment, based on sound evidence, is vital in helping people with substance misuse problems fulfill their recovery potential," he said.


Independent inquiry into assisted dying








Green Paper: Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders



  • Independent inquiry into assisted dying 

    The Commission on Assisted Dying will review evidence from experts and the public and consider what system, if any, should exist to allow people to be assisted to die and whether any changes in the law are needed. The commission will publish a final report at the end of 2011.



  • Government plans to tackle public health inequalities

    Health Secretary Andrew Lansley recently launched the Public Health White Paper Healthy lives, healthy people which sets out the Government’s long-term vision for the future of public health in England. It aims to protect the health of the nation and reduce health inequalities. Professor Dinesh Bhugra warmly welcomed the white paper for acknowledging that mental health is central to public health. The College would welcome your views. Closing date: 1 February 2011. Please email Claire Churchill.



  • Green Paper: Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders

    Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has launched a Green Paper which sets out plans to break the cycle of crime and prison by ensuring that jails become places of hard work, that rehabilitation programmes are opened up to innovation from the private and charitable sectors, paid by results, and that the priority will be to reduce the re-offending by people after they have been punished. The College would welcome your views. Closing date: 28 February 2011. Please email Claire Churchill.



  • Law Commission: Unfitness to plead 

    The recommendations focus on a new legal test for determining whether a person is unfit to plead, and reform of the section 4A hearing which follows a finding that an accused person is unfit to plead. The proposals aim to bring the criminal law into line with modern psychiatric understanding and the approach of the civil law to capacity - both in the civil common law and under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The College would welcome your views. Closing date: 20 January 2011. Please email Claire Churchill.



  • Commission on Funding of Care and Support: a call for evidence 

    The Commission on Funding of Care and Support has launched a 'Call for Evidence’ to hear people’s ideas on what a future funding system for care and support should look like. Chair of the Commission, Andrew Dilnot said, “...the numbers of over 65s are projected to grown by 50% in the next 20 years and those over 90 will nearly treble. This means demand for care and support will increase by around two-thirds. The system needs to change to better meet the challenges.”



Personal Health Budgets pilot programme







Mental health services need to cut costs and improve care







Information sheets on improving care for people with long-term conditions


Other news



CQC’s annual assessments of local councils 

Councils maintained a high quality in social care services for adults in 2009-10. Outcomes for local people who use these services continued to improve in key areas such as choice and control, dignity and respect, and health and emotional well-being. Of the 152 councils responsible for adult social care services in England, 95% (145) were assessed as performing well or excellently.


Evaluation: Personal Health Budgets pilot programme 

The Department of Health has published the second interim independent evaluation report on the personal health budgets pilot programme by the Personal Health Budgets Evaluation team led by the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent. The report states that there is an overwhelming view that personal health budgets would have a positive impact on both budget holders and carers.


Mental health services need to cut costs and improve care

A new report by the King's Fund and the Centre for Mental Health calls for a reduction in the use of hospital beds for patients with mental health problems who could be cared for in the community. The report argues for changes in the delivery of mental health services to improve patient care and increased productivity.


Early intervention can save the UK millions per year

New research from the London School of Economics and Political Science and King's College London has shown the social and economic benefits of the Early Intervention in Psychosis model in reducing unemployment and suicide. The survey suggests that the UK could save £40 million per year in the short-term, £33 million in the medium-term and £18 million in the long-term.


News from other organisations and the NHS

  • The NHS Atlas of Variation 
  • GP consortia pathfinders
  • Plans in place to transform community services 
  • Recognised, valued and supported: next steps for the Carers Strategy
  • New report: Social care and hospital use at the end of life
  • Reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs 
  • Vision for Adult Social Care and supporting documents

  • Migration Advisory Committee Limits on Migration: NHS Employers responds 

  • Lenders must ensure borrowers have mental capacity

  • Attacks on NHS workers rise to 57,000

  • £3.2 million to improve access to support for sexual assault

  • Need screening of young people with learning disabilities in prison

  • New Position Statement: Recovery is for All


2011 Hippocrates Prize: poetry prize for NHS employees

Wales’ first national poet Gwyneth Lewis and former RCGP chair, Professor Steve Field, have joined the judging panel for the international competition for poetry and medicine. The 2011 Hippocrates Prize has an £15,000 award fund for unpublished poems in English. The NHS-related category is open to NHS employees, health students and those working in professional organisations involved in education and training of NHS students and staff.  Closing date: 31 January 2011.


Information sheets on improving care for people with long-term conditions

The Department of Health has produced a series of information sheets for healthcare professionals supporting individuals with long-term conditions, which cover a range of topics including care planning, care co-ordination, managing need and assessment of risk, motivating people to self care, goal setting and action planning, and end-of-life care.


World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH): Solidarity Appeal

For sixty years, the WFMH has promoted its vision of a world in which mental health is a priority for all people. It has embarked on a major initiative to advocate for the inclusion of mental health in the United Nations Special Session on Non-Communicable Diseases that will take place in September 2011. The WFMH needs your support so that it can continue this campaign and your contribution to the appeal would be a huge help in moving this agenda forward.



Keeper: a book about memory, identity, isolation, Wordsworth and cake by Andrea Gillies




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