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

September 2011

College news
Other news



Professor Nick Craddock College news



New Treasurer looks to cut meeting costs

The over-riding aim of the new Treasurer, Professor Nick Craddock, is to make sure the College delivers value for money in all areas of activity. With College members having to cope with pay freezes, difficulties in getting study leave and reduced study budgets, it is increasingly important that the cost of College meetings is realistic and affordable to psychiatrists at all career stages. Professor Craddock will be working with the Director of Conferences, College Officers, Council and College staff to find ways to reduce the registration costs for the College's annual International meetings. Professor Craddock is also keen to hear from members with comments or ideas for reducing costs and/or improving value for money for College meetings. More widely, he is keen to hear from members with suggestions for reducing costs and/or improving value for money for any aspect of College activity.


 Advances in Psychiatric Treatment journal






E-Health insider campaign






NICE Fellowship Profiles 2011 Dr Paul Blenkiron






Professor Timothy Peters: King George III and the Porphyria Myth: Causes and Consequences






Dr Rex Haigh in Kabul



  • New and improved benefits to members

    From January 2012, the full-text of Advances in Psychiatric Treatment will be available to all members free online as part of their annual RCPsych membership and the the cost of the print version of the journal will drop to £50 per year. Members with existing subscriptions will automatically receive a renewal notice for the print version at the reduced price. Read more about these changes.

    Great news about CPD Online too - from January 2012 members will be able to subscribe for just £45 + VAT, a 40% saving! At the same time the number of CPD hours that you can use CPD Online to contribute to your CPD requirements each year rises from 10 to 25 – half your annual requirement. Members who already subscribe will receive automatically adjusted renewal notices from September onwards. Members can also access the online version of Evidence-Based Mental Health for free through the members’ secure area. Print copies of the journal are just £10 per year for all four issues.



  • The National Audit of Schizophrenia

    Those mental health Trusts/Health Boards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which provide care and treatment to adults with schizophrenia in the community are taking part in the National Audit of Schizophrenia. NAS is part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme, funded by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and managed by the College Centre for Quality Improvement. Psychiatrists may be contacted by local audit leads to complete audit forms about their service users during the data collection period (1 August - 30 November 2011). Data is being collected from psychiatrists about antipsychotic prescribing and physical health monitoring. Service users are being asked to complete questionnaires about their experience of care and treatment within the past 12 months. Carers will be asked to complete questionnaires about their satisfaction with the support and information they receive.



  • RCPsych Informatics Committee: Dr Jonathan Richardson, Chair, reports

    The Informatics Committee is backing the E-Health insider campaign for a Chief Clinical Information Officer in each trust. Every NHS Trust that has had a successful implementation of an IT project had a clinical lead. With the wide use of electronic patient records, there is need to formalise these arrangements rather than doing this project by project. The campaign also has the backing of the Royal College of Physicians and Sir Bruce Keogh. Individual College members can show their support for the campaign on its dedicated web pages.




  • New College reports

    CR159: Standards on the use of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (England and Wales): This updated report is a set of standards giving guidance on the use of Section 136. It also includes a revised version of the standardised recording form to monitor Section 136 detentions.


  • Prestigious Lecture Series

    Tuesday 4 October 2011: Professor Timothy Peters: King George III and the Porphyria Myth: Causes and Consequences: 6.30 pm  at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 17 Belgrave Square.

    King George III (1738-1820) had episodes of recurrent mental ill health reliably diagnosed as manic-depressive psychosis. In the 1960s, Ida Macalpine and Richard Hunter stated that medical records showed that he suffered from acute intermittent porphyria, subsequently changed to the rarer and milder variegate porphyria. Recent re-evaluation of his records has shown that Macalpine and Hunter were highly selective in their reporting and interpretation of his signs. The underlying reasons for the false claims of acute porphyria by Macalpine and Hunter and their general acceptance will be discussed. Entry is by ticket only as places are limited. Email by Wednesday 28 September 2011.



  • College in the news

    Depression must not be excluded from general practice quality framework

    The College and a number of mental health charities and professional groups have expressed concern over proposals to exclude measures  for how GPs support patients with depression in the Quality and Outcomes Framework for primary care next year. President, Professor Sue Bailey said: “Depression has a significant impact on the lives of those who personally experience it, but also the lives of their families and carer, andon society as a whole. The Quality and Outcomes Framework not only acts as an incentive to improve the quality of care available to those who experience depression, but helps to shape the care that will be available in the future.” 

    10 things you didn’t know about NICE

    Dr Paul Blenkiron, NICE Fellow, outlines 10 things that you may not know about NICE.

    College blogs: members volunteering or working overseas

    Dr Rex Haigh has recently returned from his first of four weeks in Kabul, helping to set up modern mental health services there, which is an EU funded project being delivered by the International Medical Corps. The College is always interested in hearing from members who have volunteered or are working overseas and who have set up their own blogs – do contact us.



Call for evidence to commission on improving dignity in care



  • Call for evidence to commission on improving Dignity to Care 

    The NHS Confederation, Local Government Group, and Age UK have come together to launch a commission on improving dignity in care for older people in hospitals and care homes.

    The commission has been established in light of a series of reports on dignity and compassion in care ranging from the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust inquiry to the health ombudsman’s report on patient complaints. This is an opportunity for us all to take an honest look at why poor care is sometimes provided, and come up with the right solutions that will work on the ground. We would be happy to receive comments by 12 September 2011.



  • Consultation on increases to NHS Pension Scheme contributions launched  

    The Department of Health has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the level of contributions made by NHS Pension Scheme members towards their pension. The consultation document sets out proposals for increased employee contributions to the NHS Pension Scheme in 2012/13. Closing date for comments 21 October 2011.



Mental health service users and personal health budgets






Patients will have a stronger voice






BMA: Safeguarding vulnerable adults






Centre for Mental Health and Business in the Community: discussion paper


News from other organisations and the NHS



The Care Quality Commission (CQC)

  • Survey of people who use community mental health services

    The experiences of more than 17,000 service users across the 65 NHS mental health trusts in England are reflected in a survey of people who use community mental health services.

  • ‘Acting Together’ programme to involve people who use services

    This is a new partnership scheme that enables the CQC to call on people who use services to advise on and contribute to its work. It includes involving people as ‘Experts by Experience’ on inspections of health and social care services and in visits to monitor the use of the Mental Health Act.


Mental health service users and personal health budgets

An NHS Confederation Mental Health Network report discusses views on personal health budgets by people accessing mental health services, and their carers. The report states that only a minority of people would want a personal health budget.


Department of Health and NHS

  • Commissioning prison-based substance misuse services

    New guidance has been published, in conjunction with the National Treatment Agency. The guidance takes the form of a letter with an appendix from Richard Bradshaw (Director, Offender Health), Ian Poree (Director of Service Development NOMS and Rosanna O’Connor (Director of Delivery NTA).

  • Patients will have a stronger voice

    Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley has announced that 75 Local HealthWatch pathfinders, introduced as part of the Government’s plans to modernise the NHS. These new learning networks will champion patients’ views and experiences, promote the integration of local services and improve choice for patients through advice and access to information.

  • Publication of chronic conditions guidelines

    Produced by the Health at Work network, Chronic conditions guidelines are available to download for line managers and employees.
  • Modernisation of Health and Care - SHA cluster chief executives appointed

    Sir David Nicholson has made the following appointments:
    • Ian Dalton CBE to the post of chief executive of NHS North of England.
    • Sir Ian Carruthers to the post of chief executive of NHS South of England.
    • Sir Neil McKay to the post of chief executive of NHS Midlands and East.
    • Dame Ruth Carnall continues as chief executive of NHS London.

    They will assume their roles on Monday 3 October 2011.

  • Launch of new Human Rights in Healthcare website

    The aim of this website is to promote a human rights based approach in health and social care and be a web resource where people interested in a human rights based approach to healthcare can share experience, learn and make links online.
  • NHS Employers: guide to consultant job planning

    The NHS Employers and the BMA have worked together to produce 'A guide to consultant job planning'. The guide emphasises the need for consultants and managers to work closely together.


£3m for mental illness research in Wales

The National Centre for Mental Health will receive £3m of funding from the Welsh Government, and will research conditions like autism and Alzheimer's. It will be led by Cardiff University Professor Nick Craddock and will work with health boards across Wales.


General Medical Council: new tribunal service for doctors gets go-ahead

The GMC’s Council has approved plans to establish the new Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, a key part of its programme of reforms to the way it deals with doctors where there are questions about their conduct or their ability to treat patients safely.   


BMA: Safeguarding vulnerable adult

This toolkit provides advice to doctors on promoting and protecting the wellbeing of vulnerable adults. Although aimed at GPs, any professional working in health care settings with vulnerable adults will find it useful. The toolkit highlights the obligation doctors have to protect vulnerable adults, including identifying abusers, identifying systemic healthcare failures and reporting poor performance by health professionals and inludes examples of good practice and signposts key guidance, relevant legislation and useful names and addresses.


Mental health provision failing young BMEs

A new report from The Afiya Trust, 'Enjoy, Achieve and Be Healthy: The mental health of black and minority ethnic children and young people’, highlights the emergence of BME children receiving insufficient and ineffective consideration due to their age and ethnicity and are being overlooked in the planning and provision of services.


Munro Review on Child Protection: government response

The government has published its response to the Munro Review of Child Protection. The response was informed by an Implementation Working Group drawing on expertise from local authority children’s services, the social work profession, education, police and health services.


Centre for Mental Health and Business in the Community: discussion paper

Managing Presenteeism, a discussion paper with tips for managers on reducing low productivity in the workplace, has found that presenteeism from mental ill health costs the UK economy £15 billion a year - almost double the cost of sickness absence due to mental ill health.




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