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

March 2012

College news
Other news



President’s update: Bill survey analysis College news



President’s update: Bill survey analysis

As you know, we surveyed our membership at the end of January to gauge psychiatrists’ opinions on the Health and Social Care Bill. We swiftly analysed the quantitative responses to help us formulate a College statement clarifying our position on the Bill. Read more...


Psychiatric diaspora organisations – developing links 

The President, Professor Sue Bailey is keen to build links with psychiatric diaspora organisations in the UK. She would like to develop our relationship with these organisations. Please can you email us with information about an organisation you may belong to, or one that you may know of.

CPD processes









The Morris Markowe Public Education Prize









Prestigious lecture series 2012 at the Royal College of Psychiatrists









College Sustainable Initiatives









College welcomes Lords vote for mental health









Network news from Kabul - Yousuf Ali Rahimi, MD MRCPsych
  • CPD processes: an important update: Dr JS Bamrah, Director for CPD

    College Members and Affiliates will be pleased to learn that the CPD section of the College website has now been updated to enable online submission of CPD returns. The submission pages will be accessible and easy to navigate. At the same time, the old CPD policy will now be superceded by a policy that promotes three domains of CPD: Clinical, Academic and Professional. There will no longer be a split into Internal and External categories, although it is expected that members will be encouraged to do both, and peer group involvement is enhanced. The old ”Form E” will cease to exist, being replaced by the online submission system.

    The new online CPD Management System, effective 19 March 2012, will enable a provisional CPD certificate to be generated when members input their CPD accruement for the year. The paperwork and administrative time will be significantly reduced, and electronic storage of data will make it relatively simple to perform yearly audits on all the CPD forms submitted. We would encourage members to contact us should they experience any initial problems.



  • Four new guides to improve mental health commissioning

    The JCP-MH has published four new guides on primary mental health care services, child and adolescent mental health service transitions, dementia services and acute liaison services. Dr Neil Deuchar, College Commissioning Lead and Co-Chair of the JCP-MH said: “We know that commissioning mental health services can be challenging, particularly in these times of uncertainty and change. By bringing together experts from all parts of mental health, the panel aims to help current and future commissioners gain confidence and expertise in ‘values-based’ mental health commissioning.”



  • The Morris Markowe Public Education Prize

    The prize is open to all members of the College, including trainees, and is awarded annually for (a) an original article on a psychiatric topic of approximately 1,000 words, aimed at the general public and suitable for publication in a national/local newspaper, lay journal, or on the internet or (b) an article on a psychiatric topic of approximately 1,000 words, aimed at the general public and published in the last year (between May and April annually) in a national/local newspaper, lay journal, or on the internet or (c) an article on a psychiatric topic of approximately 1,000 words, aimed at the general public, commissioned by the Public Education Committee for publication in a national/local newspaper, lay journal, or on the internet. An award of £1,000 will be made to the successful entrant. Entries can be submitted electronically to Deborah Hart, or in typescript, indicating the target publication/audience (e.g. local newspaper) by 1 May 2012.



  • College vacancies

    Associate-Dean for Equivalence

    A vacancy has arisen for an Associate-Dean to take up office in July 2012. The post-holder will work within the team of Associate Deans and report to the Dean. The primary role is to lead the College’s work on applications for Specialist Registration through the ‘CESR’ route. Applications should be received by 5pm on 16 March 2012 and interviews will be held in Leeds on 20 April 2012.

    Associate-Registrar (Public Engagement)

    The College wishes to appoint an Associate-Registrar (Public Engagement) to (a) work to improve the understanding and awareness of mental health issues with the public and the media, and to raise the profile of psychiatry and the College and (b) oversee and develop service user and carer activities and representation in the College. The term of office is 5 years, from July 2012 to July 2017.



  • Prestigious lecture series 2012 at the Royal College of Psychiatrists

    Tuesday 24 April

    Dr Sheila Shribman, National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Maternity Services. Title to be confirmed

    Wednesday 23 May

    Professor Edgar Jones, Professor of the History of Medicine and Psychiatry, King’s Centre for Military Health Research: Military Psychiatry: a significant contribution or a worthless distraction?

    Tuesday 19 June

    Rt. Hon. Baroness Hale: Legal Academic, Barrister, Judge and a Justice of the Supreme Court. Title to be confirmed.

    Tuesday 23 October

    Professor Eileen Munro, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics. Improving front line practice in child protection.

    There will be a charge of £5 per event, payable on the door on the evening. To reserve a place, email Nicola Boyce stating the name of the speaker and the number of tickets you require.



  • RCPsych Awards: Call for Entries 2012

    The deadline for entries for the RCPsych Awards 2012 has been extended to 12 March 2012.



  • Enewsletter polls: your views wanted

    Results of last month’s poll:

    • The West London Mental Health NHS Trust has produced a film on Broadmoor to promote wider understanding of its work. Do you agree that secure hospitals should be more open about their work? 35 agree vs. 1 disagree.


    This month's poll:

    • We are seeking your views on the following statement: “Mental Healthcare is currently responsible for about 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually in England alone. Given that we are legally bound to reduce this figure by over 80%, where might savings come from once fuel and electricity costs are reduced to a minimum?” Email your comments/thoughts.





  • Management and Leadership for psychiatrists

    Dr Neil Deuchar and Dr Dheeraj Chaudhary Council has approved the establishment of a Special Committee for Management and Leadership. This committee, with representatives from Faculties, Sections and Divisions and the RCPsych in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, will build upon the work of the former Management SIG and incorporate the existing Medical Directors’ Executive. It will work with existing College structures to support all psychiatrists in leadership, and those in formal medical management roles. Web pages will be up and running shortly and there are plans for events in 2012/2013. Members of the former SIG have been placed on a new mailing list, and others are very welcome to join – please email. The founding membership of the new cross College Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management is open until 31 March 2012, and will include free attendance at a conference later in the year. RCPsych sign up is very good already, but if you have not yet joined please visit the website



  • College in the news

    College welcomes Lords vote for mental health

    The College has welcomed the news that the House of Lords has voted by 244 to 240 in favour of an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill to place an explicit duty on the Secretary of State to promote parity of esteem between mental and physical health services. Professor Sue Bailey said: "We were delighted this amendment was passed, as we have long campaigned for mental health to be on an equal footing with physical health. However, the College still has major concerns about many aspects of the Bill and believes it will remain fundamentally flawed unless it undergoes further significant revision." 

    Advertising Standards Authority bans ‘misleading’ L’Oréal advert

    The ASA upheld a complaint by co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence, Jo Swinson MP, about a misleading L’Oréal advertisement. The ASA ruled that the image used in an advertisement for L’Oréal Paris’ Revitalift Repair 10 was altered to change Rachel Weisz’s complexion, making it appear smoother and more even. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has spoken out about the harmful influence of the media on body image and has highlighted the airbrushing and digital enhancement used to portray physical perfection as an area of concern.



  • Volunteering: Network news from Kabul

    Dr Yousuf Ali Rahimi writes about his experience of working in Kabul’s only 60 bed mental health hospital for a growing population of around 5 million people.


    Dr Rex Haigh talks about possible programmes to provide an effective economical and culturally acceptable programme for the development of innovative and high quality services in Afghanistan.




Guidance for the Investigation Committee and case examiners when considering allegations about a doctor’s involvement in encouraging or assisting suicide: a draft for consultation









Views sought on overseas doctor tests




  • Guidance for the Investigation Committee and case examiners when considering allegations about a doctor’s involvement in encouraging or assisting suicide: a draft for consultation 

    The GMC are consulting on new draft guidance to use when they are considering allegations about a doctor’s involvement in encouraging or assisting suicide. The consultation is open to anyone who wishes to respond, but they are particularly keen to hear from people who are affected by the issues it raises. Encouraging or assisting suicide remains a criminal offence and the guidance reflects the law on this subject.

    The College will be submitting a single response to the draft guidance and the consultation questions to reflect the views of the membership and would welcome your input, rather than members individually completing the questionnaire. Deadline for responses to Claire Churchill by Friday 13 April 2012.


  • Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF)  

    As part of the process to develop a COF that measures the health outcomes and quality of care achieved by clinical commissioning groups, stakeholders have the opportunity to comment on new indicators recommended by the COF Advisory Committee as well as a number based on the NHS Outcomes Framework, and an additional list identified by the NHS Information Centre. The College is collecting responses. Email Helena Brice by the end of February 2012.


  • Views sought on overseas doctor tests  

    The GMC is reviewing its test for doctors from outside Europe who want to register in the UK and would like to hear from a wide range of interested parties. The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test is the main route through which doctors who qualified outside the UK or EEA demonstrate their clinical skills before they join the UK medical register. The in-depth review will make sure that the PLAB test continues to represent best practice in medical testing. The group has issued a call for written evidence on the PLAB test, and the GMC will commission research to support the review alongside a literature review on best practice in comparable examinations.


  • Mental Health Strategies: National survey of investment in mental health services for 2011-12  

    The National Survey of Investment in Mental Health Services for the 2011-12 collection is the tenth national survey exercise for working age adults and the sixth for older adults. The data provide detailed analysis on spending in mental health services which can help Ministers in answering parliamentary questions. It should also assist the Department  of Health  and local authorities in formulating policy for the provision of mental health services. This letter explains the responsibility of local implementation team leads to co-ordinate, collect, review and return all data to Mental Health Strategies. The deadline is 23 March 2012. 




Coalition Government’s health and social care reforms









The future for public health









Change4Life campaign









New guidance prevents doctors from being 'gagged'









Report: Improving the Mental Health of Looked After Young People









BBC: The New Elizabethans


News from other organisations and the NHS


Allow doctors to take on roles to benefit UK healthcare

The GMC's Chair and UK’s chief medical officers have urged those who employ doctors to enable them to take on advisory and support roles that will benefit healthcare systems across the UK. Government and statutory agencies such as NICE, the Committee of Human Medicines, Royal Colleges and the GMC rely heavily on the involvement of senior medical professionals for their expertise and experience in a range of roles.


Mental health in parliament

Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health has stated that the NHS must devote more time and resources to mental health if it is to meet the demands of the 21st century. Changes to people's lifestyles meant mental illness, which receives only 6.5% of total health spending, would soon be "the biggest burden on society". He called for GPs to give more consideration to mental health problems and treatments as part of a sea change in attitudes towards the issue. 


Better NHS services reduce suicide rates

A study by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness has shown a positive link between improvements in mental health services and a reduction in suicide rates. The researchers used nine national recommendations for safer services and compared the rates of suicide in NHS Mental Health Trusts before and after the recommendations were adopted. They also compared suicide rates in Trusts that adopted few of the recommendations with those that adopted many. 


Gap between Scottish and English suicide rates widens

A new study has revealed the widening gap in suicide rates between Scotland and England & Wales due to a large extent to the number of young Scottish men taking their lives. The research, carried out by the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh and the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, examined suicide rates north and south of the border between 1960 and 2008. The team found that the suicide rate in both men and women was in fact lower in Scotland until around 1968 when it overtook the rate in England & Wales. Suicides among men continued to rise on both sides of the border until the early 1990s when rates in England & Wales began to fall and the gap between north and south widened markedly.


Department of Health

  • Health and Social Care Bill explained
  • Dame Fiona Caldicott to lead review into confidentiality and the sharing of health and social care information
  • Mental health community teams activity data, 2011-12 Q3
  • Personal health budgets and NHS Continuing Healthcare
  • Framework agreement for NHS Commissioning Board Authority in place
  • Department seeks partners for reaching young people
  • First estimates of funding in new health structure
  • The future for public health


Estimating the prevalence of autism spectrum conditions in adults

Adults with a more severe learning disability also have a greater likelihood of having autism according to a report published by the NHS Information Centre.


Major overhaul to reform family justice system

In the government’s response to the recommendations made by the independent family justice review panel, ministers have outlined their plans to reform the system to help strengthen parenting, reduce the time it takes cases to progress through the courts, and simplify the family justice system.


Alcohol Behaviour Change

A new campaign aimed at encouraging Scots to think about the health effects of regularly drinking above the recommended alcohol guidelines has been launch. The Scottish Government’s Alcohol Behaviour Change is encouraging women to ‘Drop a Glass Size’ in 2012.


Don’t let drink sneak up on you

A new national Change4Life campaign exposes that drinking slightly over the lower-risk alcohol guidelines can seriously impact long term health. The advert highlights that regularly drinking around two large glasses of wine or two strong pints of beer a day triples the risk of developing mouth cancer and double the risk of developing high blood pressure.


Reports from British Medical Journal

  • Education and training levy could vary by provider

    Julie Moore, chairwoman of the NHS Future Forum’s education and training group, has told MPs that the planned education and training levy, designed to ensure that all organisations that benefit from employing publicly trained doctors pay back into the public purse, could potentially differentiate between large private healthcare providers and smaller not-for-profit groups, such as charities and social enterprises. The levy, which is part of the government’s plans to put medical education and training in the hands of employers, could otherwise prevent charities and social enterprises from providing NHS services.

  • Huge potential of NHS junior doctors being ignored

    Junior doctors in the NHS are willing and able to help improve health services, but they don’t feel valued or heard, reveals the results of a regional survey published online in BMJ Quality and Safety. The findings prompt the authors to conclude that junior doctors are “an untapped NHS resource,” at a time when the NHS needs to draw on all the help it can get.


Long-term conditions and mental health: the costs of co-morbidities

A report published by The King’s Fund and Centre for Mental Health has found that people with long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease are two to three times more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population. However, a systemic failure to identify these problems and provide effective support is resulting in poorer outcomes for patients and could be costing the NHS billions.


Benefits of Consultant Delivered Care

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has published a comprehensive review into the benefits to patients of consultant delivered medical care. On the basis of the best evidence available, the Academy concludes that medical care delivered by fully trained consultant doctors has demonstrable benefits.


Update from General Medical Council (GMC)

  • New guidance prevents doctors from being 'gagged'

    The GMC has published new guidance preventing doctors from signing ‘gagging’ clauses that would prevent them raising concerns about patient safety.

  • New website launched for doctors with health concerns

    Your Health Matters is a new website for doctors who may be concerned about their own health or that of a colleague. It provides case studies showing doctors with a range of health concerns, a testimonial from a doctor who has gone through fitness to practise procedures, and a range of advice on the process.


Increased funding for NHS Boards

Health boards across Scotland are to benefit from a share of £8,802 billion in revenue funding in 2012-13. The additional funding represents a real terms increase of 2.9 per cent for all territorial boards. Territorial boards will benefit from £7.761 billion, while special boards will receive £1.040 billion.


Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice needs revising

The Mental Health Foundation, in partnership with the Norah Fry Research Centre at the University of Bristol and the Centre for Applied Social Research at University of Bradford, have published a report calling for the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice to be revised to enable health and social care staff to make more effective best interests decisions.


NHS Confederation: new policy forum to help NHS speak strongly to Government

The NHS Confederation has unveiled its new policy forum to assert the voice of the NHS in the face of the huge spending and political challenges it faces. Made up of senior NHS leaders across the country and from different parts of the system, the new Policy Forum aims to allow the NHS to speak strongly on the big strategic issues facing the service.


National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence: Updates

Looked after children and young people say 'I'm Not Like Tracy Beaker'

YoungMinds has published a report highlighting the stigma surrounding the mental health of Looked after Children and Young People. 'Improving the Mental Health of Looked After Young People' reveals that more applications were made last month to take children into care than before. Around 60% of Looked after Young People have some level of mental health problem.


Mencap report finds NHS still unsafe for people with a learning disability

Mencap is calling on the government to make the NHS safe for people with a learning disability. A new report ‘Death by indifference: 74 deaths and counting’ finds continued institutional discrimination in the NHS. The report looks at what progress has been made since the publication of Mencap’s original ‘Death by indifference’ report in 2007. It confirms that, although some positive steps have been taken in the NHS, many health professionals are still failing to provide adequate care to people with a learning disability.


BBC: The New Elizabethans: opportunity to make their suggestions

To mark the Diamond Jubilee, the BBC is searching for the 60 people who have made the greatest impact on these islands during The Queen’s reign: the people history will remember as The New Elizabethans. Who are the figures who have really shaped and illuminated the character of the age? From now until 9 March, the public have the opportunity to make nominations. We are keen that the list reflects all aspects of life in the UK - scientific, cultural, medical, social, political, technological, sporting… Radio 4 would like to offer members of the College the opportunity to make their suggestions. This can be done via email - or individual members can submit their suggestions through our website. You can find more details about The New Elizabethans and how to nominate.


Time to Change: grants fund for projects that tackle mental health discrimination now open

Time to Change are looking for projects that challenge attitudes and behaviour towards mental health by bringing people who don't have experience of mental health problems together with those who do. The projects must engage local communities in meaningful conversations about mental health, and they must involve people with personal experience of mental health issues in their planning and delivery. 25% of the total fund will go to organisations working with Black and Minority Ethnic communities.  Applications must come from not-for-profit constituted groups or organisations OR people working in partnership with not-for-profit constituted groups or organisations, who can hold and administer the funds. Regional information sessions will be held during February and March to provide more details about the application process.


Grants for children and young people's projects: We're also running a special grants programme for projects that engage children and young people. Projects must be based in the West Midlands to apply. The deadline for all grants is 2pm on 30 March.


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