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

May 2012

College news
Other news


Sue Bailey College news



President’s update: communicating with members

Today started with a telephone conference with Department of Health officials about feedback received in the course of their Review of Events at Winterbourne View Private HospitalRead more...


Dr Adrian James, Chair, Westminster Parliamentary Liaison Committee







Honorary Fellowship - nominations for election in 2011







Support when facing threats to your job







Dr Ellen Wilkinson newly appointed Associate Dean for Revalidation







MoD managing soldiers in Helmand







Academy of Royal Medical Colleges







Service development liaison psychiatry








Professor Hamid Ghose
  • Health & Social Care Act 2012: Dr Adrian James, Chair, Westminster Parliamentary Liaison Committee

    The most complex and longest piece of NHS related legislation gained Royal Assent on 27 March 2012. Throughout its tortuous passage through Parliament, the College has consistently raised concerns about such a mammoth reorganisation at a time of unprecedented cost savings and that integration of services that are so important to our service users, could become more difficult to achieve. 2000 amendments were made and some battles won. In particular the College has worked with other mental health stakeholders to ensure parity between approaches for both physical and mental health. Read more...



  • Enewsletter polls: your views wanted

    This month's poll: we would like your views

    Results of last month's poll

    • Do you agree that psychiatrists should be able to act as their patients’ GP with regard to physical problems and prescribe for common complaints?

      Yes – 27% (70 votes) vs. No – 73% (193 votes)



  • “Your Opportunities – Your Vote - Your College”: Dr Laurence Mynor-Wallis, Registrar


    Listed below are a range of existing and soon to be advertised opportunities for you to get involved in the work of the College. I would like to encourage you to consider applying to take up one of these appointments. Posts are advertised in the eNwsletter on a regular basis, and we are keen to encourage members to participate in setting the direction of the College. College work provides an invaluable opportunity for networking with colleagues from other parts of the country, keeping up to date with national policies, as well as contributing to specific national work.


    1. Associate Dean Education Policy & Strategy

    2.  Specialist Adviser for the Curriculum

    3.  Specialist Adviser for Assessment

    4. College Lead on the Mental Health of Asylum Seekers

    5.  Specialist Adviser for Mental Health Strategy

    6. Chair of Specialty Doctors' Committee

    7.  New member for Special Committee on Professional Practice & Ethics

    Soon to be advertised

    • New members for the Special Committee on Human Rights
    • Specialist Adviser in Commissioning


    I would also encourage you to use your vote to ensure that your interests are represented in the College’s Faculties, Sections, Divisions and Special Interest Groups. A number of ballots will be taking place over the next few months. The College is proud of its democratic basis and this is an opportunity for you to have your interests represented both centrally and locally on these important committees which lead on regional and specialist developments. Ballots that will be taking place before the International Congress in July are:
    • Addictions Faculty
    • Forensic Faculty
    • Intellectual Disability Faculty
    • Medical Psychotherapy Faculty
    • Perinatal Section
    • RCPsych in Wales
    • South Eastern Division

    If you would like to contact me about these or any other issues, please email the Registrar.



  • Support when facing threats to your job: advice from members of the Psychiatrists Support Service

    The College is very aware that the NHS changes and current financial climate are leading to many and varied changes in services, and that there are many of you facing difficult and uncertain times. Service changes, tendering processes and drive for efficiencies are leading to threats of redundancies, actual redundancies, loss of posts and decrease in paid Programmed Activities. Read more...



  • Dr Ellen Wilkinson newly appointed Associate Dean for Revalidation

    I would like to introduce myself as the new Associate Dean for Revalidation. I am a Consultant Adult Psychiatrist and Medical Director in Cornwall. After delays and doubts, medical revalidation is now imminent and certain.


    Psychiatry has an almost unique opportunity to do this well, with many psychiatrists working in specialist organisations linked to only a small number of Royal Colleges, with an existing structure and culture of reflective CPD, peer groups and multi-source feedback. There are opportunities to link the process with other themes: better outcome measurement, learning from patient feedback, clear professional standards, early identification of difficulties and a commitment to improved patient care and safety.

    The task involves trying to keep the process simple, achievable and integrated.


    I will be leading for the College on supporting and advising Members and Fellows, appraisers, Responsible Officers, Regional Advisers and influencing implementation through the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Laurence Mynors-Wallis is stepping down from his lead role for revalidation. The College website will be updated as more information becomes available. There is guidance added recently. We will be providing further advice and guidance for tribunal doctors, retired psychiatrists and those returning to work after a break.


    I will be attending the International Congress in July where I will listen, learn and advise on queries



  • Book now: Next event in our prestigious evening lecture series

    Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 6.30 pm, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 17 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PG. Military Psychiatry: a significant contribution or a worthless distraction? Professor Edgar Jones, Professor of the History of Medicine and Psychiatry, King’s Centre for Military Health Research. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. There is a charge of £5 per person, payable on the night. To reserve your place, email Nicola Boyce by Friday 11 May 2012.  



  • College in the media
    • RCPsych response to Government Alcohol Strategy

      Commenting on the publication of the Government’s Alcohol Strategy for England and Wales, which proposes the introduction of a 40 pence per unit minimum price for alcohol, Dr Peter Rice, Chair of the RCPsych in Scotland, said: “We are delighted the government is proposing a minimum unit price for alcohol in England and Wales, along similar lines to proposals in Scotland, although feel that 50-60pence per unit should be the starting point to have the most impact.” Dr Owen-Bowden-Jones, Chair of the Faculty of Addictions said, “Minimum pricing is likely to lead to a reduction in the cost of alcohol related harm to health, social care, justice and other sectors and this will be of benefit to the whole community. But minimum pricing is not enough on its own to win our society’s battle with booze.”

    • Healthcare community agree on principles for working together to improve patient health

      Healthcare leaders from across the UK have today published a new set of guidelines to promote positive collaboration between health organisations and the pharmaceutical industry and help guide their working practices and interaction. The statement of best practice was signed by 18 healthcare organisations, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Professor Sue Bailey said: "The College recognises the important and valid contribution made by pharmaceutical companies and other commercial organisations to patient care, research and education, and we hope this document will provide clear guidance for both healthcare professionals and the industry on best practice."






  • News from our members

    Professor Hamid Ghodse: President UN International Narcotics Control Board

    Professor Hamid Ghodse and the United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban Ki-moon met on 8 March 2012 in New York, to discuss illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse, and associated international organised crime, and its effect on security and development. They agreed that the integrity of the conventions must be safeguarded if the international drug control system is to function effectively, and if individuals are to be protected from the suffering associated with drug abuse, and drug dependency, while ensuring the appropriate access to controlled drugs for medical and scientific purposes. They also discussed about the positive outcome of the very important ministerial meeting of Paris Pact on Afghanistan. Professor Ghodse announced that he is going to launch the Centenary of the first International Drug Control Convention of 1912 (The Hague Opium Convention) on 13 March in Vienna.



  • Reminder of new and improved member benefits
    • Members can read the full-text of Advances in Psychiatric Treatment journal online free-of-charge. Use the same login as you do to read the BJPsych and The Psychiatrist online. If you still want print copies, the members’ price for 2012 has been reduced to £50 per year (subscribe now).

    • Members can now get CPD Online cheaper than ever: the current members’ rate is just £45+VAT. The number of hours for which you can use CPD Online to contribute to your CPD requirements has now increased from 10 to 25 hours – half your annual requirement (subscribe now).


Medical profession united in fight to defuse obesity time-bomb





Role of the health workforce in tackling health inequalities: action on the social determinants of health




Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

  • Survey on Less Than Full Time working (LTFT)

    The Flexible Careers Committee has devised an electronic survey to identify if consultants, SAS doctors and trainees working LTFT are experiencing difficulties in working this way: if so how frequent are these difficulties, what type of difficulties are commonly encountered, and how (or if) they are resolved. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete and the results will be shared with all the Royal Colleges.
  • Medical profession united in fight to defuse obesity time-bomb

    The medical profession has come together to launch a campaign on what it claims is the single greatest public health threat in the UK - rising levels of child and adult obesity. Health professionals from psychiatrists to paediatricians and GPs are joining forces to launch this campaign which begins with a 3-month evidence-gathering inquiry. Organisations and individuals can submit evidence here.
  • Role of the health workforce in tackling health inequalities: action on the social determinants of health

    The Institute of Health Equity has drafted a report exploring actions the Health Workforce can take to positively influence the social determinants of health and tackle health inequalities. The report focuses on three main areas of action - practice, education, and incentives, monitoring, and directives. Please send your submission by 18 May 2012.



Centre for Social Justice: Commissioning Effective Talking Therapies






£4 million for innovative solutions to tackle healthcare problems







Caring for young carers







Alcohol and drugs - what parents need to know: information for parents, carers and anyone who works with young people









News from other organisations and the NHS



Centre for Social Justice: Commissioning Effective Talking Therapies

This paper argues that a public service which fails to successfully treat around 85% of the population does not provide a reliable intervention to ensure recovery from mental ill-health. It recommends using a Payment by Outcome commissioning approach, whereby voluntary and private sector therapists are commissioned by the NHS to work at their own financial risk delivering therapies (recognised by the NHS) until they have reached a proven effective outcome with each patient.  


Academy of Medical Royal Colleges: Statement on Higher Specialist Scientific Training

The Academy has published a consensus statement agreed by all its members recognising the importance of Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) in ensuring appropriate career development and progression for a highly skilled healthcare scientific workforce.  


New GMC website promotes better care for patients with learning disabilities

The GMC has launched a new website to guide doctors treating patients who have a learning disability. This website will increase doctors’ understanding of the care of patients with learning disabilities and help to improve their skills in supporting them.


Department of Health 

  • £4 million for innovative solutions to tackle healthcare problems

  • Alcohol industry sheds a billion units to cut hospital admissions and 1000 deaths

  • Publication of adult social care outcomes framework

  • Report raises issues about Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

  • Launch of drugs and alcohol recovery Payment by Results pilot


Troubled Families: Top 10 areas are on board

The 10 local authorities with the largest number of troubled families have agreed to sign up to the Government's scheme to turn around the lives of 120,000 problem households by 2015. A Payment by Results scheme will deliver up to £4,000 per family to local authorities to get children back into school, reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour, put adults on a path back to work and bring down the £9 billion annual costs which result from their behaviours.


Government bans methoxetamine or ‘mexxy’

The government has used a temporary class drug order for the first time to ban the ‘legal high’ methoxetamine, also called ‘mexxy’ or MXE. From 5 April 2012, it has been illegal to sell or supply mexxy, including giving it away to friends, but possession for personal use is not illegal. The temporary order can last for up to 12 months. During this time, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will make a full assessment and advise the government as to whether the drug should be permanently banned.


Healthcare Inspectorate Wales: review of Substance Misuse Services

The Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has published its report Are families of substance misusers getting the support that they need?following a review of the provision of Substance Misuse Services across Wales. HIW heard from service users about their own experiences and worked together with service providers, statutory bodies and commissioners to explore how agencies and services work together to support service users and their families.


Community sentence proposals: more focus needed on those with mental health conditions or learning disabilities

Responding to the Ministry of Justice consultation paper Punishment and Reform: Effective Community Sentences, four national organisations, the Centre for Mental Health, Rethink Mental Illness, Prison Reform Trust and Together for Mental Wellbeing welcomed the move to show that non-custodial sentences can be a more effective to crime than short spells in prison, but stressed that the sentences must be geared to the evidence of how best to rehabilitate offenders with mental health conditions and those with learning disabilities.


Europe’s alcohol industry unites in advert abuse clampdown

Europe’s eight largest alcohol manufacturers have agreed to work with the World Federation of Advertisers, the European Commission and national associations to implement measures aimed to protect the young and vulnerable from targeted advertising. The Responsible Marketing Pact, to be launched in Brussels, will create common EU-wide guidelines designed to prevent minors from seeing alcohol ‘viral’ adverts on social media, and prohibit the creation of ads which seek to allure young people.


Latest topics referred to NICE

Department of Health ministers agreed to refer the following topics NICE to begin the process of developing guidance.


Public health guidance:

  • for those working in health, youth and criminal justice, education and social care sectors on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions for the prevention and early treatment of the mental health problems of offenders taking account of the whole offender pathway.

  • for those working in health, youth and criminal justice, education and social care sectors on the early identification and management of young people who display sexually harmful behaviour.


Joint clinical guidelines and public health guidance:

  • for commissioners and service providers working in health and criminal justice sectors on ensuring people in prison have full and appropriate access to care known to be effective and cost effective in preventing, diagnosing and managing physical health problems (both acute and chronic, infectious and non-infectious).

  • for those working in health, social care and criminal justice sectors on an integrated model for addressing mental health in prisons.


Bipolar UK: Paul Abbott becomes patron

Bipolar UK has announced that Paul Abbott, celebrated screenwriter and producer, has agreed to become a patron. Paul is one of the country’s most successful television writers, responsible for television dramas such as Shameless and Clocking Off. He will be giving a keynote speech at The Bipolar UK National Conference on 23 June 2012. Bipolar UK will also be launching the inaugural national Bipolar Awareness Day on Wednesday 27 June 2012.


Brains: The mind as matter: 29 March - 17 June 2012: Wellcome Collection

Brains: the Mind as Matter explores what humans have done to brains through medical intervention, scientific enquiry and cultural meaning. The exhibition features over 150 objects including real brains, artworks, manuscripts, artefacts, videos and photography.


Joining in the conversation - social media and mental health services

This briefing by the NHS Confederation looks at social media innovations underway in healthcare as a whole and highlights case studies from Mental Health Network member organisations.


St Georges




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