Royal College of Psychiatrists
Service User Forum and Carers'
Royal College of Psychiatrists
National and Local Service User and Carer Volunteers
We are seeking volunteers
from Wales to join the RCPsych Service Users and Carers Fora in
London and the RCPsych in Wales.
Applications are invited
from individuals who have personal experience of using mental
health services, or of caring for someone with mental ill
The College has a long
history of service user and carer involvement. The Fora
ensure that all College activities are informed by the experience
of service users and carers.
Annually, the volunteers
will be expected to attend 4 meetings in London and 4 meetings in
Cardiff Bay. Travel and subsistence payments will be made.
For further information
and an application form please contact Thomas Kennedy, specifying
'RCPsych in Wales Service User/Carer Volunteer'.
Telephone: 020 3701 2548. Closing date for
applications: Monday 31 March 2014.
Royal College of
Psychiatrists National and Local Service User and Carer Volunteers:
South West Division
Seeking volunteers from the South
West of England to join the RCPsych Service
Users and Carers
Fora in London and the South West
Division of the College.
- Applications are invited from
individuals who have personal experience of using mental health
services, or of caring for someone with mental ill health.
- The College has a long history of service
user and carer involvement. The Fora ensure that all College
activities are informed by the experience of service users and
- Annually, the volunteers will be expected to
attend 4 meetings in London and 5 meetings in Blagden, North
Somerset. Travel and subsistence payments will be made.
For further information and an application
form please contact Thomas Kennedy, specifying South West Division
Service User/Carer Volunteer• firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date: 19 February 2014.
Food for thought: factsheet written by the Carers' Forum
factsheet written by the Carers' Forum which sets out
the benefits of involving carers in the care and treatment of
patients with mental health problems: the triangle of care between
carers, patients and mental health professionals.
‘Life is not the
way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way we cope with
it is what makes the difference’ Quote from Virginia
Background to the Carer Forum Factsheet - Food For Thought
"Being Chair of the RCPsych's national Carers'
Forum is a great privilege for me, but it brings no
surprises when listening to the Forum members and their lived and
learned experiences (like my own) which at times can seem
like quite a "minefield". One's "apprenticeship" has
resulted in a wealth of knowledge, learning, information,
empowerment and empathy, and a real "will" to work meaningfully and
respectfully with other stakeholders, as part of a team (if
and when required), to attempt to "make a
difference" for all!
We know the GP is usually the
main "gatekeeper" to service users/patients & carers which
can lead to a referral to a psychiatrist. We know this is
where the real work can begin - from the Care Team
around care planning/therapies etc, which
hopefully progresses to an improvement in the patient/service
user thinking, managing the illness, a better quality of
life and a patient-centred and focused recovery
in many cases.
We believe as a "Team" we can harness our
knowledge to help progress creatively the
genuine meaning of some "new thinking" in respect
of "NO HEALTH WITHOUT MENTAL" HEALTH" to
help build understanding, resilience and sustainability
Please read this Fact Sheet and we would
be very pleased to hear your comments, whilst we
are progressing the work of the Forum.
Thanks, all good wishes
Evelyn Bitcon, Chair, RCPsych Carers'
New chairs and new name: 2013
We are delighted to announced that the new chairs of the Fora
Service User Forum: Maurice Arbuthnott and
Carers' Forum: Evelyin Bitcon
In March 2013, the Service User Recovery Forum voted almost
unanimously to remove the term 'Recovery' from its name.
Thursday 15 November 2012: Graham Morgan from
Nairn, Inverness-shire, Manager of SPIRIT Advocacy, and Maurice
Arbuthnott from London, a member of the North London Service User
Research Forum and Rethink's services and resources committee
jointly won Service User Contributor of the
"Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of
Psychiatrists. said: "Competition was very tough, and the judging
panels were hugely impressed by the quality of this year's
An article by Clare Campbell, Member of the RCpsych Carers'
Forum and Dr Michael Yousif, member RCPsych Public Education
President's Medal 2012
Raymond Brookes Collins, the first
chair of the RCPsych Carers' Forum, was awarded the President's
Medal by Professor Sue Bailey at the International Congress in
Liverpool on 12 July 2012.
About SURF and the Carers' Forum
The first meeting of the Service Users’
Recovery Forum (SURF) and Carers Forum were held
in January 2008 and continue to meet four times a year. Both
Forums have more than 30 members with representation from
the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Divisions.
- To support and provide input into the work of
the College to ensure that all policy and activity will be informed
by the experiences and perspectives identified by service users and
This would be achieved through a
regular forum which will:
- respond to and initiate strategic
- contribute to the development of
good practice guidelines;
- contribute to the training of
- signpost to a wider constituency
of service user and carer groups and individuals;
- improve mutual understanding with
- contribute to supporting good
How do SURF and the Carers' Forum contribute to the work of the
- Respond to external policy documents and College policy
- Get involved in consultation workshops on different aspects of
- Are represented on the following Committees:
- Academy of Royal Medical Colleges Patient Lay Group
- Curriculum and Assessement Committee
- Equivalence Committee
- London Deanery Psychiatry Specialty Board
- Central Policy Committee
- Parity of Esteem Working Group
- Psychiatric Trainees' Committee
- Promoting Recruitment into Psychiatry Committee
- Public Education Committee
- Public Education Editorial Board
- Revalidation Steering Group
- Special Committee for Professional Practice and Ethics
- Westminster Parliamentary Liaison Committee.
SURF and the Carers' Forum organise Annual Meetings to which all
service users and carers involved in the work of the College are
In 2008, the Annual Meeting discussed:
- the Fair Deal campaign
- changes to training and revalidation
- adding the service user and carer voce to the media
- social inclusion
In 2009, the Annual Meeting discussed:
- welfare reform
- direct payments and personal health budgets
- debt and mental health
- the quality of in-patient psychiatric wards (AIMS and Star Wards)
In 2010, the Annual Meeting discussed
- finding/returning to work and mental ill health (patients
- physical health and mental health (patients and
In 2011, the Annual Meeting discussed
- Collaborative working between Service Users, Carers and
In 2012, the theme for the Annual Meeting was
This is a section of the website that is devoted to the views of
people who have experienced mental health problems. Please email
articles to email@example.com.
This is a resource for trainee psychiatrists and their trainers,
and other members of the multidisciplinary team. The film takes you
through the patients' and carers' journey - from first contact with
psychiatric services to recovery and coping - with examples of
people's personal experiences at each stage. The film can be paused
at different points to allow for group discussion and includes some
Copies of the DVD are available from the College for £5.00
Please contact Leaflets
Department, The Royal College of
Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street, London E1 8BB. Tel: 020 7235
2351 ext.2552 .