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

Professor Susan Benbow (Chair)

Susan Mary Benbow is an old age psychiatrist and family therapist who is Professor of Mental Health & Ageing at the Centre for Ageing Studies, University of Chester, and Director of Older Mind Matters Ltd ( She worked as a consultant psychiatrist in Central Manchester until 2000, then held a consultant post in Wolverhampton until spring 2009. She was awarded a PhD by publication in 2010.

She was Chair of the Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry 2002-2006 and has worked with the College for over 20 years. Areas of interest include the inter-relationship between policy and practice, understanding the tensions between confidentiality and collaboration, and examining how we learn from the families we work with and use that learning to improve practice.

Declaration of interests: I receive an income from Older Mind Matters Ltd, am a Trustee of Age Concern Birmingham, and practise independently as a systemic therapist. In the financial year 2013-2014 neither I nor the company received any income from any pharmaceutical company, and neither I nor the company owns shares in the pharmaceutical industry. A requirement of becoming a member of the team at Hampden House Independent Psychotherapy Centre is to purchase shares in the business, and this is in the process of being done (as of March 2015).


Dr Gwen Adshead

Gwen Adshead is a forensic psychiatrist and psychotherapist. She holds a master's degree in medical law and ethics from Kings University London. Gwen has a long standing interest in psychiatric ethics; especially in relation to psychotherapy and forensic psychiatry. She has published books, book chapters and papers about confidentiality, boundary violations and ethical dilemmas in forensic mental health. Gwen was chair of the College ethics committee between 2001 and 2006, and an honorary member of the Institute of medical ethics between 2009 and 2011. She gave expert testimony to the Kerr Haslam committee on sexual boundary violations by psychiatrists, and is a consultant to the Clinic for Professional Boundaries Studies. 

Declaration of interests: I am not aware of any conflicting interests with my membership of the SCPPE.


Professor Julian C Hughes

Julian C Hughes is a consultant in old age psychiatry in Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and honorary professor of philosophy of ageing at the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences (PEALS) Research Centre, Newcastle University. He studied Philosophy at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His writings and research focus on philosophical and ethical issues raised in connection with ageing and dementia. In addition to College work, he has served on committees or working parties of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, as well as on research funding committees of the Department of Health and Marie Curie Cancer Care. He is now a council member for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. He has published a number of edited, co-edited or co-authored books: Thinking Through Dementia and also Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias, published by Oxford University Press, both appeared as sole authored texts in 2011. More recently, in 2014, he has written How We Think About Dementia, published by Jessica Kingsley.


Dr Ananta Dave

Dr Dave is a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist in Dudley & Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. She is the Trust’s Clinical Director for Quality and Governance and the Named Doctor for Child Safeguarding in the Trust. She is keenly interested in the various factors that influence decision-making in health care, ethical dilemmas in decision making and in the areas of interface of practice, e.g. between CAMHS and adult mental health services. She is also interested in the impact of parental mental health problems on children and the complex ethical problems that arise when dealing with safeguarding issues. She obtained a Master’s degree in Medical Ethics and Law from Keele University and regularly presents and teaches on topics in clinical ethics. She is immediate ex-Chair of the Birmingham Children's Hospital's clinical ethics committee.


Declaration of interests: none


Dr Michael Wise

Dr Wise is a NHS Consultant in General Adult Psychiatry, with higher training in Liaison Psychiatry, in a busy inner city area, responsible for the provision of long term care for over 350 patients with severe and enduring mental illnesses.  He is Deputy Chair of his Trusts Local negotiating Committee, and an elected representative to the national Consultants Committee.  Chair of the British Medical Associations Medico-Legal Committee, he also sits on its Medical Ethics Committee, and regularly liaises with the Ministries of Health & Justice.  Dr Wise  worked with the Irish Redress Board Scheme, providing reports for victims of institutional physical, emotional and sexual abuse.  He has investigated complaints for the NHS Ombudsman & the Healthcare Commission (as of 1st April 2009 the Care Quality Commission).  He sat on the Civil Justice Council’s Expert Committee redrafting the Protocol for Experts in Civil Claims.  More recent work with the Ministry of Justice includes the whiplash Reform Group.  Dr Wise writes reports for the UK and Eire Courts.  His research is forensically based, specifically the interface of law with psychiatric practice and medically unexplained symptoms.  Since 2001 he has lectured, and run’s Workshops at National and International Conferences which, apart from psychiatric illnesses, have included prescribing, capacity, National Guidelines, fitness to drive, and Complaints: How To Survive Them.  


Professor Chris Freeman

Prof. Chris Freeman  is currently Regional Consultant for Eating disorders for the South East Region of Scotland coordinating services for 4 health Boards and running the Managed Clinical Network. He is Vice Chair of SCPPE with responsibility for Ethics. He is Chair of ECTAS Accreditation Committee and ECTAS reference group and member of Eating Disorders Faculty executive. He is currently President of UKPTS ( United Kingdom Psychological Trauma Society) and a board member of ESTSS ( European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies). He previously ran a large psychotherapy department in Edinburgh and set up the Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress. He is an Honorary professor at Queen Margaret University Edinburgh.



Dr Michael Kingham


Dr Michael Kingham is a consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Trevor Gibbens Unit in Maidstone. He has particular interest in confidentiality and is co-authoring the revision of CR160 Good Psychiatric Practice: Confidentiality and Information sharing. 



Dr John Watts


John Watts is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with an interest in medical law, ethics and confidentiality. He has a master's degree in Medical Law and Ethics from the University of Kent, and lectures undergraduate and postgraduate law students. He has written a number of articles in peer reviewed journals on ethical issues in relation to psychiatry and the law, and continues to be interested in issues around competence, capacity and consent in children and young people. He has worked in the NHS and in research, and is currently a consultant in an NHS adolescent inpatient unit.