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

April 2012

College news
Other news



President’s update College news



President’s update: 21 March 2012

“It was with a somewhat heavy heart that I watched the controversial Health and Social Care Bill clear its final Parliamentary stages yesterday. 426 days after it was first introduced to the House of Commons, the Bill now awaits Royal Assent – despite an extraordinary level of opposition from many organisations.” Read more...


The Psychiatrist (journal)







The College’s Recruitment Strategy







NEW: Smartphone-friendly College journals







Feeling on the edge







CPD Submissions
  • College vacancies

    eInterviews Editor

    The Psychiatrist wishes to appoint an eInterviews Editor responsible for the eInterviews column. He/she will become a member of The Psychiatrist Editorial Board. The role will involve identifying suitable interviewees, conducting interviews by e-mail and editing the interviews prior to in-house copy-editing. The term of office is for three years initially. Closing date: 30 April 2012.

    College Lead on the Mental Health of Asylum Seekers

    The College is looking to appoint a Lead who will play a key role in ensuring that the mental health needs of asylum seekers are provided to the highest attainable standard. The term of office is three years initially. Closing date: 30 April 2012.



  • Enewsletter polls: your views wanted

    This month's poll: we would like your views


  • Faculties: change of name
    • A survey carried out with all members of the Faculty of Learning Disability found that the majority view was that the Faculty’s name should be changed to the ‘Faculty of the Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability’.

    • Council recently agreed that the Psychotherapy Faculty’s name would change its name to the ‘Faculty of Medical Psychotherapy’.

      These changes will require an amendment to the Byelaws.



  • The College’s Recruitment Strategy

    Dr Tom Brown, Associate Registrar for Recruitment, has developed a Recruitment Strategy.



  • NEW: Smartphone-friendly College journals

    The Publications Department has recently launched mobile-optimised sites for the College's online journals. From now on, when viewing BJPsych, The Psychiatrist or Advances using a smartphone or small tablet, your device will go straight to this version.The display is streamlined for small screens, making it easier to read as the text automatically re-flows to fit the screen – even if you enlarge the text size.  



  • New podcasts
    • ‘Heroes in Psychiatry’: Classification in psychiatry

      A series of occasional interviews with people who have made a distinguished contribution to the understanding and care of people with mental health problems. In this interview Professor Sir David Goldberg talks to Dr Mark Salter about classification in psychiatry.

    • New podcasts developed with members of Depression Alliance

      Listen to our four new podcasts on living with depression with interviews from members of the Public Education Editorial Board and members of Depression Alliance.



  • New information leaflet for people ‘feeling on the edge’

    The College has produced a new leaflet for people who are admitted to Emergency Departments and who are ‘feeling on the edge’. Health professionals can give the leaflet to people who are in a state of distress, and who they believe may be at risk of harming themselves.



  • New College Reports
    • CR172: Revalidation Guidance for Psychiatrists

      Revalidation is expected to begin in late 2012. This document has been updated from CR161. Revalidation and Guidance for Psychiatrists (published in 2010) to reflect current GMC guidance (General Medical Council, 2010a).

    • CR171: Independent Advocacy for People with Mental Disorder

      This report sets out the principles of advocacy and provides recommendations and guidance.

    • CR170: Eating Disorders in the UK: Service Distribution, Service Development and Training

      This report is from the Section of Eating Disorders surveyed specialist eating disorders services for adults in the UK. This survey demonstrated a welcome increase in number of services since the previous College report in 2001. It appears that this increase is mainly explained by a growth in small services that do not fulfil all criteria of a specialist service.



  • Two new books from RCPsych Publications
    • Firesetting and Mental Health

      Half of all deliberate fire-related damage is caused by adults and this is the first book to take a comprehensive look at the issue from a mental health perspective.

    • Seminars in Liaison Psychiatry (2nd edn)

      This book provides an up-to-date review of this field and is packed with practical advice for clinicians carrying out psychiatric assessment and treatment in the general hospital setting.



  • Accessing CPD Online through your workplace

    There are now over 35 NHS Trusts who have taken out institutional subscriptions for CPD Online. This means they pay for access to the e-learning site (using Athens authentication) for a multiple number of employees at their workplace. If your workplace is one of these, it is possible that you could get immediate access free of charge. Ask your librarian or CPD supervisor if your Trust has an institutional subscription. It is possible that they do, and there is still space for you.



Nuffield Trust: NHS reforms in England: managing the transition




  • Have your say on children and young people’s health

    The Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum is gathering views on the health outcomes that matter most for children and young people, and how the different parts of the health system will work together to deliver these. It wants to hear from children, young people, parents, carers, doctors, nurses and other professionals involved in providing care to children. The Forum is asking questions about four: acutely ill children, mental health, children with disabilities and long-term conditions, and public health.

  • Your chance to shape future of England's biggest mental health dataset  

    Commissioners, data users and the public have the chance to help define how the biggest mental health dataset in England is best packaged and presented to suit their needs. The NHS IC is consulting on what measures and breakdowns should be provided in regular statistics and data extracts from the Mental Health Minimum Dataset. The consultation runs until 1 June 2012.



Gay and Lesbian Mental Health newsletters and reports







Alcohol (Scotland) Bill






'See Me' Launches 'What’s On Your Mind?' - New Campaign for Young People







Group parenting programmes help improve child conduct problems, parental mental health and parenting skills







Number of rough sleepers on the rise







Mental Health Heroes recognised


News from other organisations and the NHS


Care Quality Commission

  • 20 more reports from its review of services for people with learning disabilities

    The Care Quality Commission has published a further 20 reports from a targeted programme of 150 unannounced inspections of hospitals and care homes that care for people with learning disabilities. Inspections were focused on two outcomes relating to the care and welfare of people who use services and safeguarding people who use services from abuse.

  • 2011 Patient Experience Outpatient Survey shows information still needs to improve

    Patients continue to report improvements in aspects of care that matter most to them, and 84 per cent of patients rated their experience as excellent or very good.The 2011 Patient Experience Outpatient Survey found that more patients are being treated with respect and dignity and felt they were involved in decisions about their care and treatment and in the amount of information given to them about their treatment.


National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

  • Clinical case scenarios

    NICE has developed a number of new clinical case scenarios to help improve and assess users' knowledge of our guidance. The case scenarios are educational resource that can be used for individual or group learning. NICE have produced case scenarios covering guidance on adult and paediatric epilepsy self harm and colorectal cancer.

  • Quality standard and guidance on patient experience in NHS services

    NICE has published a new quality standard and guidance on patient experience in adult NHS services. This quality standard and accompanying clinical guidance aim to ensure that patients have an excellent experience of care from the NHS and ensure that patients are given the opportunity to discuss their health beliefs, concerns and preferences in order to individualise their care.


Over £100m to support clinical research

Over £100m will be invested in NHS Clinical Research Facilities to develop new treatments. The money, provided by the National Institute for Health Research, will be spent on research nurses and technicians at 19 of the facilities around the country. A huge number of new treatments for conditions including cancer, diabetes, stroke, dementia and obesity will be developed by researchers at the facilities. Some of the funding will also be used to conduct research into rare diseases.  


Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice needs revising to enable more effective best interests decisions to be made

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 the University of Bradford, have published a report calling for the MCA Code of Practice to be revised to enable health and social care staff to make more effective best interests decisions.  


News from Wales

  • Older People’s Commissioner calls for better protection for care home residents

    Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has called on the Welsh Government to review guidance to offer greater protection for residents of care homes at risk of closure. The report sets out how the current limitations should be addressed and includes recommendations to increase access to independent advocacy services for older people and fulfil the legal duty to provide Independent Mental Capacity Advocates in certain circumstances. The report also calls for good practice from Wales, and elsewhere in the UK, to be included as part of the updated guidance. 

  • Alcohol marketing messages getting through to children in Wales

    A new report from Alcohol Concern Cymru, Making an impression, shows that children as young as 10 in Wales are more familiar with some leading alcohol brands and adverts than those for popular foods and snacks.


News from Scotland

  • Scottish Government: Autism strategy in action

    Almost £300,000 of funding has been awarded to 16 organisations around Scotland, many working in partnership, to support the Scottish Government’s autism strategy and to develop new support services for people with autism and their families services in Scotland. 

  • See Me launches What's On Your Mind? New Campaign for Young People

    See me, Scotland’s national campaign to end the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health, has launched What’s On Your Mind? This is a new campaign aimed at 13-15 year olds. This campaign consists of a short film and a teaching pack filled with engaging activities designed to bring to life the issues raised in the film, and to encourage young people to talk about mental ill-health and stigma, and support peers who may be experiencing it.


News from Northern Ireland

  • Publication of the Children and Young People’s Strategic Indicators updated March 2012

    The Children and Young People’s Strategic Indicators link to the ten year strategy for children and young people, Our Children and Young People – Our Pledge, published in 2006. The outcomes are: healthy; economic and environmental well-being; enjoying, learning and achieving; positive and valued contribution; living in safety and stability. The purpose of the indicators is to measure the success of the strategy over time.

  • Sudden death guide launched

    Health Minister Edwin Poots has launched a guide to help health professionals offer support to those bereaved by the sudden death of a loved one. The Sudden Death: Guidance at a Glance wall chart will help to support individuals, families and communities at a particularly difficult time, to enable bereaved people to understand their grief, cope with their loss and to promote their well-being. The guide is targeted towards families and friends, health and social care professionals, Trusts, schools and other relevant organisations.


Charities call for new public health body to drive the integration of mental health and substance misuse services

The new national body, Public Health England, will be established in April 2012 to implement national public health policy. The Centre for Mental Health, DrugScope and the UK Drug Policy Commission are calling for a greater degree of integration between services to support people with a ‘dual diagnosis’ of mental illness and drug and alcohol problems.


Group parenting programmes help improve child conduct problems, parental mental health and parenting skills

A new review from the Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group Behavioural and cognitive-behavioural group-based parenting programmes for early-onset conduct problems in children aged 3 to 12 years, assesses the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of behavioural and cognitive-behavioural group-based parenting programmes for improving child conduct problems, parental mental health and parenting skills. 


Department of Health 

  • Too many young people "suffering in silence" with mental health problems

    Up to £22m will be pumped into a pioneering programme to give children with mental health problems access to the best available services in a wider range of places. The new investment in the Children and Young People's IAPT project will be spent over the next three years to expand state-of-the-art psychological therapies and extend training for people working with youngsters outside of health settings, such as in schools or youth groups.

  • Variations to the NHS Standard Contracts

    The variations to the NHS Standard Contracts for 2010/11 and 2011/12 are now available. The NHS Standard Contract should be used by commissioners when commissioning acute, mental health and learning disability, community or ambulance Services. These variations will bring these contracts in line with the requirements of the 2012/13 NHS Operating Framework.

  • Publication of Organisation Patient Safety Incident data

    The National Patient Safety Agency has published the Organisation Patient Safety Incident Report 2011. High levels of incident reporting provide an indication of an increased safety culture within the organisation.


Disability employment support

The Department of Work and Pensions has published Disability employment support: fulfilling potential. It's the Government's response to the consultation on the recommendation independent review ‘Getting in, staying in getting on’ by Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of RADAR.


New tools to help mental health professionals deal with physical health

Rethink Mental Illness has launched a range of new tools to help mental health professionals address the physical health needs of the people they work with. The tools have been developed as part of the 20 Years Too Soon campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the fact that people affected by severe mental illness die on average twenty years younger than the general population, mostly as a result of preventable physical conditions.


NHS Confederation warns over risk to plans to improve mental health

The head of the NHS Confederation, Mike Farrar, has warned that plans to improve the nation's mental health are at risk as the basic building blocks are not yet in place to make them a success. He spoke out one year on from the publication of the mental health strategy No Health Without Mental Health. Mr Farrar is clear that leaders of organisations offering NHS-funded care across the system are up for the challenge, even in the face of increases in demand as the economic situation remains gloomy and substantial cuts to local authority services that the NHS relies on to keep people out of hospitals.


Number of rough sleepers on the rise

The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced that the number of rough sleepers has risen by almost a quarter, 23 per cent, between autumn 2010 and 2011. London had 446 rough sleepers, the highest number of all of the regions and 20 per cent of the national total of 2,181. The South East and the South West had the next highest numbers with 430 and 337 rough sleepers respectively. These three regions between them had 56 per cent of the total of all rough sleepers in England. In an accompanying statement, Housing Minister Grant Shapps talked about how "non UK residents now account for over half the rough sleepers in our capital."


Joseph Rowntree Foundation: The right to take risks: service users' views of risk in adult social care

People who use adult social care services identify different risks to those commonly identified by professionals and policy-makers. Many fear losing independence, which suggests that risk assessments need to have independence as their starting point. There is a particular need to reach into mental health and residential care services to find ways of enabling people to realise their independence.


Lord Layard's call for a Cabinet Minister for mental health

The government needs a mental health minister at Cabinet level, said Labour peer Richard Layard during a recent conference. He argued that it should represent a "sixth pillar" of the welfare state and that it is all too often overlooked by policy makers. Simon Lawton-Smith, from the Mental Health Foundation responded by saying that the call for a Cabinet Minister with cross-departmental responsibility for mental health is not a new one. “Mental health is not simply an issue for health and social care services. It is essential that mental health policy is joined up across all Government Departments at cabinet level. This is particularly so at a time of recession when there are increasing pressures on people’s mental health and in light of significant public service cuts.”


A model to quality assure psychological expert witnesses

The quality of psychological experts and their reports, presented at family court proceedings in the UK, show some inconsistencies according to research carried out by the University of Central Lancashire. Evaluating Expert Witness Psychological Reports: Exploring Quality, was part funded by the Family Justice Council as part of their commitment to expert witness work and the continued review of standards across all expert witnesses. Results of this study, the first systematic quality evaluation of expert evidence of this nature, indicate variability in report quality.


Mental Health Heroes recognised

Mental health organisation, mentalhealthy, and charities SANE, the Mental Health Foundation, The Centre for Mental Health and Emergence, have recognised the achievements of some of the country’s finest heroes, who selflessly and tirelessly look to improve the lives of others. Categories include ‘Community Hero’, ‘Professional Hero’, ‘Business Hero’ and ‘Creative Hero’ and the shortlist highlights some incredible local, national and even global organisations and individuals. The award winners will be announced 2 April 2012.



St Georges




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