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

February 2012

College news
Other news


President’s update: Update on Health and Social Care Bill College news



President’s update: Update on Health and Social Care Bill

“From the outset of the Health and Social Care Bill, the College has been endeavouring to secure provisions that will ensure a parity of esteem between physical and mental health. This is important given that mental illness represents 23% of the disease burden, but accounts for only 11% of the health budget. Equally, we have continued to work to bring about needed changes which are critical for high-quality patient care and postgraduate medical education.


We continue to have discussions with Government, other Royal Medical Colleges, and key stakeholders as to how we can have a lasting, rather than short-term impact, we are working to deliver high-quality patient care in the event of the Bill being halted, substantial amendments being made, or the Bill going through much as it is.” Read more...



Professor Louis Appleby








Professor Dinesh Bhugra








RCPsych Awards 2011 - Maureen Lipman








Psychosis with Coexisting Substance Misuse (NICE guideline)







Albert Dock



  • New Years Honours: our members rewarded

    The College would like to extend its congratulations to:


    Professor Dinesh Bhugra (for services to psychiatry).

    Dr Eileen Vizard (for services to children and young people).


    Dr Lesley Hewson (for services to children).



  • Enewsletter polls: your views wanted

    Results of last month’s poll:

    • Is Christmas a positive experience for most of my patients? 44% agree vs. 56% disagree.


    This month's poll:



  • Updating your email correspondence

    The College is sending a lot more of its correspondence via email. To ensure that you are targeted with the most relevant emails, please login to the Members’ Area to see which Faculties and groups you belong to. You can tick or untick yourself from any future correspondence for the different mailing lists. Alternatively, email if you wish to amend your record in any way. 



  • College vacancies

    Appointment of Chief Examiner

    A vacancy has arisen for a new Chief Examiner to take up office at the Annual General Meeting in July 2012. Closing date for applications: 5pm on 13 February 2012.

    Appointed Member for the Quality Assurance Committee

    A vacancy has arisen for an appointed member to sit on the Quality Assurance Committee which reviews the quality management procedures of the delivery of postgraduate training in the UK, and considers the quality assurance of training programmes in the UK. Closing date for applications: 5pm on 13 February 2012.

    RCPsych Awards Steering Group – Vacancies for new members

    Vacancies have arisen for the RCPsych Awards Steering Group which is responsible for the development and continued success of the RCPsych Awards. Closing date for applications: 5pm on 29 February 2012.



  • RCPsych Awards: Call for Entries 2012

    These Awards recognise and reward the most dedicated psychiatrists, the most innovative teams and services, the most talented trainees, the very best academic/researcher and the most influential public educator. New for 2012, we will also be presenting Awards in two categories that recognise the contribution service users and carers make to developing and improving mental health services. Closing date for entries: 5pm on 27 February 2012. Click here for entry forms, category criteria and rules of entry.





  • Join the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at a discounted rate for 2012

    Join the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at a discounted rate for 2012 Members and associates are reminded that the College is working with the APA to encourage membership of each organisation. RCPsych members not currently enrolled as APA International Members are able to join at a 25% discounted fee in 2012. We are very keen to take this initiative forward and contribute to the international profile and influence of the College. A promotional code RCPSYCH will gain your discount on the 2012 fee.





  • Book now online to go to this year’s International Congress

    This year’s International Congress has the theme of Psychiatry: medicine and the future and will be held at the ACC Liverpool, 10-13 July 2012



  • Update from RCPsych in Wales: Policy Work 2011  

    The Mental Health (Wales) Measure has dominated policy work since the Measure’s inception in 2010. The aim of the Measure is to provide more efficient services in primary care for patients experiencing mental health problems, and to provide service-users in secondary care greater ownership of, and support with their treatment and recovery.


    NICE Consultations: The College also responded to a number of NICE Consultations. All of the College’s responses can be found on the RCPsych in Wales pages.




Personal Independence Payment: assessment thresholds and consultation







Low Secure Services: Good practice commissioning guide




  • Personal Independence Payment: assessment thresholds and consultation  

    The Department for Work and Pensions consultation is intended to seek views on the second draft of the assessment criteria for Personal Independence Payment and on the changes that have been made since the first draft, the proposed descriptor weightings and entitlement thresholds and the draft regulations. If you are interested in contributing to the College’s response, email Claire Churchill by 15 April 2012.



  • Schizophrenia Commission: call for evidence  

    The Commission launched by Rethink Mental Illness, chaired by Professor Sir Robin Murray, is tasked with:

    1. Scoping the current state of care, support and quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia and their families.
    2. Taking note of relevant research to inform our understanding of the causes, concepts, care and support for individuals with schizophrenia and their families.
    3. Making an assessment of the economic and other societal impact of the schizophrenia.
    4. Reviewing public attitudes to the condition and how these impact on outcomes experienced by individuals with schizophrenia and their families.
    5. Identifying the priority actions so that people with schizophrenia can fulfill their full potential through improved outcomes for individuals and their families now and in the future.

    Any comments should be sent to Claire Churchill by 15 February 2012.



  • Low Secure Services: Good practice commissioning guide  

    The purpose of this consultation is to invite views of stakeholders on how new guidance will operate. Over the course of transition to the new system, the responsibilities of Strategic Health Authorities, regional specialised commissioning groups and primary care trusts will largely transfer to the NHS Commissioning Board and to clinical commissioning groups. Under the proposed commissioning arrangements, the NHS Commissioning Board will commission services to include primary care, veterans and offender health services and those services that fall into the national specialised services definition set, for example secure services. Clinical commissioning groups will commission local health services including community and non-specialised inpatient mental health services If you are interested in contributing to the College’s response, email Claire Churchill by 30 March 2012.




Policy on the role of specialist doctors in the NHS reforms is not fit for purpose







Time to Change campaign







Commissioning effective dementia services







NHS constitution and whistle-blowing








Report by people with learning disabilities shows how crucial good support is








Broadmoor Hospital invites the public ‘inside the walls’


News from other organisations and the NHS



RCGP Members support withdrawal of the Health and Social Bill

Nearly three quarters of respondents to a poll carried out by the RCGPs think that it is appropriate to seek the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill. When asked if the College should call for the Bill to be withdrawn as part of a joint approach with other medical royal colleges, more than 98% of respondents said they strongly supported (65.8%) or supported (32.4%) such action. Even without a joint approach, more than 90% of respondents still said that they either strongly supported (55.8%) or supported (37.0%) the RCGPs in proceeding alone in calling for the Bill’s withdrawal.


Policy on the role of specialist doctors in the NHS reforms is not fit for purpose

NHS Alliance: Specialists in Commissioning: Looking beyond current policy discusses the views of GPs and specialists on current policy on specialists in Clinical Commissioning Groups. The paper calls for policy to be more inclusive and flexible to allow both groups of doctors to develop positive relationships to enable integrated care across the primary-secondary healthcare boundaries. 


Time to Change campaign

Nick Clegg recently hosted a reception to mark the launch of phase two of the Time to Change campaign to end stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. This campaign, launched in 2007, has seen a four per cent reduction in the discrimination of people with mental health problems. The Department of Health has awarded the campaign a further £16m to launch the second phase which will include a focus on tackling stigma among children and young people.


New start date and funding announced for local HealthWatch bodies

Following feedback from local authorities and Local Involvement Networks, they now have until April 2013 to work with local health experts and volunteers to establish the local HealthWatch. The new local health bodies are set to replace Local Involvement Networks and will be the local consumer champion for patients, service users and the public. From 2013, an additional £3.2m will be made available to local authorities to establish local HealthWatch. More than £370,000 will also be made available until the end of the 2011/12 financial year for 75 HealthWatch pathfinders, who are testing out plans ahead of the full establishment of local HealthWatch across the country.




NHS Future Forum calls on healthcare professionals to make patient centred care a reality

The NHS Future Forum has given its second set of reports to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in which it sets out a series of recommendations to improve the quality of patient care and achieve better outcomes. The Forum, chaired by Professor Steve Field, expanded and refreshed the membership to meet the challenge of looking at four areas of health policy: the NHS’s role in the public’s health, information, education and training and integration. Over four months the Forum listened to more than 12,000 people and attended more than 300 events. The Forum also set out to listen to more patients and carers and sought more input from local authorities, housing and social care providers.


MPs and peers launch inquiry into dementia diagnosis rates

Diagnosis rates of dementia have increased by only two per cent to 43 per cent in the past year. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia is launching an inquiry into how to improve diagnosis rates. The cross-party group of MPs and peers will aim to understand why the diagnosis is not made, why diagnosis rates differ around the country, the financial benefits of an early diagnosis and what is needed to support people following a diagnosis.


Common and complex: Commissioning effective dementia services in the new world

This report from the Alzheimer's Society/MHP Health Mandate looks at the current policy landscape and how it relates to dementia, with a view to making recommendations to Government and the NHS for how these challenges can be met.


Department of Health

  • Free whistleblowing helpline service
    NHS and social care staff who have concerns about patient care can now access a new, free whistleblowing helpline. A similar web-based whistleblowing service is also being developed, with further details to be announced in due course.
  • Driving quality and evidence through national clinical audits

    The NHS standard contract for acute hospital, mental health, community and ambulance services sets a requirement that provider organisations participate in appropriate national clinical audits that are part of the national clinical audit and patient outcome programme. 

  • Report of the Steering Group on Remediation

    The focus of this report is to address clinical competence and capability issues occurring in doctors no longer in the training grades.

  • Governance guidance for aspirant foundation trusts

    The Department of Health has issued guidance to help aspirant foundation trusts develop strong and sustainable governance.


Report by people with learning disabilities shows how crucial good support is

A new report Life Support highlights the role of social care in the lives of disabled people. Through first-hand accounts, it brings a human face to the current debate on social care funding, by highlighting the difference that social care makes to the daily lives of people with learning disabilities.


Rules of Engagement: Changing the heart of Youth Justice

The Centre for Social Justice has published a report suggesting that the age of criminal responsibility should be raised to 12. 


Knock-on costs of legal aid cuts

A report, commissioned by the Law Society, has found that the Government's planned cuts to legal aid in clinical negligence cases could lead to knock-on costs of more than £130 million. They could cost the NHS almost three times more than is saved by the Ministry of Justice. 


Broadmoor Hospital invites the public ‘inside the walls’

In the lead up to the Hospital’s 150th anniversary next year, West London Mental Health NHS Trust has developed a film on Broadmoor to promote wider understanding of its work. The film reveals a number of different perspectives on life at the Hospital from staff from each professional group, to patients and their families – all have a part to play.


Half of care home patients suffer drug errors

A new electronic medication management system specifically developed for use in residential and nursing homes has been shown to significantly reduce drug administration errors, according to research completed by University of West England Bristol and the University of Warwick. All medication administrations day and night were recorded for 345 older residents in 13 UK care homes. The researchers found that over a three month period, 90% of residents were exposed to at least one medication administration error, with over half exposed to more serious errors, such as attempts to give medication to the wrong resident. 


New information service to help give medicines to children

National children’s charity WellChild, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group have formed a partnership to launch a new website, Medicines for Children, to help parents when they need to give medicines to their children at home 


The Royal Photographic Society: Combined Royal Colleges Medal 2012 - Call for nominations

In collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Combined Royal Colleges Medal is awarded for an outstanding contribution to photography and/or its application in the service of medicine and surgery. Any person of any nationality, whether a member of The Society or not, or organisation,is entitled to submit work or to be nominated for the Award. The closing date for nominations is 27 February 2012


Royal Society of Medicine Conference

'Why do people with mental disorders die younger and what can be done about it?’ will be held on Tuesday 13 March 2012,  at 1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE. The conference is relevant to all psychiatrists with talks on obesity, identifying people with acute illness, and resources for improving physical health care.



CPD Online: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder






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