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

RCPsych eNewsletter - October 2012

College news

New opportunities

Other news



Sue Bailey

College news


President's Update

Stormy weather in Brighton at Liberal Democrat conference

In what was a blustery few days both meteorologically and metaphorically, delegates had to battle the wind and rain to reach the conference venue. Inside, the key theme at many meetings was the impact of the new benefit assessment process on those with physical illness, mental illness and learning disability.


Still not sensing any "give" in the system, we all know this is big chunk of government spend but NGOs, users and carers are battling to get ministers to recognise the catastrophic impact when the assessments are carried out poorly. This debate therefore must continue. Find out more... 


Diagnostic Interview Guide for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)








New Associate-Registrar for Leadership and Management: Dr Fiona Mason








Academy of Royal Medical Colleges








Tom Brown: Associate Registrar for Recruitment








The College’s 2011 Census








Dr Roger Banks, Head of Programme - Learning Disability Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board



  • Note from the Editors: Dr Ros Ramsay and Dr Chrissy Boardman

    When the eNewsletter team visited the International Congress in Liverpool this summer to find out from members what they thought of the eNewsletter, our frequent conversations concerned CPD opportunities. Therefore we thought it might be helpful to highlight opportunities and links on the college website:


  • New Associate-Registrar for Leadership and Management: Dr Fiona Mason

    The new Associate-Registrar for Leadership and Management talks about taking clear, effective actions. Find out more...


  • New College vacancies

    RCPsych News Editor

    Do you have an interest in writing for the general public and some experience of editing? Find out more...

    Editor, CPD Online

    CPD Online is looking for someone with energy, commitment, a wide interest in all areas of psychiatry, and an understanding of online learning. Find out more...


  • Update from the College’s Policy Unit
    • The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commissioning Pack: Dr Neil Deuchar

      The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCPMH) has over the past 18 months, developed practical guidance on what good services for mental illness, dementia and learning disabilities should look like, plus guidance on public mental health and values-based commissioning. The JCPMH has now joined forces with the SHA Mental Health Leads Group to design tools to help commissioners. Read more...

    • Welfare Reform

      The College has continuing concerns about the development of the present government’s welfare reforms and their effect on people with mental health problems.

      Better use of medical evidence: Medical evidence is often not sought and not used to inform the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). This can mean that people who are eligible for benefits are being found fit to work. In response to this the College has jointly produced a briefing paper: The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and people with mental health problems: the case for better use of medical evidence’. This paper can be used to prompt further discussions with key parliamentarians who are currently exploring the Government’s scrutiny and implementation of the WCA.

    • Call for Evidence Work Capability Assessment (WCA) Year 3 Independent Review:

      The Department of Work and Pensions published Professor Harrington’s latest independent review of the WCA and asked interested organisations to submit evidence. The College put forward an up-to-date picture of service user experience using the results of a Disability Benefits Consortium survey of people with disabilities, including mental health.


  • Book now: Prestigious Lecture Series: Improving front line practice in child protection

    Professor Eileen Munro, 6.30 pm on Tuesday 23 October 2012, Royal College of Psychiatrists in London.

    The lecture will sketch the thinking behind the recommendations in the Munro Review of Child Protection on improving work with children and families, offering an analysis of why previous reforms have not had the expected impact. There is a charge of £5 to attend, payable on the night. To reserve your place, email Thomas Kennedy by 12 October 2012.


  • Leading mental health organisations welcome MP vote to scrap outdated, discriminatory laws

    MPs have voted in favour of the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill which will now go through to the Committee stage. If eventually passed, it will put an end to archaic laws which prevent people with mental health problems from participating in jury service and becoming or remaining a company director. It will also change a law that currently stipulates that MPs themselves will lose their seats if sectioned under the Mental Health Act, regardless of recovery.


  • The National Audit of Schizophrenia launches a new clinical resource

    THE LESTER UK ADAPTATION - Positive Cardiometabolic Health Resource: an intervention framework for patients with psychosis on antipsychotic medication

    A new clinical resource will be included as a laminated insert in the October issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry (England and Wales). This resource provides a simple framework for identifying and treating cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes risks in patients with psychosis, receiving antipsychotic medication. Its development was facilitated by the National Audit of Schizophrenia led by the RCPsych’s Centre for Quality Improvement, funded by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership. It involved close collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Nursing. Click here for more details about this resource, or to download a PDF version.


  • Update on the Recruitment Strategy: Dr Tom Brown, Associate-Registrar, Recruitment

    The Associate Registrar for Recruitment reveals exciting initiatives. Read more…


  • History of the College: Metamorphosis of Association to College: Dr Thomas Bewley, Past-President and Vanessa Cameron, Chief Executive

    “The fortieth anniversary of the Royal College of Psychiatrists is an appropriate time to reflect on the past. The Royal Medico-Psychological Association (RMPA) was not moribund in 1972, but its functions were limited. It had regional divisions in the UK and Ireland and two specialist sections (mental handicap and child psychiatry). It had one of the best psychiatric journals in the world. The RMPA had little input into teaching, research or academic psychiatry and had no examination to become a member.” Read more...


  • New leaflet for the general public

    Coming off antidepressants: This leaflet brings together the views of the 817 people who completed an RCPsych survey and shared their experiences.


  • New College Reports

    New guide underpins effective medical care for drug and alcohol users

    This new guidance, Delivering quality care for drug and alcohol users: the roles and competencies of doctors, is intended as timely assistance in the transition towards new commissioning arrangements for drug and alcohol services next year.

    Census of Psychiatric Staffing

    The College’s 2011 Census gives a snapshot of psychiatric staffing as at 31 December 2011. 81% of NHS Trusts responded to requests for information, an increase over the 73% achieved by the 2009 survey. Numbers of posts reported appears slightly higher than in 2009, but this is proportionate to the better Trust response rate.


  • Human Rights Conference – 13 November 2012, Bedfordshire

    The College’s Special Committee on Human Rights is holding a one-day conference, Blurring the Boundaries, to examine the convergence of mental health and criminal justice systems. Speakers will include Professor Sue Bailey, Chief Constable Simon Cole (ACPO), the Crime Reduction Initiative, tribunal judges, barristers and senior forensic psychiatrists. The conference is of interest to trainees and consultants with an interest in human rights and/or the interface between psychiatry and criminal justice. The cost of the conference is £50. Email to book your place or to receive the final programme.


  • Library Journals

    The College Library has recently subscribed to over 100 journals relating to mental health. To receive the electronic table of contents for any journals in the collection, please notify the Library.


  • News from members: New group to advise on learning disability issues

    The Welsh Government has established a new group to champion learning disability issues and provide specialist advice to ministers. Dr Roger Banks, consultant psychiatrist with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Sophie Hinksman, vice-chair of All Wales People First, have been appointed co-chairs. The Group will help the Welsh Government shape its learning disability policy on issues such as sustainable social services, tackling health inequalities and social integration and inclusion.


Medical Vacancies with the British Army



New opportunities


  • Medical Vacancies with the British Army

    Join the Territorial Army as a doctor: day rate based on rank and experience

    This is your chance to rise through the ranks and gain experience in military specific medicine while continuing your regular clinical role. At weekends, you’ll enhance your leadership prowess through officer training, learn how to survive outdoors and fire weapons through basic military training, and gain an understanding of casualty mass management, tropical medicine, and conflict surgery. You may be under 55, looking for an extra challenge, and be currently practising in a clinical setting. We are looking for doctors with experience in accident and emergency or resuscitation, although applicants in other clinical areas are encouraged to apply. To register your interest and find out more, contact the recruitment team.



Views of more than 15,000 people using community mental health services






Guidance on sharing information to tackle violence







Personal Health Budgets in Mental Health Survey



News from other organisations and the NHS


Care Quality Commission

  • Your rights under the Mental Health Act

    This document outlines people's rights under the Mental Health Act following recent changes to giving consent to treatment. The information has been produced for people who are detained in hospital, on a community treatment order, and those who have been recommended electro-convulsive therapy.

  • Views of more than 15,000 people using community mental health services

    A survey of people who use mental health services shows that there are still some people whose experience of care needs to improve, especially around areas such as help with physical health and day-to-day living.


Department of Health

  • Dementia campaign launched
  • New suicide strategy and £1.5 million into prevention research
  • Improving access to psychological therapies for severe mental illness
  • Join in the conversation on how to strengthen the NHS Constitution
  • Guidance on sharing information to tackle violence
  • NHS hospitals using innovative solutions to prevent missed appointments


New GMC child protection guidance comes into effect

New guidance from the General Medical Council, 'Protecting Children And Young People: The Responsibilities Of All Doctors’, helps doctors protect children from abuse and neglect. The guidance has been designed to give doctors the confidence to act when they need to and makes clear where they can turn to for support.  


Personal budgets can support recovery and transform mental health services

A briefing paper, Recovery, Personalisation and Personal Budgets, by Centre for Mental Health and the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, concludes that personal health and social care budgets can help people with a mental health condition to set their own goals and rebuild their lives.


Medical Research Foundation / Medical Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellowships in Mental Health: Psychiatry: Scottish Training and Academic Research (PsySTAR) Programme

Applications are invited from across the UK for this clinical PhD training programme, which aims to realise the opportunities and priorities identified in the recent MRC review of mental health research. Up to 6 Fellowships are available commencing August 2013. Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to work with a wide range of internationally leading basic and clinical scientists around Scotland. They will be supported to develop their potential as a clinical researcher in an integrated, structured training programme with strong inter-disciplinary and cross-institutional interaction and mentoring. Closing date: Friday 26 October 2012 with interviews in Edinburgh on Monday 12 November 2012. Direct enquiries can be made to the programme director, Professor Stephen Lawrie.


CPD Online: : Psychiatric aspects of perinatal loss






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