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

RCPsych eNewsletter - September 2012

College news


Other news



President, Professor Sue Bailey

College news


President's Update

President’s campaign: Recovery and Resilience: two new initiatives

Two public mental health briefings on wellbeing and levels of mental disorder and treatment in England: Dr Jonathan Campion and Professor Kam Bhui. Find out more... 

U Can Cope World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) 2012 Campaign. Open Minds Alliance CIC, Samaritans, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Southwick Media Consultancy are leading the U Can Cope multimedia multiagency media campaign to support and promote the 2012 World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on 10 September. The theme of the 2012 WSPD is ‘Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope’. Find out more ...










Joining in the conversation - social media and mental health services








Alexander Mezey 2012

























































Madness at the Theatre




  • College e-Portfolio for Psychiatrists: Dr Ellen Wilkinson, Associate-Registrar for Revalidation

Having received funding from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to join the cohort of seven medical royal colleges who are working to deliver an e-portfolio for doctors, the College will be making available to members/affiliates an e-portfolio, developed with the cohort and Equiniti-ICS. The online portfolio will support UK doctors through their appraisal and revalidation. Find our more ...


  • In conversation: Dr Chrissy Boardman talks to  André Tomlin, Editor, The Mental Elf

Chatting with André Tomlin on Skype proved to be a thought provoking occasion, not least because André functions in, what for me, can be the twilight world of social media. Having been used to keeping my academic and clinical work separate from my stumblings into social media, my eyes have been opened to the usefulness of the accessibility of social media forums for keeping up to date in a timely and precise manner. Find out more ...


  • Item from Mental Elf: New figures reveal that the NHS in England spent more than £270m on antidepressants last year - a 23% increase on 2010. The health service spent almost £1m a week more on the drugs than the year before. Blackpool has the highest use of antidepressants in England. The PCT issued 221,000 items for its population of 155,000.



College Prizewinners


  • Alexander Mezey Prize 2011: Dr Sobia Rafi for the highest number of stations passed in the CASC and the highest mark in Paper 3 of the MRCPsych Examination.


  • Laughlin Prize Spring 2011: Dr Dush Mahadevan


  • Standish-Barry Prize 2011: Dr Boris Pinto a prize for the best results by an Irish graduate in the MRCPsych Membership Examination.


  • The Academic Faculty Prizewinner: The Margaret Slack Travelling Fellowship 2012: Dr Amanda Sinai awarded to allow her to visit the Down Syndrome Research Centre at the University of Arizona to further her knowledge of the development of cognitive tests for people with Down’s Syndrome.



New College vacancies

  • Specialist Adviser - Workforce

The College is looking to appoint a Specialist Advisor on Workforce issues. Closing date: 30 August 2012 with interviews on the afternoon of Friday 07 September 2012. Find out more …


  • Specialist Advisor for CPD

A vacancy has arisen for a specialist advisor for CPD to take up office in November 2012. Closing date: 10 September 2012 with interviews on Friday 21 September 2012. Find out more …


  • New committee members: risk assessment and risk management group

We are recruiting five College members to join the Clinical Risk Guidance Expert Working Group. This is a new group with the remit of providing guidance on psychiatric risk assessment and management, and issues of policy, training, practice, confidentiality and probity. Closing date: 28 September 2012. Find out more …


  • Trainee attachment to the RCPsych Policy Unit

The Policy Unit coordinates, develops, and advises on issues affecting mental health and psychiatric policy and practice. The Unit would like to appoint a Trainee Psychiatrist ST4-ST6 on a voluntary basis for ideally a 12 month period, to be involved with and support the policy development work. Closing date: 18 September 2012 with interviews on the morning of 3 October. Find out more …



Policy News

  • Policy Work in RCPsych in Wales Update, September 2012

The College participated in an extensive consultation exercise on a new mental health strategy for Wales: Together for Mental Health. The RCPsych in Wales also commented on the National Assembly for Wales’ Inquiry Residential Care for the Elderly, Alcohol Strategy for England and Wales, Alcohol Concern Cymru: Gambling and Alcohol, Implementation of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure, Mental Health – National Specialist Advisory Group. Find out more …


  • Position statement on Payment by Results (England)

This guidance is for use by members and sets out guidance, principles and specific recommendations that, in the view of the College, should be followed by members.



What’s new: Continuing Professional Development

  • Centre for Advanced Learning and Conferences (CALC)





For more information or to book for any of these courses and conference please visit the CALC section of the website.



New books from RCPsych Publications





Developing our NHS care objectives: draft mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board

‘Our NHS care objectives: a draft mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board’ marks a move to a more patient-centred, independent, transparent and outcomes focused NHS. There are 12 consultation questions, five of which are overarching as follows:

  • will the mandate drive a culture which puts patients at the heart of everything the NHS does?
  • do you agree with the overall approach to the draft mandate and the way the mandate is structured?
  • are the objectives right? Could they be simplified and/or reduced in number; are there objectives missing? Do they reflect the over-arching goals of NHS commissioning?
  •  what is the best way of assessing progress against the mandate, and how can other people or organisations best contribute to this?
  • do you have views now about how the mandate should develop in future years?


Comments to be sent to Claire Churchill by 17 September 2012.


The future of the independent living fund

This consultation seeks views on the impact that closing the Independent Living Fund in 2015 would have on users, local authorities and the wider care and support systems across the UK. The Government would also like views on how closure could be managed in a way which would minimise disruption to the care and support needs of existing users.


Comments to be sent to Claire Churchill by 3 October 2012. 


Joint inspection of multi-agency arrangements for the protection of children

Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons are committed to the introduction of a new joint inspection of multi-agency arrangements for the protection of children in England. These inspections will focus on the effectiveness of local authority and partners’ services for children who may be at risk of harm, including the effectiveness of early identification and early help. These inspections may trigger inspection activity by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.


Comments to be sent to Claire Churchill by 25 September 2012.


Joint strategic needs assessment and joint health and wellbeing strategy guidance

Proposals for the duties of health and wellbeing boards have been published by the Department of Health. The draft guidance provides a framework for NHS and local government to work together to undertake joint strategic needs assessments and joint health and wellbeing strategies. There is an eight-week public consultation that:

  • lays out duties that underpin JSNAs and JHWSs to be undertaken by clinical commissioning groups and local authorities through health and wellbeing boards from April 2013
  • explains how JSNAs and JHWSs will fit together with commissioning plans in the health and care system
  • sets out how the JSNA and JHWS process will enable the NHS and local government to make real improvements to the health and wellbeing of local people.

Health and wellbeing boards will be made up of clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, patient representatives, public health, and children’s and adult social care leaders in each local authority area. They will shape local health and care services, decide how they will be commissioned and support joined-up working across health and care services. Joint strategic needs assessments and joint health and wellbeing strategies will set out the local needs and agree priorities to underpin local commissioning plans.


Comments to both the above documents to be sent to Claire Churchill by 14 September 2012.


New adult safeguarding power

The Department of Health is consulting on a new adult safeguarding power which aims to ensure there is a clear legal and policy framework, enabling the most effective local arrangements and practices to protect adults at risk of abuse and neglect. It is seeking evidence from your experience as to whether this would be an effective, proportionate and appropriate way to support the duty to make enquires proposed in the draft Care and Support Bill. The consultation closes on 12 October 2012. Submit your comments to the Department of Health.




















Psychiatrists overuse antipsychotic medication especially in the elderly or people with learning difficulties. Do you agree?









News from other organisations and the NHS

Mental health in the news

Spending on mental health services in England has dropped by £150m, the first fall since 2001. However this drop comes after a decade of rising investment: in 2001 just £4.1bn was spent on working-age adults mental health. The Department of Health report shows the shifting composition of mental health spending with investment in the three traditional priority areas – crisis resolution, early intervention and outreach – falling for the first time by almost £30m. 


Investment in mental health: working age adult and older adult reports

The Department has published two reports on the investment in mental health services; the eleventh annual working age adult report and the older adult mental health. The reports include detail on levels of investment in mental health services and therapies, and compare them to previous years.


New mental health strategy for Scotland

A new strategy designed to improve the mental health and wellbeing of everyone in Scotland has been launched and sets out 36 key commitments to be delivered between now and 2015 to deliver faster access to mental health services for younger people, faster access to psychological therapies, a reduction in suicide rates and less stigma and discrimination.


Department of Health


Care Quality Commission annual report on safer management of controlled drugs

The CQC has published their 2011 annual report on the safer management of controlled drugs. This fifth report makes a number of recommendations for local action to improve the safer management of controlled drugs and cites examples of good practice.


Centre for Social Justice: Beyond Violence: breaking the cycle of abuse

A new report calls for a fundamental overhaul of government policies to tackle the substantial harm to children’s wellbeing. The report from the Centre for Social Justice highlights the scarring psychological impact of living with domestic abuse, which it says is just as significant as being physically abused.  


New research from UK GPs reveals economic climate's negative impact on our health

A new report found that an overwhelming 76% of GPs questioned in the survey said they believed the economic downturn was making people in the UK unhealthier. According to the GPs in the survey this has lead to an increase in abortions, anxiety and alcohol abuse, as well as a rise in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) particularly in women. Over three quarters (77%) of the 300 GPs surveyed felt there has been an increase in new cases of mental health disorders linked to the stresses of the economic climate.


Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management extends membership

The Faculty of Medicine Leadership and Management has extended its membership to non-medical full members of UK medical royal colleges and faculties. They have also introduced a retired category for doctors. Individuals, who have an interest in medical leadership but do not qualify for membership, can become Associates. Being a member or associate can help individuals with an interest in medical leadership make the most of their leadership and management responsibilities through networking opportunities, information and resource sharing facilities, advocacy support and help to find professional development opportunities.


Update from NICE: 44 new proposed indicators

NICE has published the first menu of 44 new proposed indicators recommended by the Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) Advisory Committee. This menu of indicators will now be considered by the NHS Commissioning Board for potential inclusion in the 2013/14 COF and covers areas including aspects of care given immediately after a stroke, access to mental health services, etc.


Mental Health Research Network: guide to finding and reading a research paper

The National Institute for Health Research Mental Health Research Network have produced a plain English guide to finding and reading a research paper. The guide is intended to help service users and the general public to find and access original mental health research papers.



The 21st European Congress of Psychiatry is taking place in Nice, France on 6-9 April 2013. The 2013 Congress will bring psychiatrists and other discipline-related professionals together to address the complex theme of ‘Europe challenges the burden of mental disorders’.



CPD Online: The pharmacological management of mania



New College leaflets:



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