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

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Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Professor Sir Simon Wessely



CAAPC interim report findings for EnglandThe Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care: Interim report of findings for England.



Johnny Mercer, MP

Mr Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor View.

College news

President's Update: A Panoramic View of Recent Developments in Learning Disability

It is customary to bemoan the fact that the BBC’s flagship for investigative journalism, Panorama, is not what it was. And that’s because it isn’t. But sometimes it does get something right, and there is no doubting the power of its 2011 expose of poor care and severe abuse at Winterbourne View. What now follows is an account of what happened next. It’s a bit of a long story, but stick with it, even if you are not involved in learning disability (LD), because we hope you will see there are lessons for us all in the story.



Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care: Interim Report

Report highlights reasons for mental health bed shortages: The Independent Commission report has found that the so-called bed or admission crisis in adult mental health is very significantly a problem of discharges and alternatives to admission that can only be addressed through changes in services and management of the whole service.






New to eNewsletter: our 15 Minute Interview: Johnny Mercer MP talks to Dr Kuljit Bhogal

In our first 15 Minute Interview, I speak to Mr Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor View. Johnny describes himself as an independently minded Conservative and is a relatively new addition to the party. He has been outspoken in his support for parity between mental and physical health and is keen to address the stigma that still exists for those with mental illness. He has a background in the armed forces and is a member of the Defence Select Committee.


Choosing Wisely: Your Comments

Can you think of any treatments, or diagnostic tests that are unnecessary? Our College is taking part in the Choosing Wisely campaign and is asking members to contribute their ideas and suggestions about treatments, or interventions, or tests whose use should be stopped either routinely or all together.



Member Job Posts

Jobs: Posts for Members








Dr Sarah Donnington
RCPsych Donald Dean Fellow: Dr Sarah Dorrington.





Dr Margaret Du Feu
Leadership and Management Interview: Dr Margaret Du Feu, OBE.











British Journal of Psychiatry

Kaleidoscope: This month's research from the British Journal of Psychiatry.








Test your knowledge.








Event: History of Psychiatry Special Interest Group (HoPSIG) workshop.







New RCPsych Mental Health App
New RCPysch Mental Health App.






Anxiety Animation
New Animation: Anxiety, Panic and Phobias.



Professor John Cox
Professor John Cox: Lieder Marathon and The Musical Brain.


The Law Commission Consulations
Consultation: The Law Commission.

Posts for members: BJPsych International: Pictures Editor

BJPsych International is seeking to appoint a Pictures Editor with a focus on low- and middle-income countries across the world as well as the poor and socially excluded in more developed countries and with a new editor and publications board, BJPsych International continues to update its image as well as develop content. The journal therefore is seeking to appoint a psychiatrist with an interest in the visual arts and/or design to lead in the redesign of the front cover and the editing of images to figure in this in the future. Interested colleagues should contact the editor, Professor David Skuse.

Recruitment (in Psychiatry) Strategy: Update

Dr Tom Brown, Associate Registrar for Recruitment, has developed a Recruitment Strategy. The aim of the Recruitment Strategy is to increase recruitment to the CT1 grade of Core Psychiatry Training, achieving a 50% increase in applications and a 95% fill rate by the end of the 5 year campaign.


RCPsych Donald Dean Fellow: Dr Sarah Dorrington appointed

Dr Sarah Dorrington is an academic clinical fellow at King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. She has a longstanding interest in work and mental health, and the impact of life events on mental illness. Dr Dorrington has published first author papers in the British Journal of Psychiatry and Schizophrenia Research and has researched the role of work at La Borde Hospital, France. She has also co-organised events including talks about anxiety and work at the South London Gallery: ‘Whistle While You Work: Palpitations for Productivity’. During the Donald Dean Fellowship, Dr Dorrington will explore the use of the newly introduced fit note for patients with mental illness. The fit note was introduced in 2010 in response to recommendations by Dame Carol Black and is used by GPs to identify potential interventions and adaptations to enable patients to return to work.



Leadership and Management Interview: Dr Margaret Du Feu

Margaret is a consultant psychiatrist who has been awarded an OBE for services to deaf people in Northern Ireland. She is also chair of the General Adult Faculty in Northern Ireland. Her book ‘Mental Health and Deafness’ was published in 2014. Jen Perry interviews her to find out more about her life and future aspirations. Read more...


This month’s poll: your views wanted

Would you agree that ‘All psychiatrists should undertake a mandatory period of training or volunteering abroad to better understand other health systems’?


Result of last month’s poll

Should psychiatric wards be located in general hospitals, rather than separate facilities?
71% agreed with this statement; 24% disagreed and 4% had no opinion.



Winners of the Research Quizzes at the International Congress in Birmingham

At the International Congress in Birmingham, Dr Derek Tracy, Dr Sukhi Shergill and Dr Howard Ryland ran a daily research quiz, the winners of which were awarded a College mug! There was a considerable amount of interest in the quiz and two prizes were awarded every day. In light of this success, we are planning to run a similar quiz at next year's International Congress in London with even bigger and better prizes. The winners were: Monday 29 June: Mr Marco Najajos and Dr Sandeep Patil; Tuesday 30 June: Dr Zead Said and Dr Mira Jokic; Wednesday 30 June: Dr Adeola Akinola and Dr Joanne Parry; Thursday 1 July: Dr Eleanor Romaine and Dr Azian Luk. Congratulations to you all!



Kaleidoscope: This month’s Kaleidoscope column: "Win a College mug in our monthly quiz". See this month’s quiz below

This month’s Kaleidoscope column in the British Journal of Psychiatry raises the ever-controversial topic of antidepressant effectiveness. The field is notable not just for the question of whether antidepressants work, but also for the passion aroused during the claim and counter-claim about how findings are reported – or potentially biased by the funding source. Read more...



This month’s quiz: test your knowledge

All questions true or false; full answers will be in August’s Kaleidoscope column in the BJPsych (see above).


Result of last month’s Quiz: how well did you do?

  1. A recent study of 25,000 people has shown that the established association between lower educational attainment and depression is due, at least in part, to shared genetic risks. 86% agreed. False; this association was not detected. Low educational attainment’s social outcomes being depressogenic, and depression affecting the ability to complete an education, remain as putative causal links.
  2. Most literature on the topic supports an association between childhood trauma and later psychosis, but novel data suggest that primarily only that suffered before the age of 11 is linked to enduring impairment. 58% agreed. True; outcomes appear better for those suffering physical and sexual abuse after this point.
  3. Suffering racial discrimination has been shown to increase the risk of mental illness through cortisol-stress paradigm. 71% agreed. False; so-called ‘transdiagnostic’ phenotype traits of ‘internalising’ or ‘externalising’ appear to be critical mediators of subsequent mental ill-health.



New College Reports and Position Statements



RCPsych Events

  • Building resilience through support – coping with difficult challenges
    Monday 19 October 2015, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street, London E1 8BB

A one-day conference from the Psychiatrists' Support Service at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is suitable for doctors at all stages of their career.  Through talks, debate and workshops, the conference aims to provide opportunities for delegates to discuss ways to create a healthy and effective workforce, improve personal resilience and deal with challenges. Enquiries to


  • History of Psychiatry SIG workshop

Ready, Steady Hop! Thursday 29 October 2015 2-5pm at the College. Join us for a history workshop, including: blood-letting to treat mental disorders, treating war neuroses in 1942, and resources at the Wellcome Library.' Places limited! To book, contact Philippa Barton-Hanson. There will be a small charge to cover costs. Refreshments provided.'



New RCPsych App: Mental Health Key Facts

The new RCPsych Key Facts App gives instant access to the College’s mental health information leaflets, videos and podcasts. Patients, carers, mental health professionals and students can have a wealth of information and support at the touch of a button. Available from iTunes and Google Play Store. Read More...



New RCPsych Mental Health Information

Animation: ’Coming off antidepressants': Important information about coming off antidepressants and what you need to know, including side-effects

Animation: 'Anxiety, Panic and Phobias': What it feels like to be anxious, suffer from panic attacks and/or phobias, and what help you can get if you have these feelings.

New factsheet: 'Club Drugs': This leaflet looks at the effects of club drugs (or ‘recreational’ drugs), including legal highs.

New Factsheet: ‘Feeling Stressed’: This leaflet is for anyone who is feeling stressed - or anyone who knows someone who is feeling stressed.

New Factsheet: ‘A Guide to Mental Health Tribunals’: a guide for anyone who has been admitted on Section 2 or 3 of the Mental Health Act or is being treated outside hospital under a Community Treatment Order.



Professor John Cox's Lieder Marathon and Fundraising for The Musical Brain

The challenge for Professor Cox, former President of the RCPsych, is to sing each of the three Schubert song cycles between July and October 2015 to a special audience with a professional accompanist. In so doing he hopes to give aesthetic pleasure to the audience and raise money for The Musical Brain Charity of which he is a trustee.




  • Replacing Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: send us your views on the Law Commission proposals.
    The Law Commission is consulting on the proposed new system, to be called 'Protective Care', which will replace the 'deeply flawed' Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). This system is not focused on authorising deprivations of liberty, but instead upon providing appropriate care and better outcomes for people who lack mental capacity and helping their family and carers. A separate scheme of safeguards will apply for those accommodated in hospital settings and palliative care, and be tailored to recognise that people's accommodation in these settings is usually temporary. Please send any comments to Helen Phillips by Wednesday 14 October.


Pathways to Recovery
Psychosis: Pathways to Recovery



Race Equality Foundation
New Report: Race Equality Foundation.



Judicial Appointments Commission
Judicial Appointments Commission: Fee-paid Medical member candidates.



CPPE: New online Learning Tool for NICE
New NICE online learning tool: Severe Mental Illness




BMA Cohort Study
BMA Cohort Study: 2006 Medical Graduates



WORLDbytes Debate
WORLDbytes Video: Battle of Ideas 2014 debate.

News from other organisations and the NHS

Pathways to Recovery

For the first time in the history of UK mental health, integrated care pathways that prescribe time frames around clinical interventions and service delivery have been developed. This work has been led by two Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) - Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP) and Wessex AHSN, using a similar approach to that taken to improve stroke care, where there has been a demonstrable improvement in outcomes for patients and carers. These new psychosis pathways aim to reduce the impact of disease and promote recovery by ensuring that every individual gets the best evidence based care at the right time and in the right place.



Mental health experiences of black and minority ethnic communities

The Race Equality Foundation have published a new report exploring the mental health experiences of black and minority ethnic communities. The Race Equality Foundation was commissioned by the Care Quality Commission to conduct a series of interviews and focus groups with black and minority ethnic people, in specific areas, who had experience of crisis care.



Fee-paid Medical Member of the First-tier Tribunal, Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (Mental Health)

The Judicial Appointments Commission has been asked to run an exercise to recommend candidates who must be consultant psychiatrists to the post of Fee-paid Medical Member of the First-tier Tribunal, Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (Mental Health). Details have yet to be confirmed, though it is anticipated that this exercise will be launched in September. Please check back regularly for further details, and to see if the selection exercise remains in the programme as scheduled. You can sign up for alerts.



Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE)

CPPE have a five-year contract with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to develop four online learning programmes per year to form part of the implementation strategy for NICE guidance. A new online learning tool, Severe mental illness: prescribing and monitoring antipsychotics, has been developed for healthcare professionals involved in the care of people with psychosis, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.



BMA cohort study of 2006 medical graduates

This is a continuous, longitudinal cohort study of a sample of medical students who graduated in 2006. It is a study which tracks doctors in training through their medical career for the first 10 years post-graduation. The study gathers information about aspirations, career choices and experiences. 2014 BMA Medical Workforce Briefing summarises the current UK medical workforce and analyses 10-year trends.



Your Battle of Ideas 2014 debate: Community Treatment Orders: the Psychiatric ASBO?

Debate filmed by young volunteers at the Battle of Ideas festival 2014 is now available on our online Citizen TV station, WORLDbytes, featuring Professor Sir Simon Wessely.




Parliamentary Updates


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