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

RCPsych eNewsletter - July 2015

College news


Other news




Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Professor Sir Simon Wessely









Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges: Choosing Wisely









British Journal of Psychiatry Open

British Journal of Psychiatry Open

College news

President’s Update: Are we doing too much?

We need more of this. How many times have we heard that? Doesn’t matter what it is – a new drug, a different psychological therapy, more social care. It’s a bit like the mantra “more research needed” which ends most academic papers.  Have you ever read a paper that ended “Less research needed”? Actually, there was one once – a report on aromatherapy.  But you know what we mean.



Choosing Wisely: Your suggestions needed

Are we over-investigating or over-treating patients? Can you think of examples where psychiatrists are providing too much care? Our College are taking part in the Choosing Wisely campaign to increase awareness and understanding about where the hotspots of overuse are in today’s clinical practice. This campaign was launched last month by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in the UK in a BMJ editorial. The Academy is requesting that all Medical Royal Colleges in the UK identify a ‘top five’ list of tests or procedures that are commonly used in their specialty, but whose necessity should be questioned. We are currently compiling a list of tests, interventions or treatments that should either stop being used routinely or at all, because of a lack of evidence for clear benefits over harms. We are asking all members to contribute their suggestions for what should be on this list. An expert reference group will be created, chaired by our new Registrar, Dr Adrian James, that will decide what should make our top five list. We need your input and would welcome any thoughts or suggestions you may have for this list. Please submit your ideas to Deborah Hart.




Important news from our Publications Department Call for Papers from the College’s New Journal, BJPsych Open

BJPsych Open is an exciting new open access journal for the publication of all methodologically sound research in psychiatry and disciplines related to mental health, whilst maintaining the highest scientific, peer-review, and ethical standards of The British Journal of Psychiatry. BJPsych Open will ensure rapid peer-review and publication – our target is 28 days from acceptance to online publication. This maximises dissemination and sharing of research with no cost to the reader in the spirit of optimising public engagement. The Editor in Chief, Professor Kam Bhui, now invites submissions from the research, practice and policy communities.  Publication fees are being waived for submissions received by 6 July. Read more...

International Congress: BJPsych Open Launch and Editors’ Meet and Greet

The actual journal site will be launched during the RCPsych 2015 International Congress in Birmingham. If you’re attending, come to meet the editors at lunchtime on Tuesday 30 June (on the RCPsych Publications stand in Hall 3) and we will happily give you a demonstration of the site.


Member Job Posts




Health Education England

Trainee-led Recruitment: Joint HEE and RCPsych initiative




The First 100 Days and Beyond

The Mental Health Policy Group: turning the rhetoric about improving Mental Health into a reality





Depression during Pregnancy
Depression in Pregnancy: consequences in offspring






Wales - Spring Party Conferences 2015

RCPsych in Wales: Spring 2015 Update





Dr Paul Tiffin
Dr Paul Tiffin: Research in Childhood Onset Schizophrenia






Research of the Month

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







 Test your knowledge







Dr Sarah NouwenDr Sarah Nouwen


College vacancies: a number of vacancies

  • MRCPsych Written Paper Panels:
    The Examinations Unit require a Chair of Paper A Panel, Consultants in Forensics, Addictions and Psychotherapy for the Paper B Clinical Topics Panel and Consultants and an SpR for the Paper B Critical Review Panel. Further information on the website or contact Erykah Brackenbury.


Recruitment into Psychiatry: joint HEE & RCPsych initiative

An impressive joint initiative between Health Education England and RCPsych to support and evaluate trainee-led recruitment projects is now well underway. Out of nearly 50 projects submitted by trainees, there are 9 successful initiatives. The ambitious trainees are responsible for organising these projects from start to finish and they all have various funding amounts. The first event to take place is the Ageing & Psychiatry conference being held in Oxford on 28 September. Read More...


RCPsych in the media

  • Queen’s Speech 2015: Royal College of Psychiatrists response

The RCPsych welcomes the government’s renewed focus on tackling the growing problem of novel psychoactive substances. Any proposed new legislation should be proportionate and take due account of available evidence and expert advice. The College seeks to emphasise the importance of making treatment and support more available to those affected by the use of NPS in the government’s overall strategy.


  • National organisations call on new government to make mental health a priority in emergency budget

Six of England’s leading mental health organisations, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, have joined forces to produce a plan for what the Government should do in the first 100 days of the new Parliament to improve the lives of people with mental health problems. ‘Improving England’s Mental Health: The First 100 Days and Beyond’ sets out a number of practical actions the new Government should take to ensure mental and physical health are valued equally.


  • Depression during pregnancy could increase risk of offspring depression in adulthood

People born to mothers who are depressed during pregnancy are up to three times more likely to have depression in later life and up to twice as likely to have experienced child maltreatment, primarily at the hands of peers and other adults in the home, according to new research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London. Read more ...


News from the RCPsych in Wales: Spring Update 2015

After a long period of silence, we are back to update you on what is happening in Wales. Our silence should not suggest a lack of activity on our part. In fact the opposite is true as we have been very busy indeed. We have recently increased our resources from 1.8 to 2 fulltime positions so I plan to ensure that a report from Wales becomes a regular feature in the newsletter. Read more...


Mentoring and Coaching for Psychiatrists

Dr Pierre Taub, the RCPsych’s Specialist Adviser for Mentoring, Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist, East London NHS Foundation Trust: Plans for 2015: It is anticipated that the College will provide guidance from the centre with regards to mentoring, and have mentoring leads within each division to act as ‘champions’ to oversee progress in mentoring and coaching.  A job description is in the process of being developed for this.


British Iranian Psychiatry Diaspora Group

Psychiatrists of Iranian origin interested in the establishment of a Diaspora Group, affiliated to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, are invited to contact Dr Cyrus Abbasian for further details.



Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance System: Research on Childhood Onset Schizophrenia

A new study by Dr Paul Tiffin and Dr Charlotte Kitchen, which was run on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance System (CAPSS), has been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.  The article examines the incidence and 12-month outcome of the childhood non-affective psychoses surveillance study. Read more...


This month’s poll: your views wanted


This month’s Kaleidoscope column: see This month’s quiz below

This month’s British Journal of Psychiatry examines the peer review process used in judging the merits of any research proposal or publication. Most researchers will have mixed feelings about this essential part of the scientific process, especially if you’ve been a victim of a difficult review. Read more...


This month’s quiz

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


Result of last month’s quiz:

  1. A recent study of almost two million UK health records has confirmed a - modest - link between being overweight and the later development of dementia: 52% agreed with this statement. Answer: False; it demonstrated being underweight had such an association.
  2. Novel neuromodulatory work has shown that applying an electrical current to the ear improves symptoms of depression: 36% agreed with this statement. Answer: True; transcranial direct current stimulation to the auricular concha area, which has an afferent vagus nerve distribution, improved depressive symptoms compared to a sham intervention.
  3. A large epidemiological study of 40,000 individuals has demonstrated that environmental factors are modestly (but significantly) more important than genetic factors in the transmission of drug and alcohol misuse from parents to children: 68% agreed with this statement.  Answer: False; it was the other way around.


New College and Faculty publications


Evening Lecture: ‘Psychiatric evidence in a genocide case: challenges and controversies in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’

by Professor Seena Fazel and Dr Sarah Nouwen
21 July 2015 at 6.30pm

The presenters will discuss the fitness to stand trial and examination of one of the leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime who was recently tried by a United Nations-backed international court in Cambodia. An overview of the case will be given, and the challenges of assessing her fitness in this and related situations. They will also contextualise the project of international criminal justice of which the Ieng Thirith case forms part. Can international criminal justice meet the huge expectations that it has raised? What are its strengths? What are its weaknesses? And what forms of evidence can bring to bear on the question of its possible impact? To reserve your place, email Thomas Kennedy by Friday 17 July 2015.








NHS News











NHSE Implementation Guidance
NHS Guidance: Mental Health and waiting time standards















Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists







Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health







The Mental Elf

Launch of the National Elf Service: The Mental Elf















The Sick of The Fringe

Events: inspiring collaboration between science and the arts







Dr Ramya Mohan

Sammilana Exhibition: Dr Ramya Mohan


News from other organisations and the NHS

Care Quality Commission: Public services must ‘wake up’ to gaps in mental health crisis care

People who are having a mental health crisis are not always receiving care and support when and where they need it, the regulator has found. The CQC has raised concerns that public services, such as local authorities, NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups, are failing to work together to make sure that people in their local areas have access to crisis care around the clock. It found that healthcare professionals, such as those in A&E, can appear to lack compassion and warmth in how to care for and speak to people who are having a crisis, including those who have harmed themselves.


New from NHS England

  • Guidance on new mental health access & waiting time standards published

New guidance on how new access and waiting time standards for mental health services are to be introduced in 2015/16 across services for first episode psychosis, IAPT for common mental health conditions, and liaison mental health services in acute trust settings. To support commissioners to plan in readiness for the new IAPT waiting times standards, NHSE have published implementation guidance, which includes further operational information and frequently asked questions.

  • New commissioning tools published for transitions from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Two new resources to support commissioning effective, seamless transitional mental health services for young people have been published. The Model Specification for Transitions from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services builds on previous specifications and can be adapted locally to reflect the multi-agency nature of commissioning and delivering these services. A sample transition discharge from and transfer of care protocol has also been developed that can be inserted into the NHS standard contract to help improve support for young people leaving CAMHS.


NHS launches world’s first National Review of Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities

An independent project to help reduce premature mortality for people with learning disabilities has been launched by NHS England, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and the University of Bristol. This national programme aims to review – and ultimately reduce - premature deaths of people with learning disabilities. The three-year project will be the first comprehensive review to get to the bottom of why people with learning disabilities typically die much earlier than average, and to inform a strategy to reduce this inequality.


Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Domestic Violence

'Working together to stop gender-based domestic violence' distils the outputs from an interactive workshop into a practical guide for professionals when faced with the issue of domestic violence. This is a handy reference document with a range of hints, tips and pointers and additional information resources.


Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health:

  • The new Purple Book to improve assessment and management of children exposed to sexual abuse

‘The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse’, ‘The Purple Book,’ brings together the latest knowledge and evidence to aid clinical decision-making.


New from NICE


The Mental Elf welcomes you to the National Elf Service

Keeping up to date with the latest reliable mental health research has just got a whole lot easier with the launch of the National Elf Service. The new National Elf Service website features the Mental Elf who will soon be joined in the woodland by 10 other elves covering everything from diabetes to dentistry. The website offers a number of additional services, which individuals or institutions can purchase through subscription, to enhance their experience of the core free service.


Reading Well Books on Prescription (both mental health and dementia): Prescriber survey

The Reading Agency invites you to take part in a prescriber survey. Deadline: 30 June and all responses received by this date will be entered into a prize draw for a £50 high-street shopping voucher. The evidence collected will be considered alongside data from libraries, service users and other partners to improve and develop the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme and make the case for investment. The evaluation report will be published in October 2015 for World Mental Health Day.


Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowships: Mental Health

Are you involved in delivering community based treatment and support, including training and awareness for those in education and youth organisations? Do you work with veterans and their families or provide support in the work place? If the answer is yes and you would like to visit innovative programmes abroad so that you could transfer/adapt them to the UK, a Churchill Fellowship could be for you.


Edinburgh Festival: Are you The Sick of the Fringe?: August 2015

Commissioned by the Wellcome Trust and conceived by Brian Lobel, The Sick of the Fringe is a curated programme of events aiming to inspire collaboration between science and the arts. Concluding a month-long programme, two highlighted events invite high profile thinkers to explicitly address current debates in health, medicine and science.


'Sammilana':The Dr Ramya Mohan Project on 'Art, women and the mind': 25 and 26 July: MP Birla Millenium Gallery in West Kensington, London

Sammilana means 'harmonic fusion' in Sanskrit, one of the oldest languages in the world. Dr Ramya Mohan is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist is a skilled Artist and Performing Musician.  She is passionate about integrating Arts with our knowledge of the human mind to support positive mental health and resilience. There will be an Art Exhibition of Dr Ramya Mohan's paintings, followed by a formal inauguration and interactive expert Panel Discussion on 'Art, Women and Mental Health: A Universal Language across worlds'.


International Congress: Birmingham: 29 June – 2 July 2015


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