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

RCPsych eNewsletter - June 2015

College news


Other news




Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Professor Sir Simon Wessely





Dr Adrian James

"We have a mountain to climb, but we can get to the top!"

- Dr Adrian James










Medical Revalidation

College news

President’s update

Our International Congress this year: a galaxy of talent and UK voice of psychiatry

It will soon be time for our annual congress. Last year over 2,500 members came to London, our biggest audience yet. However, if current registrations are a valid guide, this year will surpass that number. But it will still be the case that the majority of you will not be there, especially when we take into account our overseas members. So as I did last year, I thought it would be a good idea to at least let those who can’t make it know what they are missing. And for those of you who are attending, look away now.



Congratulations to our new Registrar:

Dr Adrian James

“I am delighted to have been elected as Registrar of the Royal College. It is a great honour and I promise to give it my best shot. This is a pivotal time for mental health policy. Very much higher up the political and media agenda with NHS England committing themselves to delivering parity of esteem. My priority is seeing that this becomes a reality, something that feels far from so on the ground. We have great opportunities through the Mental Health Taskforce and the work around the Vanguard sites exploring new models of care. The Conservative Party pledged to increase mental health spending in their manifesto and we need to hold them to account on this. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have equivalent challenges and I look forward to visiting the far flung reaches of our College and seeing the situation on the ground for members. The College is well positioned to fully contribute to this agenda, with vibrant and committed Divisions and Faculties all eager to play their part. I will work with all College members to further our joint aims and ensure these are well communicated.”




Shaping the future of medical revalidation

Medical revalidation has been in place for all UK-based doctors since December 2012, and the vast majority of doctors will be revalidated by March 2016. The GMC is currently running a major research study to assess and evaluate the impact of revalidation. All doctors in the UK are being invited to take part in the online questionnaire and this is a unique opportunity to add to the understanding of what revalidation has meant to doctors, and to shape the process better for patients and for doctors in the future. The President has also written to you, encouraging you to take part in the evaluation.




Member Job Posts



British Journal of Psychiatry

British Journal of Psychiatry





Test your knowledge






MedFest 2015

 MedFest 2015










Dr Sarah Nouwen

Dr Sarah Nouwen







Professor Seena Fazel

Professor Seena Fazel









Emma Staton

Dr Emma Stanton















Dr Nadim Almoshmosh

Dr Nadim Almoshmosh













Emergency Psychiatry

Emergency Psychiatry, Edited by Kevin Nicholls





Posts for members

  • Trainees Online Trainee Editor: Are you a post-membership psychiatry trainee interested in gaining experience in e-learning by joining the Advisory Board of Trainees Online as a Trainee Editor? Closing date: 19 June
  • Honorary Archivist: Do you have an interest in the history of psychiatry and the College? Working closely with the College Archivist/Records Manager, the Hon. Archivist will be responsible for promoting the history of the College and its archival collection. Closing date: 19 June
  • MRCPsych Examination Standard Setting Panel: we are looking to appoint Senior Trainees and Consultants to join the Standard Setting Panel for the MRCPsych written Examinations.
    Closing Date: 26 June




Research of the month: Derek K Tracy, Dan W Joyce, Sukhwinder S Shergill

This month’s Kaleidoscope column in the British Journal of Psychiatry asks how to keep our brains healthy through life. An expert review identified three factors consistently linked with good long-term functioning: regular exercise, intermittent fasting, and being intellectually challenged.

Read more ...







This month’s quiz: test your knowledge

Choose the correct answer(s): more than one may be correct: Full answers will be in June's Kaleidoscope column in the BJPsych.


Results of last month's quiz: test your knowledge

a. When it comes to smiling, the truth is in the smiler’s eyes: 77% agreed. True: Duchenne smiling, which involves contraction of the muscles around the eyes, has been shown to portray a ‘true’ smile, whilst non-Duchenne smiling, which only involves the muscles of the mouth, is a ‘faked’ smile.

b. ICD-10 has a code for contact with a powered lawnmower in an Opera House: 18% agreed. True: W28.2.

c. The inclusion of unnecessary physics equations has been shown to improve readers’ perceptions of the quality of the neuroscientific work: 60%. False: it has been shown, however, for superfluous neuroscientific information.




Events at College HQ: Book Now

  • Medfest 2015 presents: Creative Madness in Song
    17 June from 7pm

MedFest, the medically themed film festival run by UK psychiatry trainees, is coming to the end of its mammoth journey showing short films at over thirty events worldwide. To celebrate this achievement we have invited Song in the City to give an evening of music and poetry at the College. Song in the City is a registered charity that takes classical music out of its comfort zone. Expect poetry recitals from service users such as celebrated mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin, and original music composed by young local composers. It'll be a really exciting evening - our chance to celebrate the creativity of madness in style! Book now!




  • Medfest 2015: Gala Event
    24 June at 6pm

Please join us for the final screening of Medfest 2015: Global Medicine and Civilisations. We will be watching a selection of short medically themed films, followed by discussion from our panellists the President, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, director Mark Aitlen (Dead When I Got Here) and director Erminia Colucci (Breaking the Chains). The screening will be followed by refreshments. Book now!




  • 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, Ieng Thirith, 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.







College in the news

Older people & substance abuse: Royal College of Psychiatrists releases guidelines to improve healthcare for older people at risk of the effects of alcohol and substance misuse

New guidelines are released by the Royal College of Psychiatrists today that aim to reduce the current threat of alcohol related brain damage to older people and the rate of suicide among this age group. Read more...


Leadership in Psychiatry interview

Dr Nicole Eady and Dr Lucy Potter talked to Dr Emma Stanton, Chief Executive of Beacon UK, ahead of her relocation to the United States. Read more ...


Recruitment Campaign: "9 things you can do..." for recruiting trainees into psychiatry: Dr Tom Brown

Every single member needs to take responsibility for recruitment into psychiatry – school students, medical students and young doctors. So here are 9 simple things you can do. Read more...


New from the Policy Unit

A to Z index of public policy statements is now available online. This page provides an index of public statements made by the RCPsych relating to health, social care, and other areas of policy.


Launch of Diaspora Newsletter: April 2015 Prof Sab Bhaumik and Dr Marteen Durrani, Diaspora Committee RCPsych

It gives us great pleasure to introduce to you the very first newsletter on behalf of the Diaspora Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  This is the beginning of a continuing series of newsletters which hopefully will keep you informed about the Diaspora activities in UK. Read more...


The psychological consequences of the Syrian crisis: Report from the Syrian Association for Mental Health (SAMH) third conference: Dr Nadim Almoshmosh MRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist and a founding member of SAMH

The third annual conference of the Syrian Association for Mental Health (SAMH) was held in Gaziantep, Turkey on 24-25 April 2015. The theme for the conference was Towards Better Mental Health for all Syrians’.  It was well attended by over a hundred multidisciplinary Syrian professionals including psychiatrists, GPs, psychologists, counsellors and support workers.





This month's poll: your views wanted

Would you agree with the following: “All psychiatrists should be actively involved in research”?


  • Results of last month's poll:

Has the functionalisation of psychiatry i.e. the split between inpatient and outpatient consultants benefitted patient care? 18% agreed; 79% disagreed; and 3% had no opinion.




New from RCPsych Publications

  • Emergency Psychiatry: edited by Kevin Nicholls. Emergency psychiatry is a broad field, covering situations in which a psychiatric problem, if untreated, could cause immediate harm to the patient or others. Robustly rooted in clinical practice, this new book is a valuable, in-depth resource, perfect for psychiatric trainees.



New College Report



Choosing Wisely

Academy of Royal Colleges: "Choosing Wisely" campaign aims to transform the way medical treatments are prescribed.









15th Maudsley Forum

Bookings now accepted for the 15th Maudsley Forum, 29 September - 2 October 2015










Falling through the gaps

Maternal Mental Health Alliance: news in perinatal mental health including Lorraine Khan Report, "Falling through the gaps"


News from other organisations and the NHS

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges: new campaign Choosing Wisely

The publication of a paper in the British Medical Journal marks the start of a major initiative, “Choosing Wisely”. In time, it is hoped the campaign will change the way medicine and medical treatments are prescribed and could have far reaching implications for the nature of healthcare in the UK as it has in the US, Canada and Australia where projects have been running from some years. Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Chair of the Academy said, ‘The whole point of Choosing Wisely is to encourage doctors to have conversations with their patients and explain honestly what the value of a treatment is. It’s not and will never be about refusing treatment or in any way jeopardising safety. It’s just about taking a grown-up approach to healthcare and being good stewards of the resources we have.'


NHS England: NHS launches new collaboration to sustain and improve local hospitals

The NHS invites expressions of interest from hospitals across England interested in developing new ways of delivering and improving their local acute services. The aim is to enhance the viability of local hospitals through new formal shared working arrangements between clinical specialists at different hospitals, and to improve efficiency by sharing back office administration and management between different sites.


New Research on Missing and Mental Health

The charity Missing People conducted research on people with mental health problems going missing. The research considers the reaction of Community Mental Health Teams when one of their patients in the community goes missing and the issue of missing patients with mental health problems being discharged, and the reactions of the Health Teams is if and when a missing person comes back.


Future Events

The annual Maudsley Forum offers psychiatrists, psychologists and others interested in mental health, the opportunity to learn about the most current advances in clinical and academic psychiatry, and to meet and network with dynamic, like-minded colleagues from around the world.


  • 9th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry: 22-24 October, Copenhagen, Denmark

Inviting psychiatric clinicians, psychiatrists, practitioners, psychiatric mental health nurses, psychologists etc ... engaged in the management, research, study or clinical treatment of aggressive behaviour of psychiatric patients and persons with intellectual disabilities and serious behavioural problems to submit an abstract and/or attend the Congress.




Maternal Mental Health Alliance: Spring e-Bulletin

‘Everyone's Business Campaign’ has just published their new Spring e-bulletin featuring perinatal mental health news.

International Congress: Birmingham: 29 June – 2 July 2015


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