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

RCPsych eNewsletter - October 2015

College news


Other news





Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Professor Sir Simon Wessely















College news

President's Update

  • Prof Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:
    “We welcome Luciana Berger and the creation of a single portfolio for mental health, but of course recognise also that mental health affects so many other areas as well - education, employment, defence, Department of Work and Pensions, local government etc ...”
  • Responding to the announcement by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens on 'Drive to Improve Health in NHS Workplace:
    Professor Sir Simon Wessely said, "We warmly welcome the recent announcement from Simon Stevens and in particular the acknowledgement that all is not well with the mental health of the NHS workforce, the largest workforce in the country. It is already known that mental health issues are the single largest contributor to long term sickness absence, costing the NHS over a billion pounds a year."
    Read More»
  • RCPsych response to UK Government's intention to impose a new contract upon junior doctors
    The Royal College of Psychiatrists is greatly concerned that the Doctors’ and Dentists' Remuneration Body (DDRB) new proposals would make it difficult if not impossible for the NHS to tackle increasing demands for mental health support and for the Government to meet their objective of doubling the number of psychiatrists in the next 20 years.
    Read more»


The College: Annual elections — PRESIDENT: Notice to Members, Fellows and Specialist Associates)

The nominating meeting of the Council will be held on Friday 16 October, 2015 and the last date for receiving nominations under Regulation XI below will therefore be Friday 13 November, 2015. Professor Sir Simon Wessely is in his second year of office as President and is therefore eligible for re-election.
Nomination forms are available from Sue Duncan.

Professor Louis Appleby

Interview: Professor Louis Appleby


This month’s exclusive eNewsletter interview

In our second 15-minute interview Dr Kuljit Bhogal speaks to Professor Louis Appleby, who is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester. He has had a varied career that has included being the National Director for Mental Health (2000-2010), and leads the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England.
Read More»

Member Job Posts

Jobs: Posts for Members













Dr Matt Tovey
PTC Chair: Dr Matt Tovey










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










This Month's Poll
Poll: your views wanted






This Month's Quiz
Test Your Knowledge










Pathfinder Fellowship










WPA Fellowship International Congress 2016
WPA International Congress 2016

Posts for College members

  • Mental Health Outcomes Programme
    The College would like to invite expressions of interest for organisations to apply for funding to support a clinician or clinicians to undertake some focused work on outcomes in mental health; funding would be available until March 2016. The proposal was prepared at the request of the Department of Health leads for the Secretary of State Information transparency programme and Dr Geraldine. Strathdee, the National Clinical Director for Mental Health. Expressions of Interest need to be submitted by the 2 October, prior to interviews.
    Read more»
  • Could you be a College Assessor?
    We are seeking enthusiastic, experienced consultants to act as external, impartial members on Appointments Advisory Committee (AAC) panels for NHS consultant posts. Being a College Assessor gives you a unique insight into recruitment into psychiatry and the next generation of consultants. Expenses and an honorarium are paid for AAC panels, and the College is holding a training day on Wednesday 2 December in London, aimed at new and potential College Assessors, as well as experienced Assessors wanting to refresh their knowledge.


College in the media

  • The Advocate General (AG) of the European Court of Justice has made public his opinion on the Scottish Government's legislation to introduce a Minimum Unit Price for Alcohol.
    The College very much welcomes the statement by the AG that minimum unit pricing is not precluded by EU law and that the policy can be implemented in Scotland if it is shown to be the most effective public health measure available.
    Read more»
  • Response to junior doctor contract: Dr Matt Tovey, Chair of Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee
    The Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee would like to express its dismay at the Government’s latest morale crushing decision to go ahead and impose a contract on junior doctors by August 2016. At a time when there are widespread difficulties in recruitment and retention in psychiatry, this can only serve to worsen the issue. This makes us very concerned for the future care of our patients with mental health needs; already a very vulnerable group. Whilst the detail of the enforced junior contract remains unclear, it is likely that it will be based upon the recent DDRB recommendations, and hence is likely to be disproportionately detrimental to psychiatrists in training. We have serious concerns about the implications of this imposition and would ask that Jeremy Hunt considers seriously the effect that this will have upon the ability of the nation to adequately meet the needs of those with mental ill health in future generations.


New College Publications

R193. Responsibilities of psychiatrists who provide expert opinion to courts and tribunals This report contains new guidelines concerning the ethical duties of psychiatrists giving evidence as experts in different kinds of court.
Read more»


October's Kaleidoscope column in the British Journal of Psychiatry

  • Explores public health policies and their impact on individuals’ mental health and well-being. The ‘Marmot curve’ was an influential figure from work by Professor Michael Marmot in 2010 that showed how life expectancy (at least in England) was related to income. The King’s Fund have followed this up with an expanded and more nuanced data set that revealed income-related inequality in life-expectancy persists, but that this has improved over the last decade.
    Read more»


This month’s poll: your views wanted

  • Emotional intelligence training should be as important as leadership and management training for consultant psychiatrists. Do you agree?
    Vote now 


Result of last month’s poll

  • Psychiatrists rarely stigmatise their patients. Do you agree?

    25% agreed 69%disagreed 6% had no opinion



Win a College mug in our monthly quiz

  1. An evaluation of the DIALOG+ tool that appraises both patient concerns and potential solutions has shown that its use failed to enhance standard out-patient psychiatric care.
  2. Neuroimaging data has shown a common change to the right anterior insula in schizophrenia across all ethnic groups that shows promise as an early illness biomarker.
  3. A study of adolescents’ social attitudes has shown that they change their behaviour more to come in line with the opinions of their parents than those of their peers. Please enter your name and email address along with the questions you answered as true.
    Try the quiz


Answers to last month’s quiz: how well did you do?

  1. Recently licensed ‘palcohol’, or powdered alcohol, can be consumed by eating or inhaling it: 45% agreed: True, though it is designed for diluting in liquid. Initial data suggest it is highly unlikely one could become intoxicated through such acts.
  2. A recent large (86,000) population gene study has failed to find commonly described link between mental ill health and creativity: 14% agreed: False, a genetic connection has been confirmed.
  3. Both cognitive decline and structural brain changes are well associated phenomena in psychosis, however the first longitudinal work to follow-up both has shown that they appear to be distinct phenomena: 86% agreed: False, a correlation has been confirmed.

Congratulations to Dr Mannige R Rao for winning September’s quiz.


Pathfinder Fellowship: Open for applications!

Three years of funding, mentorship and attendance at College events, including the RCPsych International Congress. Open to medical students in their penultimate year of study so please circulate to those who may be interested. Application deadline: Sunday 11 October 2015.
Apply now


International Opportunities

  • The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology (JSPN)Fellowship
    JSPN is now accepting applications for the JSPN Fellowship Award, which is presented to early-career psychiatrists from around the world. The purpose of this award is to recognize early-career, outstanding psychiatrists and encourage academic discussion and personal friendships with early-career Japanese psychiatrists at the 112th annual meeting of the JSPN on 2-4 June 2016, in Chiba, Japan. As a Member of the World Psychiatric Association, the College can nominate 2 members for this Fellowship.
    Those wishing to be considered for nomination by the RCPsych should submit their abstract and personal information form (see JSPN website for details) to Elen Cook by 5pm on 5 October 2015.
  • World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Early Career Psychiatrists Fellowship Programme
    The WPA, in collaboration with the Psychiatric Association of Turkey and the Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society, is organizing the WPA International Congress from 6 to 10 July 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. During this congress an “Early Career Psychiatrists Fellowship Program” is organized to support the participation of highly promising early career psychiatrists from across the world. As a Member of the WPA, the RCPsych can nominate 2 members for this Fellowship Programme.
    Those wishing to be considered for nomination by the RCPsych should submit a biographical summary of no more than 1000 words to Elen Cook by 5pm on 2 November 2015.
    This biography should include: educational record; professional accomplishments; plans for and likelihood of future significant contributions to psychiatry and mental health, both nationally and internationally.


Update from RCPsych Policy Unit: What does the College think? Seven-day services

The provision of NHS services seven days a week is very much on the political and press agenda, and is of understandable concern to patients. The College is engaging with this discussion and consequently wishes to clarify its current position.
Read more»


RCPsych Events

  • Evening Lecture: ‘Clocks, Sleep and Mental Illness: Time to think again?’
    Professor Russell Foster CBE: 6.30 pm, Tuesday 20 October 2015, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street, London E1 8BB. “Severe sleep and circadian rhythm disruption (SCRD) is a feature of neuropsychiatric illness. Despite the prevalence of SCRD across psychiatric illness, its origins remain a mystery, its detection is frequently overlooked, and it is rarely treated. Yet the health consequences of SCRD are profound.” To reserve a place, email Thomas Kennedy by Friday 16 October 2015.
    Read more»
  • Mental Health of Asylum Seekers Training Day: writing Reports for Court
    8 October 2015 One-day training event aimed at general adult and child & adolescent psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists wishing to develop awareness of mental health issues in asylum seekers, gain skills and extra confidence in preparing expert witness reports.
  • Winter Journey (Winterreise) Franz Schubert 6.30 pm Thursday October 29 2015
    An evening of singing and piano 21 Prescot Street, London E1 8BB Free Admission. Anna Tilbrook: internationally renowned accompanist whose recordings are widely acclaimed. She has generously supported the Musical Brain. John Cox is an amateur tenor and Past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Please e-mail Greg Harradine if you plan to attend. This Winterreise Experience concludes the sponsored Lieder Marathon that John is undertaking for the Musical Brain.

NHS Enlgand
NHS England: The Mental Health Taskforce




















European Congress of Psychiatry 2016
European Congress of Psychiatry

News from other organisations and the NHS


NHS England: The Mental Health Taskforce

More than 20,000 people have given their views on top priorities for reshaping mental health as part of the drive to develop a five year national NHS strategy for people of all ages. Better access to high quality services, a wider choice of treatments, more focus on prevention, more funding and less stigma were the top five calls for change by 2020.
Read on NHS England's site


Public Health England (PHE)

A new resource to assist local organisations prevent linked suicides in their areas has been published, often referred to as ‘suicide clusters’.
The “Identifying and responding to suicide clusters resource” supports local authorities in their reaction to unexpectedly high numbers of suicides. The resource highlights how imperative it is that plans for such events are in place before they occur to ensure an effective response. Professor Louis Appleby, Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group said: “Clusters of suicides may occur in communities, groups of friends or institutions. The people affected may live near each other, attend the same college or be connected through social media. Young people are particularly susceptible. This resource aims to help local agencies to prepare, to prevent one tragic death leading to another.”
Get the resource



Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung Foundation: call for nominations - The Biological Basis of Psychiatric Disorders

In honour of the outstanding life-time achievements of Else Kröner, the Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung Foundation has established a major quadrennial prize. The chosen topic for 2017 is the biological basis of psychiatric disorders. The award will be €4 million of which €500,000 will be awarded to the winner in person and €3.5 million will be dedicated to the winner’s future research. The deadline for nominations for the Else Kröner Fresenius Preis für Medizinische Forschung is January 14, 2016.
Make a nomination


24th European Congress of Psychiatry (EPA 2016)

12-15 March 2016, in Madrid, Spain

"Towards a Common Language in European Psychiatry", EPA 2016 will cover the newest psychiatric achievements: basic, clinical and translational research, and their application to evidence-based practice in diagnosis, treatment and education. Submit your abstract join us at Europe's leading platform devoted to facilitating a robust exchange of ideas, reflection and collaboration across all fields of psychiatry. Abstract Submission Deadline: 6 October 2015; Early Registration Deadline: 18 January 2016.


Santé Theatre Warwick presents Cracked

by Mike Kenny & Julie Boden, 30 September

Supported by the Wellcome Trust and the University of Warwick; a ground breaking play exploring the emerging signs of psychosis which is touring around England/Scotland during September & October.
Visit the Cracked site

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