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

RCPsych eNewsletter June 2016

 College News  Other news  Online

Update from the President

The President's Blog

In writing these blogs I rarely stray far from the subject of money, and this is no exception. For once I am not about to bang on about ‘where is it?’ – those promised millions, nay billions, set to transform mental health services. No, I am talking about your money; about what we do with the money you pay the College.



News from the College

RCPsych in Northern IrelandRCPsych in Northern Ireland


Dr Gerry Lynch reflects on College life in Northern Ireland in his latest Chair’s Update.



Junior Doctor's Dispute

Responding to the ACAS announcement regarding an agreement over the junior doctors’ contract, the College issued a press statement to journalists and it was discussed by Simon in the President’s blog.

Trainees Leading Change

CCQI Trainees ConferenceWe had a bright, enthused and resilient bunch of trainees descend on the College for our packed Quality Improvement for Trainees conference. The 150 delegates were keen to improve services, even under major financial and organisational pressures, during the early years of their psychiatric careers. Talks included quality improvement at the College, at a Trust level and the rewarding trainee experience at a local level too.

Hear what our trainees thought in this YouTube video.

What is the Montgomery Test

Doctors are now under a legal obligation to provide a patient with individualised risks about their treatment and the alternatives. If a doctor should fail to do so and the patient suffers harm as a result of this failure to inform, then a successful negligence claim may result.

Supporting Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal Mental HealthNHS England has engaged the College to manage the Building Capacity in Perinatal Mental Health services project. The aim is that by 2020 women in all areas of England should be able to access evidence-based specialist support in the community, through inpatient Mother & Baby Units closer to home, when they need it. Progress of this project will be overseen by NHS England and monitored by the College’s Perinatal Faculty.




New resource for Expert Psychiatric Witnesses

We will be launching a new feedback tool for expert psychiatric witnesses at the International Congress. The MAEP assessment tool will provide psychiatrists with feedback from others involved in their expert witness work, such as the instructing solicitors and barristers. The tool follows principles adapted from the ACP-360 system and scores are available as individual case reports.

For further information, please contact Hannah Lucas at or 0203 701 2695.

College posts and external opportunities for members

RCPsych Awards 2016

Posts for members

Calling all medical students, foundation doctors and psychiatrists of all grades! We have had an overwhelming response to the RCPsych Awards and so we have extended the deadline to 6 June 2016. We are very keen to hear your nominations for the outstanding teams and individuals who are making a real difference to mental health services.

We have 17 categories to choose from.


RCPsych Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship

RCPsych Fellowship vacanciesFellowship of the College is a mark of distinction and recognition of contributions to psychiatry and recipients are recognised by the designation ‘FRCPsych’. Since it is a College award, applicants are asked to demonstrate their significant contributions to the core purposes of the College. Please do send us your applications by 30 June 2016.

RCPsych Rosetrees Clinical Research Fellowship

Rosetrees Clinical Research FellowshipThe College and Rosetrees Trust are offering a three year fellowship to a UK-based psychiatry trainee to undertake either a PhD or MD. The fellowship will provide for the personal salary up to but not including NHS Consultant level. It will provide for the PhD/MD fees and funding of up to £20,000 per year.


Please submit your application by 30 September 2016.

Professional Practice and Ethics Committee vacancies

The Professional Practice and Ethics Committee (PPEC) is responsible for providing guidance on psychiatric professional practice and ethics, including issues of confidentiality, probity, conflict of interest and translating policy into practice.

The Committee has two vacancies and further information can be found here.

College in the media

College in the MediaMay saw the College feature significantly in the national newspapers and on TV and radio discussing the recommendations from the College-led report on the Acute-Care Commission and the BMJ findings showing a stark increase in self-poisoning amongst young people.



Here is a selection:

  1. The Guardian 20/05/16 How can mental health services deliver better care for black patients?
  2. The Guardian 20/05/16 Doctors’ deal won’t solve the shortages, ministers are told
  3. The Guardian 18/05/16 Mental health beds shouldn’t be so hard to find
  4. The Guardian 18/05/16 Tackling underfunding in children’s mental health services
  5. Huffington Post UK 18/05/16 Mental Health Awareness Week: How to ensure your child’s most important relationship is “good enough”.
  6. BBC News Victoria Derbyshire 17/05/16 Jon Goldin discusses increase in self-poisoning
  7. BBC Radio 4 Today 17/5/16 Peter Hindley discusses increase in self-poisoning
  8. Sky News 17/5/16 Simon Wessely discusses increase in self-poisoning
  9. LBC News 17/5/16 Simon Wessely discusses increase in self-poisoning
  10. BBC News Victoria Derbyshire 13/05/16 Simon Wessely discusses mental capacity
  11. BBC Radio 4 Today 10/05/16 Simon Wessely discusses recruitment into psychiatry
  12. Daily Mail 10/05/16 Why you don’t need to bother flossing! Cough syrup is a waste of time
  13. Independent 10/05/16 Mental health care at risk if Britain pulls out of European Convention on Human Rights
  14. BBC News 05/05/16 Paranoia ‘reduced with virtual reality’
  15. The Guardian 06/05/16 My son’s girlfriend has anorexia and I worry about the effects
  16. Financial Times (USA and European edition) 02/05/16 Taboo over executives’ mental health issues needs to be challenged

College in Politics

Month in Parliament April to May

Month in Politics

This month saw the British tradition of the Queen’s Speech - where the Government set out its legislative agenda for the next 12 months – with a commitment to improving the mental health services of people in the criminal justice system.


The College also participated in two different Parliamentary Group discussions: the first on how we can best support people with mental health conditions back to work and secondly on prescribing antidepressants.

RCPsych Events

RCPsych International Congress #RCPsychIC

International Congress 2016

Have you booked your place for the RCPsych International Congress yet?  With over 2500 delegates from over 40 countries planning to attend this month in London, places are limited, please register online to avoid disappointment.

Secure your place for International Congress.

Public Mental Health Network Day

Public mental health is not just about wellbeing and a happiness index. This year’s theme focusses on applying psychiatry to support evidence-based Prevention and Early Treatment of Adverse Childhood Experiences on 13 June 2016 in London.

Free to all members - register for the event.

President’s Lectures

Professor Richard BentallProfessor Richard Bentall, the highly-prolific Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool, delivers Why the nature-nurture debate won’t go away: Causal ideology in the explanation of psychosis on 21 June 2016 in London.

Places will be allocated on a strictly first-come-first served basis - register for the lecture.


Conferences and Training

We have a range of high quality, CPD-approved training for psychiatrists and mental health professionals, including conferences, in-house training and online resources.
Read more…

RCPsych Publications

The Drug Conversation

The Drug ConversationHow do you talk to your child about drugs? Our latest book equips parents with information on how drugs work, the effect on the brain and realistic advice their children will listen to.



The promotional code is still valid - order your copy.



Wise Words

Dr Richard TillettWe speak to Dr Richard Tillett, a retired consultant psychiatrist with a special interest in psychotherapy, about his career experience, retired life and any insights he may have for those of us who are starting our careers.

This month's Kaleidoscope column

KaleidoscopeThis month’s column in BJPsych explores the effects of politicians’ honesty on the rest of us mere mortals.









This month's poll

This Month's PollThis month’s poll: your views wanted

Psychiatrists should physically examine patients attending memory clinics.

Vote now



Result of last month’s poll

Psychiatrists should be renamed clinical neuroscientists
14% agreed, 85% disagreed and 1% had no opinion.

Win a College mug in our monthly quiz

This Month's QuizAll questions true or false; full answers will be in June Kaleidoscope column in the BJPsych. Please enter your name and email address along with the questions you answered as true.




  1. David Cameron’s overheard comment on international corruption has some truth: recent data have shown country-specific variations in individuals’ honesty.
  2. Some of the first longitudinal data on childhood obesity has shown that one’s future weight is relatively determined by the age of just eight years old.
  3. In the developed world there has been much concern about food additives and childhood attentional difficulties; new data has shown that a lack of appropriate nutrition may cause similar problems in developing nations.

Answers to last month's quiz - how well did you do?

  1. The odds of a couple having shared traits are greater for personality factors than for physical ones.
    FALSE, it is the other way around (though intelligence level remains the characteristic they’re most likely to share). Notably, the relationship is considerably higher still for those with mental ill-health having a partner who also has a mental health problem.
  2. Work looking at the under-explored topic of paternal depression has shown that a father’s depressive symptoms in the post-natal period were equally predictive of later emotional problems in the child.
    FALSE, there was a greater relationship with maternal depression; however changes in fathers’ mental states had a unique association with childhood aggression.
  3. Animal dementia-model data are showing that inhibition of microglial specific receptors reduces neuronal loss and improves cognition without altering amyloid beta or plaque load. TRUE, the microglia seen to be a crucial link in an aberrant immune response that ‘prunes’ neurons.
Congratulations to Zarqa Khurshid for winning last month’s quiz.

Arts Therapy

Watch the YouTube video of Please Hear What I’m Not Saying - the poem gaining worldwide attention for exploring the emotions surrounding mental health disorders.
Read more…

News from Other Organisations

RCPsych joins Royalty at the Invictus Games

Invictus GamesProfessor Neil Greenberg, the College’s Military and Veterans Mental Health lead, joined Prince Harry and US First Lady Michelle Obama to discuss mental health at the International Invictus Games Symposium on 8 May in Florida.


The Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds convened veterans, experts and community partners to address the scale and scope of invisible wounds (Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries) facing veterans. Professor Greenberg explained what psychological injuries are, the diagnosis and the challenges of providing effective treatment.

You can watch Professor Greenberg here, starting at 55 minutes, 50 seconds.

Stark increase in self-poisoning

Self-poisoning in teensA new study published in the BMJ has found a sharp rise in the number of teenage poisonings over the past 20 years in the UK. The study has found that teenagers living in the most deprived areas of the UK are 2 to 3 times as likely to poison themselves, either deliberately or unintentionally, compared to teenagers in the least deprived areas.


Failings in care of vulnerable patients

A report by the Parliamentary and Health Service ombudsman has found vulnerable patients are being discharged from hospital, before they are fit to leave or without making sure they can cope on their return home. Last year, the Ombudsman saw a 36% increase in discharge related investigations, making headlines earlier this month. The NHS said the findings will be taken seriously and improvement is under way.

NHS mental health funding lagging behind

NHS ProvidersA new survey by NHS Providers has found that government pledges to put more money into mental health, are being undermined by a failure to ensure funding increases reach frontline services. Only half (52%) of providers reported that they had received a real terms increase in funding of their services in 2015/16.


Patient perceptions of antipsychotic medication

A survey launched by Rethink has found that nearly two thirds (62%) of patients or carers surveyed said the risks, benefits and side effects of prescribed medication were not adequately explained to them. 54% said they had not discussed any ongoing physical health symptoms with their GP or health professional.

What’s new online?

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