Message from Rob Poole, Chair,
RCPsych in Wales
New Year to all of our colleagues in Wales!
I have been in post as Chair for 5 months,
which has been just long enough to realise what a demanding job it
is. Luckily, Helen Matthews, Siobhan, Manel and the Executive
Committee have been generously supportive whilst I have tried to
find my feet. I have to confess that so far I cannot really
claim to have achieved very much. I have spent a lot of time on the
Wrexham-Cardiff train, which is uncomfortable and slow. Its main
redeeming feature is the tea trolley man who claims to sell sea
snake venom and ferret snouts.
Sitting on College Council has been
interesting. I enjoyed the process of deciding to purchase the
College’s new home in the East End of London, very close to Cable
Street. In less exciting moments, my attention has drifted to the
portraits of the Past Presidents of the College around the
boardroom walls and up the stairs. I have known, or at least met,
all of them except Sir Desmond Pond (I don’t think it was anything
personal). This makes me feel old and thoroughly assimilated into
the Establishment. It has strengthened my resolve to exercise my
main Committee skill (noisy awkwardness) and to try to keep a focus
on the impact of austerity on service users living circumstances
and mental health.
As is traditional at this time of year, I am
obliged to say that we live in turbulent times, and that
psychiatrists face major challenges in the next 12 months. This
time around, it’s revalidation, the implementation of the Measure,
the Strategy, the Francis report, shrinking services, and, of
course, events - to name but a few.
It seems very unlikely that 2013 will be boring!
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We are focusing on this area. We are delighted so
many people have become involved in the recruitment
campaign and following our recruitment meetings in 2012, we
have formed an action plan for recruitment and retention in
Wales. We have attended Cardiff Med Soc Careers fair and been
actively involved in psych reconfiguration plans at the Wales
The next meeting of the Recruitment and Retention group will be
Friday 8 March, 2.30 - 4.30, VSAC Room, Ground Floor, Baltic House,
Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff
If you would like to become involved in this
campaign, or would like a copy of the action plan, please
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RCPsych in Wales & BCUHB
Mental Health Conferences
for Approved Clinicians and Section 12 (2) Doctors
- 21 February - Holiday Inn Hotel, Newport
- 28 February - Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University,
These events are free to
The registration form and programme are now
available to download.
The Mental Health (Wales) Measure - what are
your experiences so far?
RCPsych in Wales would like to produce a
position paper on the Mental Health (Wales) Measure to the Welsh
Government, highlighting the practical implications experienced by
Psychiatrists across the faculties throughout Wales since its
implementation. Although the new legislation has had little time to
bed in, many working in mental health services have already begun
to experience changes in their working practices and how services
are being delivered.
In order to construct a robust and meaningful
paper, we need to gather your views to better understand the impact
of these changes. Our intention is not to provide the Government
with a list of complaints; instead we aim to draw attention to the
issues that have arisen since its implementation and to propose
solutions to these issues within the confines of the law. We feel
that this may enable the Welsh Government to provide further
support and guidance. The Paper would also bring to light
commonalities in the experiences of Colleagues, which could provide
the beginnings of a forum for problem sharing and problem solving.
Furthermore, we also believe that in the absence of concrete
monitoring of the Measure, this would set a benchmark for measuring
improvements over time.
We are very keen to hear from you.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
by 30 January 2013. Your views will remain
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'Together for Mental Health' A
Strategy for Mental Health and Wellbeing in Wales
Rob Poole, Chair, RCPsych in Wales has ben invited to sit on
the new National Mental Health Partnership Board (NPB) which has a
key role in overseeing and ensuring implementation of the Strategy
and Delivery Plan within Welsh Government. The remit of the
Board is to help drive the improvements in mental health and
wellbeing to which Welsh Government aspire.
If you have any observations on
the delivery of the Strategy that you would like to bring to
the Board, please contact email@example.com
Information on ‘Safer Mental Health
Services: a toolkit’
Inquiry launch safer mental health services toolkit
The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide
and Homicide by People with Mental Illness has launched a toolkit
mental health care practitioners can use to self-assess their local
services and individual practice against key Inquiry
These recommendations are based on the work
the Inquiry has carried out over the last decade. It’s free to
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'The Future of
Friday 17 May 2013
Village Hotel, Swansea
Further details of this event will be
emailed once they are available.
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NSAG and National Forum
The NSAG – Mental Health has been re-launched
as a multidisciplinary structure initially hosted by the College in
Wales. The NSAG’s first role will be to respond to the Mental
Health Strategy. Additionally, the NSAG will be offering
advice to Health Boards on their separate clinical strategies – the
major NSAG’s were invited by the Minister to form a National Forum
to undertake this work.
The NSAG - Mental Health has responded to
BCUHB and Hywel Dda individual Strategy consultations and will
respond to further strategies as they are put out to
Public Health Green Paper - The Minister for Health and
Social Services has published a Public Health Green Paper for
consultation to gather views about whether or not the Welsh
Government should introduce a Bill to improve the health of the
people of Wales. The consultation is open until 20th
February 2013. The RCPsych in Wales will also be contributing to
this important proposal.
RCPsych in Wales:
Policy Update 2012 - Manel Tippett
With the devolution of more powers
to the National Assembly for Wales in 2012, the RCPsych in Wales
plans to continue to concentrate on developing the policy work.
The Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) is undertaking
the in-depth review of the psychiatry workforce. Dr Giles
Harborne, in his role as Workforce Lead, RCPsych in Wales is
contributing to the review.
The College is Wales will be undertaking an
individual census for 2013 based on the RCPsych in Scotland
model. This detailed data will then be used for workforce
planning specifically for Wales.
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Psychiatrist of the Month -
Dr Mike Shooter, Consultant Psychiatrist (Retired) and
past President, RCPsych
An informal and interesting
interview with the 'person behind the psychiatrist'
I was conceived in Aberystwyth but born and raised in the
Peak District of Derbyshire - my parents having fled for the
border. After a History and Law degree, I became a newspaper
reporter, teacher, bus-driver, gardener and a host of other things,
then went back via science "O Levels" to Cambridge and
I worked with families in Cardiff and the
Valleys for thirty years and was the first Child Psychiatrist to
become President of the College. In clinical retirement, I have
chaired YoungMinds, the Mental Health Foundation and
Children-in-Wales and have just been elected President of the
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
I am married to an ex-Headteacher from the
Gower and have four grown-up children, eight growing-up
grandchildren and one (thankfully) growing-down depressive
1.Tell us something about yourself that other
people do not know.
I’ve admitted to having a recurrent depressive
disorder, many times and in public. But I also have a secret OCD.
I’m just a bundle of neuroses!
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Health for Health Professionals
Health for Health Professionals Wales was implemented in
August 2012 and provides a face to face counselling service for all
doctors in Wales. It provides doctors with access to a BABCP
(British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies)
accredited therapist in their area. The service is funded by the
To the support development of this service, Health for Health
Professionals Wales are planning a one day workshop for
Psychiatrists, Occupational Heath Physicians and General
Practitioners who are interested in developing their expertise in
Physicians Health further. The workshop will take place on
March 20th 2013.
The aim of the day is to update clinicians about physician health
with key speakers from Psychiatry, Occupational Health, the GMC and
the RCGP and to start to develop a regional network of support.
The training is free and will take place in Cardiff (venue
to be confirmed). To book a place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Autism Passport –
Dr Alka Ahuja, Consultant Child and Adolescent
Psychiatrist, Anuerin Bevan Health Board and Chair, Faculty of
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Royal College of Psychiatrists
This Autism Passport (About Me) was developed with advice
and support from professionals involved in the diagnostic
assessment process and most significantly with advice and support
from parents and young people. Families and children/young people
with a diagnosis of autism were at the centre of this project and
were involved from the outset in the development of the
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'Psychiatry at the Coalface' -
conference - 30 January 2013, Cardiff City Stadium
The BMA in association with the RCPsych in Wales are
hosting this event which will explore the impact of the Mental
Health (Wales) Measure on specialty services, both in the NHS and
This event is free to
Further information can be
Science in Health Lecture: Is
it time for War on Mental Illness
Speaker: Professor Mike Owen, School of Medicine, Cardiff
Part of the Science in Health Public Lecture Series organised by
Cardiff University's School of Medicine.
Talk Summary: Psychiatric disorders have a major public health
impact, affecting 16.7 million people in the UK with total costs
estimated at £77 billion per year. Current treatments are at best
palliative, often ineffective and associated with a variety of
unpleasant side-effects. Mental illness continues to be stigmatised
and one of the consequences is that mental health research is
grossly underfunded in comparison to other major classes of
disorder. However, recent advances in genetics, psychology and
neurosciences mean that we now have strong clues as to the likely
brain mechanisms involved and the tools to investigate these
further. As well as resources, the "War on Mental Illness" will
require a change in mindset for many. We will need to remember that
these severe disorders are brain diseases which are tractable to
scientific research and which will ultimately be treatable.
These lectures attract a diverse audience of interested
individuals including the public, secondary school students and
professionals. The lectures are free to attend and booking is not
required - please arrive promptly to ensure a seat. Please note that the start
time for lectures has been changed to 7pm this year.
There are opportunities for sixth form students to meet with some
of the speakers before the lectures - please contact email@example.com.
To see videos of previous lectures please visit this website.
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Faculty of Medical
Psychotherapy Psychiatry update - Dr Daniel Anderson
There were good results in the UK
psychotherapy training survey for basic psychiatric trainees. The
faculty is exploring and encouraging dual training at CCT
level as a way to preserve psychotherapy. The All Wales
Psychotherapy Conference will be held on 21 June 2013 in
Llangollen, Denbighshire and is titled:
How do we get psychologically-minded care
How can psychotherapy survive and grow despite political and
economic challenges and threats?
The Welsh Government is currently engaged in a
project called 'Psychological Therapies Review of
Access' which is based around the recent published document
called 'Psychological Therapies in Wales'.
National Centre for Mental
Health - Research Update
National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH), through the Wales Mental
Health Network, has now recruited almost 800 volunteers from across
Wales to take part in research into mental health conditions,
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder, e.g. autism and Asperger's
- Bipolar Disorder or manic depression
- Schizophrenia or psychosis
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Dementia, e.g. Alzheimer's disease
To access Mental Health and Medication Wales, to find out more
about research, or to volunteer to take part in research, please
visit the NCMH website.
NCMH Launches Mental Health and
Medication Wales Website
To support people in Wales to make informed choices about mental
health medications, the National Centre for Mental Health and
Bipolar Education Programme have launched a new website. The
website provides easy to understand information. Read more....
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Cardiff Winter School in Psychiatry
2012 – Feedback
As part of the College’s recruitment strategy it was
suggested that each division should organise a summer school for
medical students interested in psychiatry to try and draw them into
the specialty. Not wanting to follow the herd, in November 2012
Cardiff hosted the first Winter School in Psychiatry with aims to
introduce students to the importance of psychiatry in modern
medicine and the wider society. The event ran over two days with a
film viewing on Friday night followed by a day of seminars and
activities on Saturday involving service users and psychiatrists
from a range of disciplines and grades.
The event was well attended with over 60
students braving torrential rain to attend the Friday night and
Saturday being fully booked with 40 students attending. Feedback
was very positive with most students saying that it had exceeded
their expectations. They particularly appreciated the opportunity
to hear service user stories and meet up with psychiatrists to find
out more about the various careers psychiatry has to offer.
We would be keen to hear from
anyone interested in getting involved in the future
or with ideas to enhance the Winter School.
We would like to thank everyone who gave up
their time to take part. We aim to run the Winter School again in
the future and hope for an even greater response.
Dr Paul Emmerson and Dr James
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'U Can Cope' - Dr Alys Cole-King,
Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, BCUHB
The U Can Cope coalition now includes more than one
hundred UK organisations - from mental health bodies to the
Professional Cricketers’ Association - to spread the message that
it is possible to overcome suicidal thoughts and feelings and that
there are many resources available to help those who are struggling
The main partners are Connecting with People,
Royal College of Psychiatrists, Samaritans and Southwick Media.
Southwick Media is the media partner of the U can Cope
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- Dr Mathew Sargeant - Finance
Officer, RCPsych in Wales
- Dr Alka Ahuja - Chair, Faculty of
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales
- Dr Ray Jacques - Chair, Faculty of
Intellectual Disability, RCPsych in Wales
- Dr Raman Sakhuja - Chair, Faculty
of General and Community Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales
- Dr Daniel Anderson - Chair, Faculty
of Medical Psychotherapy, RCPsych in Wales
- Dr Clare Lamb - Public
- Dr Rhys Bevan-Jones - Public
- Regional Representative, Faculty of General Adult and Community
Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales - closing date Friday 1 Feburary
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RCPsych in Wales - Faculty meeting
- Faculty of Medical Psychotherapy - 16 January 2013
- Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Friday 19 April
2013, Llangarmarch Wells
of General & Community Psychiatry - Call for input
Dr Raman Sakhuja has been co-opted
as Chair of the Faculty in Wales along with 3 Elected members;
Dr Divya Sakhuja, Dr Somashekara Shrivashankar and Dr Premraj
Muthuvela. A meeting was held in December 2012 to discuss
possible direction for the newly formed Faculty structure during
2013. It was proposed that a small academic meeing be
organised with a business meeting at the end of the day.
We are now canvassing opinion
around how sucessful/well attended such a meeting would be, or
indeed if members of this Faculty in Wales think this would be a
worthwhile avenue to pursue? Please could you send your
intial comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
RCPsych in Wales Executive
Committee dates 2013
The Executive Committee dates for
2013 are confirmed as:
- Friday 8 March
- Friday 14 June
- Friday 27 September
- Friday 13 December
All meetings will take place
between 10.30 and 14.30 in the VSAC room, Ground Floor, Baltic
House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff.
If you would like to raise an item
at a meeting, please could you email in the first
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