Dr Maria Atkins
Vice President, College and Chair, RCPsych in Wales
Dr Maria Atkins is a Consultant in Adult Psychiatry who has long experience in crisis teams and in patient services and is currently working in a rural Community Mental Health Team. Dr Atkins has been involved with various College committees and work since she was a trainee in London, and most recently was the Policy and Public Affairs lead for the RCPsych Wales. She worked flexibly for some years and held positions locally and nationally in LTFT advisory roles supporting part time training and for numerous doctors. She has also held senior clinical leadership roles within two Health Boards in Wales.
Dr Atkins finds the conflating of ‘mental health problems’ with mental illness by some sections of the public and the media very unhelpful and would like to promote better media engagement to clarify the distinction, and help in service planning.
She is particularly concerned about the eroding of resources for those with severe and enduring mental illness, lack of availability of psychotherapeutic treatments for those patients and improving the use of the principles of person centred care. She is committed to promoting the use of reflective practice principles which she feels is a neglected area and would like to encourage and support members to argue for protected time for this activity in doctors job planning processes.
Dr Atkins hopes to be able to represent the differences about Wales, with its devolved health responsibilities, at the national level in the College and also bring back to Wales the best practice and ideas from the other nations to improve services for patients.