Dr Kate Lovett

2022/23 Presidential candidate

My video statement

I believe I have the best job in the world. The intellectual curiosity of the sciences underpinning our specialty, the stories of resilience, recovery and hope of the people we meet, and the therapeutic relationships we forge are beyond value.

However, we simply cannot deliver the life-changing care people need without sufficient workforce and resources getting to the clinical frontline.

As a general adult psychiatrist working in a deprived part of Plymouth, I’m only too familiar with the challenges of historically under-funded services, repeated reconfigurations not based on evidence and the impact of social determinants impairing the life chances of our patients.

And we psychiatrists are tired. Tired of battling for basic resources. And battling for care that would be good enough for our own families.

The catalyst for me choosing psychiatry was seeing the transformative effect of a therapeutic relationship with a psychiatrist when my Mum became severely depressed shortly after I qualified. There is no doubt that that psychiatrist added years of quality to her life and quality to the lives of countless others around her. As psychiatrists we really do make a difference.

It makes me sad knowing that so many children and adults struggle to access our expertise and yet we know that more than ever are waiting for the help they need.

It is easy to be overwhelmed in the face of enormous challenge. But I believe that good care for the most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities is worth fighting for. And I believe that change is possible.

When I was elected as your Dean, recruitment to core training in psychiatry was at an all-time low. But together we turned it around. We changed the narrative and today more doctors than ever are choosing psychiatry.

I believe that together we can influence change. Together we can bring the best evidence to define meaningful standards. Together we can influence national policy on social determinants. And together we can stand alongside one another to advocate for intervening early and helping children and adults of all ages meaningfully recover from severe mental illness and addictions, and supporting people with intellectual disability, dementia, and neurodevelopmental disorders to live their best possible lives.

More than ever psychiatry needs a strong voice. As your Dean, I proved that I have the skills, values, and determination to lead. I have proven that change is possible. As your President I would be honoured to take the agenda forward putting people first, setting standards, promoting prevention, and getting funding to the frontline.

Dwi'n credu mai fi sydd â'r swydd orau yn y byd. Mae chwilfrydedd deallusol y gwyddorau sy'n sail i'n harbenigedd, straeon gwytnwch, adferiad a gobaith y bobl rydyn ni'n eu cyfarfod, a'r perthnasoedd therapiwtig yr ydym yn eu meithrin y tu hwnt i werth.

Fodd bynnag, yn syml, ni allwn ddarparu'r gofal sy'n newid bywydau sydd ei angen ar bobl heb ddigon o weithlu ac adnoddau yn cyrraedd y rheng flaen glinigol.

Fel seiciatrydd cyffredinol i oedolion sy'n gweithio mewn rhan ddifreintiedig o Plymouth, dwi ond yn rhy gyfarwydd â heriau gwasanaethau sydd wedi'u tan-ariannu'n hanesyddol, ad-drefnu dro ar ôl tro nid yn seiliedig ar dystiolaeth ac effaith penderfynyddion cymdeithasol sy'n amharu ar gyfleoedd bywyd ein cleifion.

Mae seiciatryddion wedi blino.Wedi blino brwydro am adnoddau sylfaenol. A brwydro i gael gofal a fyddai'n ddigon da i'n teuluoedd ein hunain.

Y catalydd i mi ddewis seiciatreg oedd gweld effaith drawsnewidiol perthynas therapiwtig gyda seiciatrydd pan aeth fy Mam yn ddifrifol ddigalon yn fuan wedi i mi gymhwyso. Does dim dwywaith bod y seiciatrydd hwnnw wedi ychwanegu blynyddoedd o safon at ei bywyd a'i hansawdd i fywydau eraill di-ri o'i chwmpas. Fel seiciatryddion rydyn ni wir yn gwneud gwahaniaeth.

Mae'n fy ngwneud yn drist o wybod bod cymaint o blant ac oedolion yn ei chael hi'n anodd cael mynediad at ein harbenigedd ac eto rydyn ni'n gwybod bod mwy nag erioed yn aros am yr help sydd ei angen arnynt.

Mae'n hawdd cael eich llethu yn wyneb her enfawr. Ond rwy'n credu bod gofal da i'r rhai mwyaf bregus ac ymylol yn ein cymunedau yn werth ymladd amdano. Ac rwy'n credu bod newid yn bosib.

Pan ges i fy ethol fel eich Deon, roedd recriwtio i hyfforddiant craidd mewn seiciatreg ar ei isaf erioed. Ond gyda'n gilydd fe wnaethon ni ei droi o gwmpas. Fe wnaethon ni newid y naratif a heddiw mae mwy o feddygon nag erioed yn dewis seiciatreg.

Credaf y gallwn, gyda'n gilydd, ddylanwadu ar newid. Gyda'n gilydd gallwn ddod â'r dystiolaeth orau i ddiffinio safonau ystyrlon. Gyda'n gilydd gallwn ddylanwadu ar bolisi cenedlaethol ar benderfynyddion cymdeithasol. A gyda'n gilydd gallwn sefyll ochr yn ochr â'n gilydd i eiriol dros ymyrryd yn gynnar a helpu plant ac oedolion o bob oed i wella'n ystyrlon o salwch meddwl difrifol a dibyniaethau, a chefnogi pobl ag anabledd deallusol, dementia, ac anhwylderau niwroddatblygiadol i fyw eu bywydau gorau posibl.

Mae angen llais cryf ar fwy nag erioed seiciatreg. Fel eich Deon, profais fod gen i'r sgiliau, y gwerthoedd, a'r penderfyniad i arwain. Rwyf wedi profi bod newid yn bosib. Fel eich Llywydd, byddai'n anrhydedd i mi fwrw ymlaen â'r agenda gan roi pobl yn gyntaf, gosod safonau, hyrwyddo atal, a chael cyllid i'r rheng flaen.

My statement in full

You can also read this statement in Welsh.

Dr Kate Lovett BSc, MBChB, FRCPsych, MSc, Cert Clin Ed (Dist)

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dean (2016-2021)

Presidential Lead Recruitment (2021-date)

Becoming your President would be an honour. When you elected me as Dean many told me that full recruitment to training was impossible. Yet together, we have transformed recruitment and the future of Psychiatry. Not only have we achieved 100% fill rate to core training programmes, we have persuaded UK governments to invest in training more psychiatrists.

Seeing first-hand the transformative effect of a good relationship with a psychiatrist convinced me to choose psychiatry after my Mum became depressed when I qualified. The consequences of lack of access for so many children and adults desperate for our expertise, drives me to advocate for change.

Throughout my childhood my parents instilled the importance of including the most marginalised in our community. One a teacher working with disadvantaged groups and the other a Samaritan, their values became my values.

Psychiatrists make a critical difference to patients. The relationships we forge and stories of recovery inspire. Our training is the envy of the world, but despite this, we cannot deliver what people need without sufficient resources.

My priorities in leading the College are:

Putting people first

   relentless focus on creating a sustainable mental health workforce
   supporting psychiatrists start and thrive well
   creating a safe culture of debate involving members in shaping College policy and influencing decisions
   breaking down barriers between training and early career SAS doctors
   excellence in patient care.

Funding to the frontline

   calling for sufficient national funding for planned reforms
   increasing support for divisions and devolved councils to have greater local policy impact and track promised monies.

Promoting prevention

   influencing national policy on primary prevention
   promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in mental health services
   calling for increase in evidence-based treatments to intervene early and promote recovery
   advocating for better access to addiction services.

Setting standards

   increasing number of core services accessing College clinical quality improvement programmes
   promoting “twinning” between UK and international divisions to facilitate exchange of best practice.
   ensuring strong College representation in developing reforms of mental health legislation.

My record of keeping election promises speaks for itself. #ChoosePsychiatry, the digitisation of the exam, defending research days and psychiatric supervision, guidance for patient-involvement in training, the parliamentary scholar scheme and expansion of the international MTI scheme happened under my leadership. I helped develop College values, steer workforce, equality and international policy and led our ambitious 5-year recruitment strategy. I have represented you in the media, with government, NHS bodies and travelled nationally and internationally to meet you.

Medicine and psychiatry have never been easy. As a frontline general adult psychiatrist in a deprived part of Plymouth, it feels tougher than ever. I know I am not alone. Our patients deserve better. The profession deserves better. I have the values and experience to ensure psychiatry has the strong leadership it needs.

LinkedIn: Dr Kate Lovett

Twitter: @drkatelovett