Dr Peter Aitken
2020 Registrar candidates
Consultant Psychiatrist, Director of Research and Development, Clinical Director for Individual Patient Placement and Gender Identity Health Services, Devon Partnership NHS Trust
The Registrar of the College has responsibility for policy, public education, revalidation and membership engagement.
I look forward to strengthening a successful and established College leadership with a strong track record well supported by Paul Rees and his senior management team.
As Registrar I will focus my attention on policy and public education and work closely with the Dean on revalidation and membership engagement.
If we are to integrate our College’s contribution to mental health in all aspects of life, both in the United Kingdom and internationally, we need strong representation in all areas of national and international policy development within and across governments.
The journey to integrated health and social care services and a stronger role for the third sector will continue and we need to define new roles and responsibilities for psychiatrists working in new organisations, across sectors.
In addition, credentialing, so successfully piloted by our College, needs expanding to make it easy for psychiatrists to move between specialty areas and allow other physicians to come into psychiatry.
Whilst we have seen a strengthening of the pharmacotherapeutic and psychotherapeutic evidence base since the inception of NICE, there is much yet to be done to develop the evidence for social intervention. This is fundamental to the delivery of integrated care.
We have an opportunity to develop our role in social prescription and how we support partners essential to its delivery. As registrar this will be a key area of my personal focus and energy because it has the potential to unlock additional pathways to recovery and rehabilitation and take a positive experience of mental health practice out into areas of community that hitherto have been weakly engaged in mental health.
It has been my privilege to bring mental health first aid, suicide prevention and peer support to lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland. I have helped the Lions Barber Collaborative develop and train Barbers in mental health first aid and suicide prevention as part of a global movement. Most recently I have been connecting with leaders in the agriculture sector around food production, care farming and how to make mental health services more accessible to rural communities.
My clinical back ground is in general practice, general and liaison psychiatry. After qualifying in Glasgow most of my post graduate training was at St George’s Hospital in London. Since 2003 I have been based in the Southwest of England where I am Clinical Lead for Suicide Prevention in the NHS Southwest Strategic Clinical Network, Director of Research and Development at Devon Partnership NHS Trust and Clinical Director for people electively placed out of county and for our Gender Identity Health Services. I Chair the RNLI Medical Committee. I am a member of the Zero Suicide Alliance steering group and mental health adviser to the National Association of Primary Care.
After four years as liaison faculty chair I understand how our College works and I look forward to working hard for you as Registrar and getting the things that matter done.