Dr Gertrude Seneviratne OBE
2020 Registrar candidates
Consultant Adult/Perinatal Psychiatrist & Clinical Director, Psychological Medicine Clinical Academic Group, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Embracing College values of courage, innovation, respect, collaboration, learning and excellence, my priorities as Registrar will be ensuring:
- Psychiatrists are nurtured
- Mental health is top of national agenda
1. Nurturing Psychiatrists
Recruitment and retention in psychiatry and job satisfaction needs to improve further. I will support psychiatrists from UK and internationally, to be the best clinicians, researchers, educators and leaders they can be, supporting their wellbeing throughout. I will continue the College’s mission to develop more psychiatrists, from sixth-formers, to SAS doctors, consultants, as clinicians and academics across all specialities, with support after retirement.
2. Mental health is top of national agenda
With collaborative co-leadership, I will harness the spotlight that currently shines on supporting people with mental disorders, learning difficulties and developmental disorders, pushing for higher visibility and impact of College work. The voice of service users/carers will be at the heart of our efforts. Building on excellent College achievements, I will strive to develop and sustain high quality services across the UK, across the diversity of specialities the College serves, reducing ‘out of area’ placements, amongst others. I will advance policy and communications for improved funding of services and research, to examine aetiology, develop new evidence-based treatments. I will support international collaborations and am currently part of a College working group to develop an international strategy.
Building on the College’s success as charity of the year, European diversity awards 2019, I will strive to ensure equality/diversity is valued across services, services users/carers and staff. This includes reduced detention rates in our BAME communities and improved access to right care.
Examples will be to ensure effective doses of medication are used, prevent medication waste and support more social prescribing.
The daughter of a paediatrician/paediatric nurse, I emigrated from Sri-Lanka to Hackney at the age of seven. At St Bartholomew Medical School, psychiatrists taught me ‘the brain is the most important organ we have’. Another ‘road to Damascus’ moment, was the late Professor Channi Kumar explaining ‘the ultimate prevention for mental illness was from conception.’ Initially a research registrar at IOPPN, I have been a Consultant General Adult/Perinatal Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for twenty years, a Clinical Director for Psychological Medicine, Clinical Academic Group, leading on transformation of several services.
Through numerous clinical, academic, teaching, managerial, charity and College roles, I am immersed in the needs of psychiatrists and psychiatry as a discipline. As vice chair NHSE clinical reference group, wrote service specifications; developed pathways. As Chair, I have led the Perinatal Faculty since 2016, at a time of pivotal expansion of services and psychiatrists, developed an outcomes framework; accredited services.
I have extensive writing (clinical, educational, research, policy), communications and media experience.
In 2019, I was delighted to have been awarded an OBE for services to Perinatal Psychiatry, and the Presidents Medal of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
I would be honoured if you voted for me as the next Registrar of your College.