The Informatics Committee meets around three times a year to discuss issues relating to the use of technology, data, and information in health care, as well as mental health informatics in particular. Members of the Informatics Committee also represent the College at external events and advise on matters of special interest to the committee.
Chair: Dr Hashim Reza
Dr Hashim Reza is Consultant Psychiatrist, Caldicott Guardian and Clinical Director Informatics at the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. He qualified MB BS (1982) at Lahore, Pakistan and MRCPsych (1989) after training in psychiatry and psychodynamic psychotherapy at Southampton. He was appointed to an academic post at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan where he managed a research database that was the beginning of career in health informatics. He also trained formally in continuous quality improvement and has had management responsibilities since returning to the NHS in 1997. He has served as Clinical Director for Bromley Mental Health Services (2007-11) and as Clinical Director Informatics since April 2011.
Hashim has been in the lead role for the development and implement of the electronic Care Records Service in London since 2005. He currently works as consultant psychiatrist to an acute admissions ward in Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup.
If you are a member of the College and would like to join the Informatics Committee, please contact Thomas Rutherfoord at email@example.com to discuss the next steps.
If you would like to raise concerns relevant to the Informatics Committee (for example: electronic patient records, outcome metrics, data sharing and telehealth), please contact Thomas Rutherfoord at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
If you are representing an external organisation and would like to contact a member of the Informatics Committee to discuss a relevant concern, please contact Thomas Rutherfoord at email@example.com to make arrangements.
1. The Informatics Committee will provide a source of advice for the College on all matters related to health information and developments in health information management. This will be achieved through two principal processes.
- Commenting and advising on all Reports received by the Committee on issues related to health information. It is anticipated that the majority of these will emanate from the NHS Executive and Department of Health.
- Participation by its members on relevant national committees and working groups concerned with health service information issues.
2. The Committee will represent the College and provide expert advice to appropriate national committees concerned with health informatics (e.g. Academy of College’s Information Group and National Programme for IT).
3. The Committee will provide advice to the Dean and relevant Committees, through PPC, on matters related to professional standards, education and training in relation to health informatics.
4. The Committee will represent the College on national initiatives on curriculum development and multi-disciplinary education and training.
5. The Committee will disseminate information directly to College members to increase their knowledge and support them in all areas of health informatics.
The Mental Health Informatics Group was formed in 1983 and became a Special Interest Group of the College (Computers in Psychiatry Special Interest Group or CIPSIG) in 1987. The group held annual conferences, published a regular newsletter and held Internet workshops at the College Annual Meetings. In 1995 the Computers in Mental Health (CIMH) website was created by Martin Briscoe and Carl Littlejohns. It expanded to contain an extensive database of computing applications used in Mental Health. An email discussion group was also created which eventually became known as CIMH2000. Both website and discussion list were decommissioned in 2003.
In the autumn 1999 newsletter (produced by the then chair Martin Baggaley) membership of CIPSIG was noted to be approximately 250. Since then the membership has steadily grown to more than 1500 and continues to rise.
In 2005 a joint paper was produced by the chair of CIPSIG Matt Evans and the chair of the Informatics Committee Martin Elphick proposing a structure whereby the two groups could work together more cohesively. The paper was accepted early in 2006 along with a change of name from CIPSIG to MHISIG (Mental Health Informatics Special Interest Group) to reflect the increasing importance of the formal topic of health informatics in our members' working lives. In 2014, MHISIG became a Committee of Council.