RCPsych Awards 2020 

Our yearly RCPsych Awards celebrate the best and brightest teams and individuals in our field.

Below you'll find the winners in each of the 17 categories, from psychiatrists of all grades and levels of training, to teams working throughout mental health care.

RCPsych Lifetime Achievement Award

Baroness Elaine Murphy

PsychSoc of the Year

Sheffield PsychSoc

1 - Sheffield PsychSoc

Sheffield have planned over 10 exceptional events this year including talks by eminent academics and have attracted between 100 and 250 attendees each time, meaning the impact of their work has wide ripples across the University. They have created a mental health peer support group called the ‘Listening Bunch’ and a well-being newsletter for medical students at their University.

Sheffield PsychSoc has produced an exciting programme for 2019 promoting a career in Psychiatry to students, regardless of prior interest and also opening these talks to other healthcare students. They held events with renowned speakers attracting over 400 people as well as Balint groups to challenge stigma and promote compassion, book clubs and have linked with the Sheffield PEEPS (Psychiatry Early Experience Programme).

In addition, they have supported curriculum learning supporting students to obtain the most from their psychiatry placements, promoting SSCs in Psychiatry and with revision sessions and taster days. They are very active on Twitter and Facebook.

Sheffield PsychSoc has worked effectively as a team to utilise the breadth of experience within the committee. In committee meetings their president encouraged reflection and modelled a “coaching style”.


Foundation Doctor of the Year

Dr Maxime Taquet

2 - Maxime Taquet

Maxime is an academic clinical fellow in psychiatry in Oxford. His research integrates brain imaging, genetics, and mobile phone data to try and better understand and treat mental illness. He recently used big data to characterise the consequences of COVID-19 and lockdown on mental health. Besides his academic interests, he is passionate about education and clinical psychiatry.

Maxime scored highly in all the categories, as a professional, clinician, leader, educator and researcher with an outstanding research output at such an early stage of his career. He has innovated and used his initiative clinically as well as having an excellent academic pedigree.

The judges would also like to highly commend Jonathan Gibb and Tamara Chithiramohan – there were only a couple of points separating the top three reflecting the overall high standard of the entries.

Core Psychiatric Trainee of the Year

Dr Georgina Corbet Burcher

Georgina Corbet Burcher


Dr Corbet Burcher has a great interest in the holistic health of families. Her research and co-produced initiatives explore the paediatric mental and physical health interface and have been published and presented internationally. Working in perinatal psychiatry, her recent work adopts a ‘life-course’ approach. She intends to dedicate her career to improve the outlook for families faced with mental illness.


Dr Burcher has achieved a huge amount during her time as a core trainee. Her clinical and academic excellence has been recognised with awards from the RCPsych Intellectual Disability faculty and Society of Biological Psychiatry. She has collaborated with paediatric and obstetric colleagues in both research, and teaching seminars. She has led significant improvements in patient safety, adolescent wellbeing and contributed to the scientific literature through her academic interest in hypothalamic hamartomas.

The judges were impressed by the breadth of her achievements which demonstrated key College values of excellence, learning, innovation, respect, collaboration and courage.

Higher Psychiatric Trainee of the Year

Dr Emmert Roberts

Emmert Roberts

Dr Emmert Roberts is a Clinical Research Fellow at the National Addiction Centre, King’s College London (KCL) and a Specialist Registrar in Substance Misuse Psychiatry at the South London and the Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust. He is a member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Psychiatrists. His research focus is drug and alcohol service provision and it’s impact on hospitalisation.

Dr Robert’s exceptional contributions to the field of addiction psychiatry. As an academic trainee he has published widely in the field of alcohol use disorders. His research on alcohol-related conditions in the UK hospital system made national front-page headlines highlighting the high prevalence of both harmful use and dependence on alcohol. He is one of the first UK psychiatrists to diagnose and treat gaming disorder and has lectured extensively on this area. He has demonstrated extraordinary leadership at his stage of training being appointed as an honorary advisor to Public Health England, and as a trustee and company director on the board of the UK's largest alcohol harm reduction charity, Alcohol Change UK.

Patient Contributor of the Year

Elliott Bernard-Cooper

Elliott Bernard-Cooper

Elliott is a mental health speaker and campaigner focusing on his lived experience with ASD, OCD, anxiety and depression. His hope is to spread awareness and education of each of these things and how they interact with each other through explaining how they have impacted his course through life, in hopes of achieving a more understanding and caring society.

As a worthy winner of the 2020 Patient Contributor of the year, Elliott has broken new ground. As a person living with a neurodevelopmental disorder, he has not only shared the impact that his disorder has had on his own life and family, but has allowed others to share their own mental health problems in a safe and confidential listening space. Elliott has received feedback from his regular talks to medical students that have been consistently positive. He is a role model for both his own and other generations

Psychiatric Communicator of the Year

Dr Hisham Ziauddeen

Hisham Ziauddeen

Hisham Ziauddeen (he/him) is a consultant psychiatrist in early intervention at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge. He is an experienced dabbler in public engagement with science and stand up comedy and has successfully struck the difficult balance between following his passion and not earning fame or money from it.

Dr Ziauddeen has shown a wide range of communication skills within psychiatry and has used Virtual Reality work and comedy to demonstrate his creativity. He has led an innovative teaching program – 'Conversations with Experts by Experience' – since 2014, which comprises people with lived experience of mental illness. The programme was set up to give mental health researchers without a clinical background a chance to learn about the mental disorders and the narrative that arises from these experiences. As such, Dr Ziauddeen is a worthy winner of the Category Psychiatric Communicator of the Year.

Psychiatric Educator of the Year

Dr Alex Thomson

Alex Thomson

Dr Thomson is a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist and Local Tutor at Northwick Park Hospital. He is committed to postgraduate education in psychiatry, other specialties and nursing to improve patient experience and outcomes. He has developed innovative approaches to training including local, regional and UK-wide e-learning, conferences and training. He organises and chairs a liaison psychiatry webinar series with international reach.

The competition was intense and close. The judges acknowledge the quality of a number of the candidates. Dr Thomson emerged the winner and stood out with his creativity and innovation, not only in supporting training locally and nationally but with the multiple projects whereby he has encouraged trainees and trainers to take up leadership roles. He has demonstrated great skill in bringing out the best in others and maximising their professional development.

Dr B L Sharda Memorial Academic Researcher of the Year

Professor James MacCabe

James MacCabe

Professor MacCabe splits his time evenly between the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, where he is professor of Epidemiology and Therapeutics in Psychosis, and the National Psychosis Unit, Bethlem Royal Hospital, where he specialises in treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

Professor MacCabe is the epitome of a clinician scientist whose work addresses challenges regarding the treatment of refractory schizophrenia that he encounters in his clinical work. Professor MacCabe has led several successful multi-centre consortia, his work contributed to specific recommendations in the BAP and Maudsley prescribing guidelines, he is a valued trainer and teacher and has won many awards.  

Specialty Doctor/Associate Specialist of the Year

Dr Syed Naqvi 

Syed Naqvi

Dr Naqvi is an Associate Specialist in the Adult ADHD and Autism Service in Wakefield. His contributions span beyond his job role. He has helped raise awareness and understanding of Adult ADHD and Autism in the Yorkshire region, delivering workshops to Health and Social care professionals. He is a carer and passionate about advocating the role of carers in society.

The panel were unanimous in their findings regarding the winner of the award. His application demonstrated, across the board, strength in all categories and indicates that he is an SAS doctor who places both the physical health and mental health needs of his patients at the heart of his work. He is committed to providing leadership and places much emphasis on innovative practices to improve the care that he provides for his patients.

Psychiatrist of the Year

Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones

Henrietta Bowden-Jones

Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE is a medical doctor and neuroscience researcher working as a consultant psychiatrist in addictions, leading two national clinics in the UK. Her accolades and achievements include:

  • Appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 New Year’s Honours for Services to Addiction Treatment and to Research
  • President of Psychiatry Section, Royal Society of Medicine (2020-2022).
  • Honorary Professor, UCL, Faculty of Brain Sciences
  • Honorary Senior Visiting Research Fellow in Psychiatry, the University of Cambridge
  • Immediate Past President, Medical Women’s Federation ( 2018-2020)
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Spokesperson on Behavioural Addictions.
  • Founder and Director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, the first NHS treatment centre in the UK for the treatment of problem gamblers which she set up in 2008
  • Founder and Director of the National Centre for Gaming Disorders, the first NHS clinic in the UK treating Gaming Disorder
  • Medical Doctorate in Neuroscience from Imperial College (Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex impairment in Alcohol Dependency).
  • Founder and joint Chair of the National UK Research Network for Behavioural Addictions ( NUK-BA) the University of Cambridge.

This year there was exceptionally stiff competition with a highly impressive field of candidates. Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones stood out from the others. She has made an exceptional contribution to both services for the treatment of people addicted to gambling and to academic knowledge in this area. She has also provided inspirational leadership to the Medical Women's Federation. She is truly deserving of this award.

Psychiatric Team of the Year: Children and Adolescents

Adolescent Community Treatment Service, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Adolescent Community Treatment Service (ACTS)

Central and North West London's Adolescent Community Treatment Service (ACTS) provides intensive community assessment and treatment as a less restrictive alternative to inpatient admission. ACTS supports young people with acute mental health conditions, in five London boroughs, sensitively responding to complex needs and high-risk presentations. ACTS offers tailored, evidence-based, multidisciplinary interventions to young people and their families to facilitate their path to recovery.

ACTS was set up to improve provision across five London boroughs, for young people in crisis often with serious mental health needs, at high risk and in need of intensive intervention. The leaders of the service put forward a clear and ambitious vision and were able to implement this in a very tight timescale. Although they are a relatively small multidisciplinary team, by working in close collaboration with local CAMHS services and inpatient units, they have been able to significantly reduce admissions, deliver excellent clinical outcomes and improve patient and family experience – all with great cost-efficiency. The judges were greatly impressed by what this enthusiastic and committed team were able to achieve in a short space of time to transform services in their locality.

Psychiatric Team of the Year: Working-age adults

Redcar and Cleveland Community Affective Disorders Service, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

Redcar & Cleveland Community Affective Disorders Service

Redcar and Cleveland Community Affective Disorders Service is a secondary care CMHT providing care and treatment to adult patients with mainly non-psychotic disorders from a highly deprived population in a mixed suburban and semi-rural setting.

The judges were impressed by how the team had persisted over time with a considered approach to service improvements. Earlier initiatives had not always delivered for some of their most marginalised patients. This inspired them to double down and innovate, finding new ways to reach and improve care for these groups. The fact that this improvement was possible in an adult community mental health team will inspire others. It shows that significant positive change can happen in core adult mental health services with the commitment of clinical leaders.

Psychiatric Team of the Year: Older-age adults

Care Home Pathway, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Care Home Pathway, Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

The Care Home Pathway is a multi-disciplinary team that promotes biopsychosocial interventions for elderly residents in care homes across Surrey and NE Hampshire. This service seeks to support individuals, relatives and staff teams to manage behavioural and psychological symptoms. Through engaging in collaborative work, the team aims to implement thoughtful care plans involving evidence-based medication and psychosocial approaches.

There was stiff competition for this award but this year’s winner The Care Home Pathway Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was particularly impressive. This innovative service provides mental health advice and consultation to residents, families and care home staff in about 270 care homes. They demonstrated quantitative improvement in the challenging behaviour scores and also in their satisfaction scores. They have ensured that patients and carers play an active role in training, staff recruitment and development of information leaflets. The team have clearly embraced integrated working and are currently piloting joint physical and mental health ‘clinics’. This team is a worthy winner  

Psychiatric Team of the Year: Intellectual Disability

Camden Learning Disability Service, Camden Local Authority and Camden and Islington Foundation Trust

Camden Learning Disability Service

The Camden Learning Disability Service is multi-professional and integrated, and very proud to have been shortlisted in the ‘Psychiatric Team of the Year 2020: Intellectual Disability’ category. All professionals are committed to improving and innovating care that enables people with a learning disability to live fulfilling lives as active members of their local community.

The Camden Learning Disability Service is an integrated health and social care team working in a challenging inner-city area. The Team has demonstrated high standards in delivering care to adults with intellectual disability. It has achieved success in clinical outcomes through service improvement with real benefits to patients in reducing hospital admissions and providing care close to the person. The members of the Team demonstrate a clear commitment to the partnership working in an integrated service.

Psychiatric Team of the Year: Quality Improvement

TSH3030, The State Hospital, NHS Scotland

TSH3030 team from The State Hospital, Scotland

The TSH3030 team is a small, multidisciplinary group of QI enthusiasts at The State Hospital, Scotland. Since forming in August 2018, the team have run two cycles of their 3030 initiative and in November 2019 they supported 38 teams involving 146 staff and 64 patients to participate in their own QI projects.

The team at the state hospital developed a comprehensive system to engage staff and patients in widespread quality improvement initiatives. They developed a safe supportive and positive framework to test their ideas and spread good practice. Support from the senior management team and co-production were key to their success.

Psychiatric Team of the Year: Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability/Green Care

Connecting With Telehealth to Children in Hospital and Healthcare, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

CWTCH - Connecting With Telehealth to Children in Hospital & Healthcare

The Connecting With Telehealth to Children in Hospital and Healthcare team includes Professor Alka S Ahuja (Principal Investigator), Dr Jacinta Tan (Project Manager), Ms Gemma Johns, (Research Assistant), CAMHS colleagues, Mair Elliot (Young Person Representative), Geoff Elliot (Carer Representative) Technology Enabled Care team, Aneurin Bevan Continuous Improvement (ABCi), Dr K Lange, (Consultant Psychiatrist, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust) and Paediatric team.

The project offers virtual appointments to young people, producing significant savings and impressive outputs. The Government has adopted it as a way of protecting both NHS and the public from Covid-19, and it has led to the development of a National Video Consultation Service across Wales. The project ran from February 2019 to April 2020, and continues in mainstream CAMHS practice and in other secondary care services. User satisfaction rates are high. Savings were made in terms of travel distance and expenses, time expended and carbon emitted.

Further information

If you have any queries about the Awards, please contact the Membership Operations team on either 020 8618 4098 or membership.operations@rcpsych.ac.uk.