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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Cheer at the end of the year

There have been some worrying moments in the past month when it looked as if the extra money for mental health was hanging in the balance.

But, I’m pleased to say, we campaigned hard openly on social media and behind the scenes, and fortunately Simon Stevens confirmed his commitment to our funding.

As I go about the UK I am hearing of places where new money is helping, particularly in Perinatal and Liaison services.

I am also aware of concerns that our workforce is moving into these new services and away from our community teams and the wards which can’t do without them. We will be watching this carefully.


Success in Wales

A highlight of the month was a trip to Swansea to speak at the RCPsych in Wales and the Welsh Psychiatric Society joint meeting.

Even the people on the ticket gates at the station were friendly, the sun shone brightly (apparently it always does in Swansea), I tasted deep fried cockles for the first time and the academic content was varied and interesting.  I will definitely be returning.


Good news and a big thank you

I’m not allowed to share the numbers with you but there is some exceptionally good news about how many applications we have had to core training this year. 

Of course, there is a long way to go before we know how many will actually join us next August but things are looking hopeful.

A big thanks to everyone who helped with the Choose Psychiatry campaign this year.

The College recruitment campaign will only work if Psychiatrists on the frontline show medical students and Foundation Doctors what a fantastic job we have, despite the struggle with lack of resources – many of you volunteered your time to help us this year and we will need more of the same in 2018. 

There was also an overwhelming response to our pilot of CAMHS run-through training. Again, I can’t give you the numbers but it makes getting a surgical post look easy...


Gathering momentum

The review of the Mental Health Act is gathering momentum and they have put out a call for evidence.

We will use the Membership survey results to inform our response and will devote the whole of the morning of the January Council meeting to discussing this.

Two particular areas where we need to clarify our position are on whether we believe the Act should be based primarily on Capacity or on Risk, and the use of CTOs.

You can feed in your opinions directly using the email address or via your Faculty and Divisional reps on Council.


Season’s greetings

As always at this time of year Christmas is approaching fast and will be here before we know it.

I’m very grateful to all those who will be working over the holiday to keep our services going, I hope that you get some time to relax with your families.

From all of us at the College we wish you a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2018.


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Re: Cheer at the end of the ye
Great to hear all the good news. I do however wish the RCPsych would specify which mental health act they are referring to.
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Professor Wendy Burn


Professor Wendy Burn FRCPsych


Professor Wendy Burn became a consultant old age psychiatrist in Leeds in 1990 and now works fulltime in a community post. Her main clinical interest is dementia.

She has held a regional leadership role in this area from 2011 and was co-clinical Lead for dementia for Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Clinical Network between 2013 and 2016.