International Day of People with Disabilities - Improving inclusion and workforce wellbeing


Free Members’ Webinar

Thursday 7 December 2023

Tribute to Dr Onikepe Ijete 

Sadly this webinar was the last contribution to the RCPsych disabilities work-stream from Dr Onike Ijete, who passed away the following day. Onike was a driving force behind the Reasonable adjustments guidance that the Royal College of Psychiatrists are producing. We will remember her for her lived experience that she shared, her endless energy and enthusiasm, her ability to quietly but effectively push for change that would benefit all people with disabilities and for making our workplaces more disability friendly. She was an accomplished mentor, guide and support for so many people, and an experienced clinician in the forensic services in BEHMHT. Our thoughts go out to all her family and loved ones especially her daughter Ellie Ijete, also a doctor, who was her main carer and best friend. Rest in Peace, Onike


  • Introduction from Chair - Dr Amrit Sachar, Liaison Psychiatry Consultant, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust & West London NHS Trust and RCPsych Joint Presidential Lead for Equity and Equality
  • 'Focussing on the enablement rather than disablement' - Dr Onikepe Ijete, M.B.B.S Specialty Dr in Forensic Psychiatry, North London Forensic Service
  • 'How to make psychiatry a place where everyone is welcome' - Dr Mhairi Hepburn, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead, Psychiatry of Old Age, Murray Royal Hospital, Perth 
  • 'My role as custodian, editor and interpreter of stories by people at work' - Emeritus Professor Tom Sensky, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Brain Sciences, Emeritus Professor in Psychological Medicine, Imperial College London
  • Q&A


Dr Onikepe Ijete trained as a medical doctor at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan Nigeria and is a Specialty doctor in the award-winning North London Forensic Service in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust.

She was recognised by the RCPsych as the one of the "Faces of the College" in 2022. She has been celebrated further by RCPsych on International Day of People with Disabilities and by the Association of Black Psychiatrists on International Women’s Day for her activism, and by her own Trust for her high quality clinical work.

 As a black, female, internationally trained SAS doctor, who is a wheelchair user, she has lived experience of these many intersectional issues. She uses this experience and her unfailing commitment to advocate for race, gender, disability and “gradism” equality and inclusion. She is a highly sought after speaker at regional and national level on these issues.


Dr Mhairi Hepburn, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead, Psychiatry of Old Age, Murray Royal Hospital, Perth.

Dr Hepburn trained at the University of Aberdeen and decided she wanted to be a psychiatrist during the very first psychiatry lecture. She has not considered any other specialty since and is now a consultant in old age psychiatry at Murray Royal Hospital, Perth [1].   

Her own experiences have resulted in all kinds of adventures in doctors’ mental health and neurodiversity peer support. In particular, she loves talking [2] about inclusion, stigma reduction and the neurodiversity paradigm. 

[1] The original and best Perth, before you ask. 

[2] She generally just loves talking 

Tom Sensky is Emeritus Professor of Psychological Medicine at Imperial College and Consultant Psychiatrist in the Health at Work Team (which includes Occupational Health and Staff Counselling) at West London NHS Trust.  He has also worked as a psychiatrist in Occupational Health in other NHS Trusts.  He has been a health assessor for the GMC for over 30 years, assessing doctors whose fitness to practise might be affected by mental illness.  Like numerous others working in occupational psychiatry, he had previously worked as a liaison psychiatrist and before that in the community.  His research work has focused primarily on psychological aspects of enduring illness, both physical and mental.  He was born (without a right hand) to Czech parents in colonial Africa.  Initially aiming to pursue a career in molecular biology, informal discussions with the Professor of Surgery at UCH Medical School, where he was doing his PhD, encouraged him to switch to medicine.  


This will be updated with slides we have speaker permission to share. Presentations available here remain the intellectual property of the speaker.



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