RCPsych in Parliament

Our public affairs team work with parliamentarians, arms lengths bodies and other political stakeholders to champion mental health and psychiatry in Westminster and beyond.

Parliamentary briefings

Our parliamentary briefings will let you know what the College thinks about the key policies being discussed in Parliament.

For more information on any of our briefings, please email Peter Hand.

Our joint statement to the next Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party

We have issued a joint statement with five Royal Colleges and the Academy of Royal Colleges calling for health and social care to be top priorities during the Conservative Party leadership election. 

As Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties representing the full range of medical specialties across primary, public health and hospital care we are asking the next Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative and Unionist party to:

  1. Commit to planning and providing a health and care workforce that meets the needs of the population, particularly by increasing medical school places and clinical training places.
  2. Commit to reducing health inequality by tackling the causes of ill health so that in the long run we reduce pressure on the NHS by reducing preventable illness.
  3. Commit to fixing social care so that we end the cycle of working age adults and old age adults being admitted to hospital, or delayed in leaving hospital, because of insufficient social care packages to help them live independently.

Our manifesto

In the run-up to the 2019 General Election, we published our manifesto which called on the next government to:

  1. Provide high-quality care close to home
  2. Make NHS mental health services a great place to work
  3. End the NHS pensions crisis
  4. Double the number of medical school places
  5. Give mental health a fair share of capital spending so patients can be treated safely and with dignity
  6. Give every patient with a mental illness their own private room
  7. Change the way we commission addiction services
  8. Implement the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act and tackle inequalities in mental health care
  9. A cross-governmental mental health strategy overseen by a Cabinet Committee
  10. Tackle the mental health social care crisis
  11. Invest in research to find better treatments for mental illness.

All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health

We help coordinate this cross-party group of MPs and Peers who have a particular interest in promoting the mental health agenda in Parliament.

The group regularly hosts events to:

  • hold the Government to account on their mental health strategy
  • inform other parliamentarians about key mental health policy issues
  • call on NHS organisations, health professionals, research bodies and people with experience of mental illness to give evidence at their meetings.

On Monday 23 May 2022 the group held its Annual General Meeting. During the meeting the group elected Dean Russell MP and Rachael Maskell MP as co-chairs. The group also elected the following officers:

  • Wera Hobhouse MP
  • Jeff Smith MP
  • Baroness Tyler
  • Baroness Hollins
  • Colleen Fletcher MP

We provide secretariat for the group along with Rethink. For further information about the group and about any upcoming events, please email Peter Hand.

APPG virtual session on COVID-19 and mental health

On 27 April 2020, we helped the APPG host a virtual session on COVID-19 and mental health.

Jeff Smith MP hosted the event with contributions from Danielle Hamm from Rethink Mental Illness, Dr Kate Lovett Dean of the RCPsych, Professor Sir Simon Wessely former RCPsych president and College adviser on COVID-19 and Conor D’Arcy from Money and Mental Health. While there were a few technical issues with an online event, it was a really useful discussion. You can watch the session below. 

APPG report 'On the road to parity'

The APPG on Mental Health's report 'On the road to parity' is the product of an in depth inquiry into the progress of the government's mental health strategy, the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

The report comes at a critical time: halfway through the FyFV-MH, and as we await the NHS long-term plan for mental health. We hope this report, and particularly its recommendations, will go some way to influencing that plan.

The inquiry received over seventy pieces of written evidence, held two oral evidence sessions and a service user and carer focus group, and facilitated a visit to Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust to hear from frontline clinicians.

The report's findings can be split into three main themes:

  1. Investing in core services for adults severely affected by mental illness
  2. Increasing the mental health workforce
  3. Better oversight and collective responsibility for mental health

Parliamentary scholar scheme

This scheme gives the chance for higher specialty trainee psychiatrists (ST4-6) to spend one day a week as part of their special interest session at the House of Lords.

Successful candidates work with Peers with an interest in mental health and learning disability to develop the skills to influence mental health policy.

We run an annual recruitment process for trainees to take part in the scheme. If you would like more information, please email Peter Hand.

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