Chair's log: Mental health Order, COVID and ADHD and more

17 June 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we enter the Easter period, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted immensely upon society and our work as clinicians.

We are living through unprecedented times and I assure you that the College in Northern Ireland is working tirelessly to support its members during this current crisis.

Mental Health Order - Emergency Provisions

I have drafted the attached document which summarises the changes which are likely to be relevant to psychiatry following the amendments to the Mental Health Order. They will apply mostly to psychiatrists working in General, CAP or Old Age Psychiatry.

However, I would ask you to PLEASE seek advice or refer to the actual legislation and Code of Practice in cases of any doubt. Please remember that these new provisions should only be used when the ‘usual’ powers cannot. Due to staff shortages consequent upon the impact of the Coronavirus crisis, the criteria for detention have not changed and the person’s human rights should be at the forefront of decision making.

Covid-19 and ADHD

Colleagues have been enquiring if there is any specific guidance on the management of ADHD during the COVID-19 crisis. I have been advised that the Belfast Trust is adhering to the guidance issued by the UK Adult ADHD Network (UKAAN). The guidance can be accessed by clicking here.

#RCPsychLive Webinars

For those colleagues who didn't get a chance to catch last Friday's College Webinar, it is now available to watch on the attached link. The main presentation was made by Dr Jan Birtle, entitled 'Weathering the storm: What you have in your doctor's bag?'.

The College has a full programme of upcoming webinars, details of which can be found here. Finally, on behalf of myself, Emma, Barry and Thomas, we hope you have a happy and safe Easter.

Best wishes,

Prof. Gerry Lynch