COVID-19: information for psychiatrists in Wales

Explore our most up to date guidance and information for psychiatrists working in Wales. 

How to use our guidance

We have created a fast-evolving hub of COVID-19 information designed for clinicians.  This guidance has been written from a broad UK perspective and will be, for the most part, applicable across the UK. The College is asking its members in Wales to adhere to this guidance where possible.

This page contains resources to complement the UK guidance.

  • RCPsych guidance for clinicians
  • Welsh Government guidance for health and social care professionals
  • RCPsych support for patient and carers
  • CCQI Covid-19 webinars
  • NCCMH Covid-19 mental health improvement network


RCPsych guidance for clinicians

The full extent of the impact of COVID-19 is difficult to predict. We are currently reviewing and updating our clinical guidance pages in light of the rapidly evolving situation. The advice on these pages should only therefore be used to guide local decision-making. It has been developed with input from the COVID-19 College Advisory Group and signed off by College Registrar.

Given the unprecedented challenge to service delivery, it includes measures that may need to be implemented during a time of high levels of sickness of professional staff and limited resources.

In doing so, patient and staff safety must always come first, ensuring patients can safely and effectively receive the care and treatment they need, whilst staff are also protected. Any such measures should only be in place on a time-limited basis until such time that normal service delivery can resume.

We recognise that during these difficult times it might be necessary for clinicians to work beyond their usual disciplinary boundaries and we trust as dedicated professionals they will be happy to do so. But this must be proportionate to their expertise and area of training and knowledge. Equivalent considerations apply for nurses, AHPs and other registered health professionals.

  • Information about the vaccine
  • Community and inpatient services
  • Patient engagement
  • Workforce
  • Wellbeing and support
  • Legal
  • Digital
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Ethical considerations
  • Guidance on risk mitigation for Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff
  • Post Covid-19 syndrome and 'long-Covid' guidance for clinicians

Welsh Government guidance for health and social care professionals

Whilst the UK guidance should be relevant and of use to practitioners across the UK, please find below exceptions and considerations specific to the Welsh health and social care system. This will be updated regularly.

Mental Health Services 

Clinical guidance for health professionals, includes links to NICE and Public Health Wales.

This also includes:

  • Services under the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 
  • Mental Health Act 1983 hospital managers' discharge powers

Additional Sections:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Working for the NHS and social care
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Care homes and social services
  • Dental health services
  • Eye health services

RCPsych support for patients and carers

We have created additional resources to support patients and carers during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Medication and COVID-19
  • Remote consultations
  • Going to hospital for a physical illness or injury
  • Eating disorders and COVID-19
  • Before, during or after pregnancy

Some of our existing mental health resources may be particularly relevant during the pandemic:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Physical illness
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Mental health rehabilitation services
  • Memory problems and dementia

Support for people experiencing anxiety during the pandemic

Additionally, we have created resources for anyone experiencing increased anxiety as a result of the pandemic. Our resources include information for adults, young people and parents.

    CCQI Covid-19 webinars

    Several teams within the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) undertook webinars during the first and second wave of the pandemic, sharing approaches from different mental health teams and services.

    • Rehabilitation wards
    • Working age adult acute wards
    • Early intervention in psychosis
    • Crisis resolution and home treatment teams
    • Perinatal community and inpatient teams 
    • Eating disorder services
    • Child and adolescent community teams
    • Forensic mental health services
    • Child and adolescent inpatient services
    • Learning disability wards
    • Older adult mental health services
    • Prison mental health services
    • Psychiatric intensive care units
    • National clinical audit of psychosis
    • Memory services national accreditation programme

    NCCMH Covid-19 mental health improvement network

    In March 2020, the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) created a virtual network on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement, with the aim of supporting mental health teams to share and learn from each other to maintain and improve safety in response to the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The network ran for six months and provided a space for mental health teams to share changes they introduced in response to COVID-19, whilst discussing challenges and learning. Many teams shared resources and provided detail on changes they had introduced so the ideas could be replicated by other teams. They also held webinars and produced change packages on communicating with families, patients and staff and ideas for reducing restrictive practice.

    • Activities
    • Communication
    • Quality improvement tools
    • Restrictive practice
    • Self-harm and suicide prevention
    • Self-isolation
    • Support for patients
    • Support for staff


    • Connecting with carers
    • Suicide prevention
    • Reducing restrictive practice

    Change packages for services

    • Communication: with families and carers, patients, and staff
    • Reducing restrictive practice