Improved College HQ is open for members

College members will now be able to come back to the RCPsych main office, at 21 Prescot Street, central London, for events and meetings for the first time in two years – following the lifting of home-working guidance in England last week.

When members come back to the building, they will notice that it looks distinctly different, following a recent refurbishment – with the building now better reflecting the history and diversity of the organisation, and being enabled to facilitate the delivery of fully in-person, fully digital and hybrid events.

The refurbishment – which will benefit members across the UK and beyond – was carried out within existing budgets and completed on time, with the College expecting to deliver a small surplus for 2021.

This means that unlike most other medical royal colleges, the RCPsych will deliver two consecutive surpluses during the pandemic era, ensuring the sustainability of the organisation and ongoing support for psychiatrists and other members of the multi-disciplinary team.

The College took the opportunity to carry out the refurbishment works while the building was empty – to ensure that it was ready the moment members could return, following the lifting of COVID restrictions.

Among the new features at Prescot Street are an impressive history wall, a digital ‘Faces of the College’ feature, gender neutral toilets on certain floors, as well as enhanced IT capability that will allow members to work in a hybrid way from the office.

Following the purchasing of Prescot Street in 2013, an upgrade had been due in the early 2020s, as when the College moved in, it carried out the minimal works adjudged necessary for the building to be fit for purpose.

21 Prescot Street History Wall

The upgrade has allowed the College to enhance its sustainability credentials – with light fittings being brought up to current standards, reducing energy use; the reception area being upgraded to reduce energy requirements; and air conditioning being improved to bring it up to date and improve energy efficiency. Additional spaces for bikes have also been added.

The refurbished building will enable members to carry out digital meetings and consultations in situ, and it also incorporates a digital recording studio, so that virtual events can be recorded on site.

In line with many other organisations, the College also decided to enhance the staff working areas at the office – so as to improve the look and feel, in order to help encourage employees to return to the office and reward the staff team for its amazing work over the last two years.

Having completed the refurbishment of Prescot Street, the College is now carrying out a review of its wider estate – which currently contains office space in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Somerset and York – to ensure that the organisation can continue to effectively serve members outside of London.

President Dr Adrian James said:

“I’m delighted that we managed to refurbish our head office when it was empty – enabling the building to deliver fully face-to-face, fully digital, and hybrid services and activities for our members; and better reflect the history and diversity of the organisation. I’m pleased we have also made the building more sustainable.

“It was imperative the work was delivered on time and within existing budgets, allowing us to deliver another small surplus. This means we have ensured the College remains financially sustainable and able to support psychiatrists on the front line, as well as other members of the multi-disciplinary team.

“Having completed the refurbishment of Prescot Street, we will now look at our office provision outside of London, to ensure that we can continue to effectively support all our members.”

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