About us

The private and independent practice special interest group (PIPSIG) was formed in the 1990s and membership is increasing as more psychiatrists opt for portfolio careers. Members from other Specialities and Faculties of the College are welcome if they work to any extent outside the NHS.

The group includes those in private practice, retired working psychiatrists, medico-legal and Mental Health Act work and doctors visiting and working in independent hospitals and clinics.

The group's concerns have been that those working outside the NHS have, in the past, not been connected with college affairs. Current challenges include the requirements of relicensing and revalidation (including appraisal and 360 degree feedback), maintaining skills required for independent psychiatric practice and liaising with other college activities.

The group seeks to develop the interface between the College, the independent sector, the insurers and the NHS.

Previous annual reports can be viewed on the website and show the range of activities that PIPSIG covers.

Member Year of joining Position
Dr Lesley Haines 2013 Chair
Dr Danny Allen 2013 Secretary
Dr Tom Carnwath 2016 Financial Officer
Dr Iain Grant 2019 Communications Officer
Dr John Sharkey 2013 Committee Member
Dr Katy Briffa 2015 Committee Member
Dr Paul Divall 2015 Committee Member

Upcoming events

Starting Out in Independent Practice event on 19 December 2019 at Royal College of Psychiatrists

Please see the provisional programme (PDF) for further information

Booking is now open so secure your place now.

Past events

PIPSIG Annual Conference - "Since you've been gone..." Developments in psychiatry over the last 10 years, for those who have been outside mainstream NHS practice on Friday 12 July 2019 at Royal College of Psychiatrists

Annual meeting in Belfast, at Royal Ulster Club 20 and 21 September 2018 "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; what the legal profession wants from us"

Joint Occupational Health SIG and PIPSIG at College HQ on 1 March 2018 "Working with Mental Illness"

Important documents to help regulate your practice:

PIPSIG on Twitter 

PIPSIG is on Twitter! Details of forthcoming events, consultations that might concern PIPSIG members and items of interest are posted.  Please follow @RCPsychPIPSIG

Workshop feedback

GMC guidance


Should you require a copy of any previous bulletins not currently available on the website, please contact Francis Maunze – the College Archivist.

PIPSIG's Executive Committee has decided to set up an annual bursary for early stage Psychiatrists to help develop their entrepreneurial passions and activities. This bursary is worth £1000.

Background: PIPSIG are aware that there have been a number of successful apps and other digital developments that have proved beneficial to people with mental health problems. These include online courses to deal with depression, anxiety and eating disorders; anonymous social networks; adventure games tackling psychotic phenomena; various biofeedback devices; and much more besides. Granted the limited national funding for mental health, particularly for child and adolescent mental health services, we would like to see a proliferation of such self-help material.

PIPSIG have observed that many psychiatrists and psychiatric trainees have good ideas in this respect, but may well lack the know-how to develop these ideas, which requires multi-disciplinary skills including research and development, software design and development, user and market testing and knowledge of intellectual property. We are at present exploring with potential educational/research partners how such skills and ideas can be fostered and brought forward.

Applications: Are now open for the bursary. If you have a great idea and would like to develop this further, please contact Dr. Tom Carnwath at tomcarnwath@gmail.com, and I will send you an application form.

Deadline: All entries for this year must be submitted by 30 November 2019.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry