The group aims to support and advocate for the interests and needs of private and independent psychiatrists within the College. 

Executive Committee

Member Year of joining Position
Dr Mona Freeman 2023 (E) Chair
Dr Jonathan Hellewell 2020 (E) Financial Officer
Dr Daniel Allen 2017 (C) Committee Member
Dr Edward Burns 2023 (C) Committee Member
Dr Rachel Gibbons 2019 (C) Committee Member
Dr Simmi Sachdeva-Mohan 2022 (C) Committee Member
Dr Monica Shaha 2019 (C) Committee Member

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 aims to support and advocate for the interests and needs of private and independent psychiatrists within the College. 

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.

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

Important documents to help regulate your practice:

PIPSIG Drop-in sessions

When COVID hit, the PIPSIG exec responded by commencing monthly drop-in sessions. The aim is to allow doctors who may be working in isolation the chance to discuss the difficulties they have encountered and potential solutions with their peers.

Each session lasts an hour and is facilitated by two members of the PIPSIG exec. In response to comments, the sessions were moved onto a rota encompassing morning, afternoon and evening slots. Weekend slots had not been welcomed.

All PIPSIG members are e-mailed with the dates of the meetings for several months in advance to allow them to sign up. The sessions are limited to 30 participants each time.  Zoom meeting details are only given to those who register to prevent ‘Zoom-bombing’ and improve confidentiality. If you have any queries about the drop-ins please contact sigs@rcpsych.ac.uk.

View a survey of the first 12 months of the drop-in sessions.

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.

Starting out in independent practice

The PSS have published advice about starting out in independent practice. This is a summary of the points raised during the PIPSIG 'starting out in independent practice' days.

Please bear in mind that it is a summary of the points that delegates struggled with - the information is not meant to be exhaustive.


The PIPSIG telepsychiatry guidance has been incorporated into and superseded by the College guidance on digital communications during the COVID restrictions.

GMC guidance


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

Contact us

If you have any enquiries about the PIPSIG please contact sigs@rcpsych.ac.uk.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry