Clinical networks

To encourage an engaged and vocal membership, we have nine clinical networks broadly organised around particular areas of interest.

The Acute Care Network is a multi-purpose information exchange forum for psychiatrists working principally in the CRHT/IHTT and inpatient environments.

It is hosted by the Faculty, but is not moderated and users must observe the usual etiquette/rules of social media discourse.

Aims

The network is a useful place to:

  • share best practice
  • ask for advice or information
  • float new ideas including research questions.

It also facilitates peer support and networking opportunities.

Current issues of relevance to the network

Team

Dr Mary-Jane Tacchi, Network Lead

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If you are interested in joining, please email us.

The Adult ADHD Network was launched in 2014 by the Faculty to support its members who are practicing in adult ADHD. As more and more clinicians around the country are now treating adults with ADHD, we want to support colleagues who may feel isolated in their practice, have no easy access to CPD activity, and no forum where they can communicate with each other.

Aims

  • To provide a space whereby psychiatrists involved with adult ADHD can share clinical questions and experiences in a protected environment
  • To provide a space whereby psychiatrists involved with adult ADHD can share questions about services and common practices in a protected environment
  • To promote adult ADHD further within the College
  • To provide the potential for innovation, e.g. research, audit proposals etc.

Team

Dr Marios Adamou and Dr Rob Baskind.

Background

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a diagnosis defined by developmentally inappropriate levels of hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity.

Approximately 40-60% of children with a diagnosis of ADHD are expected to have persisting symptoms into early adulthood and will require treatment.

Studies have shown that this group displays a range of functional impairments, from work related problems, to difficulties in social life, and unless multidisciplinary interventions are put in place, the impairment can be disabling.

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If you are interested in joining, please email us.

Psychiatrists working with refugees and asylum-seekers often feel overwhelmed by the wide range of problems encountered, like accommodation, language barriers, immigration status and estrangement from family members, all of which have an effect on their prognosis. Without access to psychological services, the only treatment is with medication. Often, psychiatrists lack information on specific resources for this group.

Our network allows interested psychiatrists to communicate with other colleagues in Psychiatry through the sharing of information, knowledge and peer support.

Aims

  • To allow psychiatrists working with asylum seekers and refugees to maintain an awareness of this changing and evolving area.
  • To provide a source of information on resources for this patient group. To share information on the latest evidence base for treatment.
  • To offer peer support, allowing psychiatrists to share accounts of their clinical experience with this group.

Team

Dr Piyal Sen and Dr Katy Briffa.

Background

Asylum-seekers and refugees continue to be a politically contentious area of clinical practice in the UK. Even though there are figures which suggest this group constitute less than 0.5% of the population, and the UK does not figure amongst the top 10 countries in the world with regards to the number of refugees, the political and the tabloid rhetoric would suggest otherwise.

All the evidence points towards a higher level of mental health morbidity in this group, particularly with regards to conditions like PTSD, depression and anxiety. There is a much higher concentration of asylum-seekers and refugees in big cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester, where there is more peer support and access to agencies which offer assistance, both legal and medical. This is despite the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) trying very hard to disperse them to housing all over the UK.

Specialist psychological treatment services for this group, e.g. offering therapy for conditions like PTSD, are hard to access and generally extremely over-subscribed.

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If you are interested in joining, please email us.

This network is jointly run with our Forensic Psychiatry Faculty.

Aims  

  • To develop a forum for communication for psychiatrists working in prison and in community diversion services.
  • To explore and develop standards and competencies relating to these areas.
  • To identify the nature of mental health service provision and specific training opportunities in these areas.
  • To identify areas of best practice and disseminate them. 
  • To influence care pathways to enable community mental health services to work more effectively with prison mental health teams.
  • To develop links with other stakeholders, such as the Sainsbury’s Centre, Department of Health, the Howard League for penal reform and the Prison reform Trust.

Join us

If you are interested in joining, please email us.

As early intervention services bed-down around the country and we learn more about meeting the clinical needs of young people with first episode psychotic disorders and their families a number of crucial areas of uncertainty have emerged.

Aim

The network will be a forum for exchange of ideas, debate and support.

Background

NHS England asked the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) to develop a quality improvement network for early intervention in psychosis teams

This challenges many of our traditional precepts and practices, including:  

  • What outcomes should we aim for?
  • How should the considerable physical health care needs of those with psychotic illnesses best be met?
  • How best to work across our professional boundaries of adult and adolescent psychiatry when many patients are stuck, developmentally, at this boundary?
  • How to manage substance misuse and, in particular, the under-acknowledged and under-researched problem of cannabis dependence?
  • Should the concept and principles of early intervention – age-appropriate, specialist MDTs – be restricted to psychotic illness? Is this ethical? What about EI for depression, OCD and other anxiety disorders? Should we have EIP or just EI?
  • How early is early? Beware of confusing intervention in people thought to be at risk of psychosis with people who have an established psychotic illness.
  • How does EI with its emphasis on close observation of dynamic phenomena during the early phase of evolution of psychotic illness change our diagnostic boundaries and concepts?

Team

Dr Savitha Eranti

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If you are interested in joining, please email us.

Aims

The overarching aim of our network is to bring together clinicians and researchers interested in the field of OCD and related disorders and to provide them with a credible platform which would serve as a catalyst for the improvement of clinical services and advancement of the field.

  • Promote teaching, research and best practice via the website and a newsletter covering latest updates in research and service development, funding opportunities, best practice examples and other relevant information in the field.
  • In line with NICE guidance, encourage improved diagnosis and better deployment of service resources for the treatment of these illnesses.
  • Holding regular scientific meetings to bring clinicians and researchers together on one platform to encourage exchange of ideas and foster debates.
  • Promote public awareness of the illness in the form of patient information leaflets, informational booklets or public statements, mainly via the website and with support from various College faculties.
  • Act in an advisory role to influence better service provision by providing advice to the College on matters within the remit of OCD and its associated condition, as requested. We would be prepared to offer advice to legislative bodies and governmental agencies, and cooperate on national and international treatment guidelines at the request of the College. We would also explore the feasibility of accrediting OCD services and act as a resource on these illnesses.

Background

(OCARD) constitute a significant proportion of the non-psychotic disorders, as seen in clinical practice. Research in the last two decades has increased our understanding of the causes and treatment of these disorders.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has attempted to standardise the care with the introduction of stepped care in its 2005 guidance on Obsessive Compulsive and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

However despite these advances, OCD and related disorders like Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), tic disorders, hoarding disorder and trichotillomania remain under-diagnosed and under-treated with a huge variation in care across United Kingdom.

Join us

College members are encouraged to register their interest in the network by dropping us an email.

We welcome non-psychiatrists including:

  • psychologists,
  • occupational therapists,
  • nurses,
  • psychiatrists not yet qualified as a college members,
  • members of public,
  • representatives of charitable organisations
  • international psychiatrists.

We will be sending out regular newsletters and information on opportunities in this field to our mailing list subscribers.

Please email if you would like to be included on this mailing list.

The Open Dialogue network was established for the dissemination of information, learning and research findings in Open Dialogue and in particular, developments in the NHS.

Background

Open Dialogue involves a social network approach to care, where all staff receive training in family therapy and related systemic and psychological skills, and treatment is focused around network meetings. It is a model of mental health care pioneered in Finland that has since been taken up in a number of countries around the world, including much of the rest of Scandinavia, Germany and some US states. It is a quite different approach to much of the UK service provision, yet it is being discussed with interest by several NHS Trusts around the country.

Part of the reason for the interest in the Open Dialogue approach is the striking data from non-randomised trials so far. For example, 72% of those with first episode psychosis treated using an Open Dialogue approach returned to work or study within two years, despite significantly lower rates of medication and hospitalisation compared to Treatment As Usual (TAU).

It is a trans-diagnostic approach, and data is being developed on non-psychotic presentations too.

Several NHS Trusts in the UK are setting up pilot peer-supported Open Dialogue services over the next couple of years with the aim to deepen the evidence base over time, to enable more wide scale take up across NHS services, should the outcome improvement from other countries remain consistent in the UK.

Training and research opportunities

Training started in October 2014, with several waves of staff from all disciplines undergoing the one year training, and the pilot teams will be launched throughout late 2017 and 2018.

The outcomes from these teams will then be compared to TAU as part of a national multi-centre cluster randomised controlled trial.

Various training programmes are currently evolving in the UK around this project, as well as opportunities for Trust teams to participate in related evaluations, for example, nested studies in the main trial, and a key function of the network will also be to facilitate such education and research opportunities for faculty members.

Team

Dr Russell Razzaque

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If you are interested in joining, please email us.

Aims

  • To provide a forum for the discussion and sharing of practical ideas to improve the physical health of people with mental health problems
  • To build on the Faculty publication, Improving physical health for people with mental illness: what can be done? (PDF) Members with an interest in this area are encouraged to join the network
  • To share and develop practical solutions in the diverse settings and communities in which our patients live.

Team

Dr Paul Rowlands

Background

That there is a problem to be addressed is widely accepted. How this should be done is less clear. This forum begins with the assumption that practitioners wish to make a positive difference and that learning from others and sharing ideas is one way to move further towards this goal.

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If you are interested in joining, please email us.

Aims

  • To promote best clinical practice for assessing risks and managing female forensic patients
  • To promote training and support for clinical staff working in female forensic services
  • To facilitate academic and research developments in this unique field. To act as a networking and information resource

Background

Women in secure settings are a highly select group who present complex psychopathology and challenging behaviour. There are significant gender differences in their presentation, social and offending profiles.

After several discussions with staff across various female secure units including prisons who have shared some of their experiences, it was clear to us that there is pressing need for a network whereby clinicians working with this client group could communicate with each other effectively and learn from each others' experiences.

Team

Dr Vivek Bisht

Join us

The network is linked to the Forensic Psychiatry Faculty and welcomes interested professionals involved in the care of these patients.

If you are interested in joining, please email us.

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