Time flies when you’re President of RCPsych
16 February, 2018
Usually the months after Christmas drag for me but this year time has flown past.
We have been busy at the College with our submission of evidence to the Mental Health Act 1983 review which is now finished.
I have been testing out our ideas with various groups of members on my travels and am pleased to see that on the whole we have captured what the majority of Psychiatrists think.
This is only the first stage of the review, there will be lots more work to do so do get in touch if you want to contribute.
Highest ever applicants
As you know we had the highest number of applicants ever to core training this year.
We aren’t resting on our laurels but are already working hard for the future. On a bitterly cold day in January I attended the National PsychSoc conference in Brighton.
Over 130 keen medical students spent their weekend listening to speakers of a calibre that wouldn’t have been out of place at any International meeting, thanks to all who gave up their time for this.
The lowlight of the weekend was the journey home which involved a rail replacement bus, the only thing that would get me on one of these is the chance to speak to so many potential recruits.
We also held an event for medical students in London where Stephen Fry talked eloquently of his own mental illness (I would just like to casually mention that he agreed to do this when we met at Buckingham Palace).
The students were enthralled. After the talk he spent time mixing with them, encouraging them to choose psychiatry and submitting to numerous selfies.
Recruitment is no good without retention, so this year we will be looking at how this can be improved. We are going to do this with NHS Improvement who have already started work.
I think I know what factors are driving people out of the workforce but if you have anything you want me to address please get in touch.
A piece of very good news involves the Mental Health Investment Standard (the MHIS).
Six months ago, I wouldn’t have known what this was but I’m now extremely excited by the fact that this year’s NHS Planning Guidance says that all CCGs must meet the MHIS.
The MHIS requires local areas to increase their spending on mental health services in line with their overall increase in budget allocation each year.
This means they have to invest in our services and will be audited on whether they do or not.
We have been instrumental in keeping the spotlight on mental health spending in every clinical commissioning group (CCG) and lobbying for stricter rules on how they invest in mental health services.
As a result of our efforts, we have stopped the MHIS from being scrapped.
It’s another step towards real parity of esteem for our patients.