Northern Ireland chair's blog: May 2018
16 July, 2018
The fantastic weather during the month hasn’t reduced the pace of activity here in the College - if anything, this has been one of our busiest months and thanks, once again, to all those members who’ve worked so hard to raise the profile of the profession and ensured that our voice is heard.
Have a look at this month’s report and please feel free to comment on anything that captures your interest; better still, get involved!
Mental Capacity Act
I know I’ve been going on about the Mental Capacity Act, but it really is very important that Clinicians who’ll be working the Act turn their minds to the practical clinical implications of the new legislation.
I’d love to hear from Clinicians about their concerns, particularly in the form of clinical scenarios. We intend to have at least one further meeting with DoH officials as the Code of Practice goes out to formal consultation.
The DoJ has finally begun to work on the Code of Practice for the Criminal Justice provisions of the Act, and my thanks to Dr Adrian East for undertaking to work with them on this.
You’ll see from the report and, no doubt, will have seen/heard on the news about the additional investment going into primary care. There is now a commitment from the Department to include mental health workers within the integrated primary care multidisciplinary teams.
Although this recognises the importance that primary care puts on mental illness, there are many potential pitfalls and possible unintended consequences to be wary of, not least the potential increase in demand (as more unmet need is recognised) and the diversion of resource and skilled personnel away from secondary care.
Dr James Nelson and I had a meeting recently with Dr Geraldine Strathdee and David Bingham, who are advising the GP Federations on mental health services, and it was encouraging to see that the Federations recognise the potential complexities; it’s
not as simple as placing a CPN in a primary care team or moving an outpatient clinic to a health centre.
Anyway, plenty to think about over the summer months; you might also want to turn your mind to 2019 and the theme for the All Ireland conference – to be held here in Northern Ireland!