Has it been a year?
01 July, 2022
Time is a funny thing just now, or maybe it has always been and I’m just more aware, the sudden panic of tasks not done, then the realisation that they are only a day old, the events that seem like yesterday, which happened months ago. Reflection and looking forward, a pendulum swinging between the two.
Stepping into the role of Chair brought mixed emotions – anxiety, big shoes to fill, the timing not at all perfect (it never is, is it?), would I let people down? Dread, what next from the pandemic, recovery, the winter ahead and how would our members manage with all the competing demands? Hope and optimism that working with colleagues across Scotland we could continue to improve, tackle challenges (and there have been many) and move forward. Excitement at the possibility of moving forward in offering events and support to our members, influencing policy to improve things for our patients and working with our excellent office staff, officers and members.
It has been a busy and at times challenging year.
We saw Laura Hudson going on maternity leave (congratulations Laura) and Michael come in to cover (thank you Michael). We continued to provide educational events and expanded into the world of podcasts and webinars allowing collaboration with other college areas, as well as continuing with our virtual conferences and our first in person event in May (thank you Angela, Susan and Adam).
We have been involved in major consultations including the Scott review (thank you to members of our Legislative Oversight Forum, Jana, Jude and Roger), the National Care Service response, and standards in Secondary Care Adult Mental Health Services (Thank you to Aidan and our Policy Leads Pavan and Jess as well as all those who took the time to comment). Aidan leaves us this month to a new post in Scottish Government and we wish him all the very best in his new role.
Our media involvement goes from strength to strength, with various members of the college under Laura’s guidance able to use various platforms to talk about mental health and challenge misconceptions.
We have moved forward on our Equality and Diversity work including through the work of our EDC group chaired by Marianna and continue to work through Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership, most recently successfully advocating for a new, rather than a refresh of the Mental Health Strategy and also for a Mental Health Workforce Strategy to be progressed by Scottish Government.
Our Choose Psychiatry in Scotland work continues, with 100% CT fill rates again (thank you Ihsan and team).
Our Faculties continue to meet regularly and progress their work in a very challenging landscape and my thanks go to the Chairs, Vice Chairs and Exec members.
Time to review
It hasn’t all been plain sailing, the College was rightly challenged by stigmatising event marketing. However, the strong working relationships we have allowed us to address this and build on our work with See Me.
We have also seen the impact of the recent AGM on our SAS colleagues, which left many feeling undervalued and marginalised, when the two-thirds majority required that would have given them voting rights was not attained. There was however much support for this, and it appears to have been concern for process that prevented the motion being carried. Our faculties overwhelmingly recognise the service and work of our SAS colleagues and work is ongoing to review and revisit the process.
Finally looking forward there are a number of events over the summer and autumn months that I would like to draw your attention to including the upcoming ‘in person’ members networking event we’re hosting at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh on 25 August, the Autumn Meeting via zoom on 30 September, the Medical Psychotherapy and Eating Disorders faculties ‘in person’ joint conference on the 17/18 November in Perth and the Child and Adolescent Faculty Zoom Conference on 23 November. Please contact a member of the team for further details on any of these events.
The pendulum again reflecting and looking forward. It has been a year, a year filled by challenges, debates, respect, consensus and progress. The RCPsychiS could not function as it does without the input of our members and I look forward to continuing to work with you and represent you over the coming year.