Your College Needs You
10 May, 2023
Finally the cold wet days of a long winter are behind us. The lighter, brighter days of spring encouraging hope and joy. I hope that each of you are able to enjoy time outside with friends and family.
Yet as I write I am only too aware of the pressures that remain on our services – increase in demand, lack of funding and too few in the workforce to deliver. Thank you for continuing to deliver compassionate, high-quality care to our patients each day.
I am aware that some of our members believe that we should not engage with Government in the way that we do, believing that it will not make any difference, yet I have never known such a crossroads, in mental health strategy, in mental health service delivery and in mental health workforce planning, where we have the opportunity to positively influence. To do this we need a strong psychiatry voice, we need to help others to understand the unique skills that we bring and the importance of strong medical leadership. I appreciate the ask is great, but it is so important to have responses to government consultations e.g., the mental health and well-being strategy, the quality standards and workforce delivery planning, otherwise they will proceed without that input. Our college staff are doing everything in their power to make responding as easy as possible for you but if there is anything else we can do please contact the office team. Engagement and responses to drafts of these strategies to date has effected change, many many thanks to those who have been involved to date. However, there is more to be done, not least in advocating for Psychiatrists, and for services for people with mental ill health, to ensure services are preserved and strengthened and are not sacrificed to an albeit important well-being agenda.
Our Faculties are one of the major ways that we are able to engage with members and learn about concerns, successes and issues. Some of our Faculties are challenged at the moment in terms of executive teams, if you would like to become involved but feel that you cannot meet the time commitments please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a discussion on how we can support you to do this.
Future Direction of the Medical Managers Group
I would like to touch briefly on our Medical Managers Group as I have been concerned to hear that there is talk of a split between this group and the college, nothing could be further from the truth. The Medical Managers Group was initially set up by Government as a way to gain advice from the group of psychiatrists who were involved at a management and leadership level in the strategic and operational delivery of mental health services within their health boards. Government offered a small amount of funding to The College to provide admin support. On discussion with the current chair, Dr Amanda Cotton it became apparent that this important function of the group had reduced over time as the group widened and provided important peer support, development and networking for a wider group of medical managers and clinical leaders. It was agreed with the group that the balance needed to be redressed. A smaller group of Senior Medical Managers (those in AMD equivalent roles) is now liaising again with Scottish Government, and several meetings have already taken place. The wider group will continue to offer peer support, development and networking opportunities, with strong links remaining between the two groups and the College.
As I finish, I would like to remind you of the various upcoming College meetings and thank those responsible for organising them. Please have a look at our meetings and events page to see what is coming up in Scotland in 2023 and I would encourage you to sign up for these meetings.
All the best,