Dr Peter Carpenter summarises the NDPSIG's recent activities
03 October, 2022
The work of the NDPSIG Executive Committee in the last year
It is now a year since I became chair of the Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry SIG [NDPSIG] and it feels like a lot has happened!
We appear to be emerging from a COVID crisis, to face an exhausted health and social service with waiting lists for specialist ADHD and ASD clinics that are astronomical putting horrendous pressure on all teams and other staff dealing with specialist assessments.
What has amazed me is how far we have continued to work despite the pressures and have developed services and ourselves over this last year.
The task for me has been to ensure that all parts of the college, including all faculties include neurodevelopmental disorders in their considerations on clinical practice. For me the good news has been that the new Autism Champion, Conor Davidson, appointed by our President, has now got himself established and known in his role and is, I feel, producing change in the college. I must congratulate him for his work.
The ID faulty is starting meetings with the NDPSIG to explore how we work together on neurodevelopmental disorders given the faculty deals exclusively with those with neurodevelopmental disorders who have intellectual disability. We hope to have an agreement sorted by Spring and may have a joint meeting then. However due to external pressures we have had to cancel our conference due this 24th October.
There is now an ID training run through training scheme where ID training is selected during core training applications. The ID CCST cannot be changed at present but those embarking on this are likely to want experience in non-ID neurodevelopmental disorders and local offers of such experience are likely to fall on fertile soil.
I am keen to support the development of skills in neurodevelopmental psychiatry in all clinicians. The new mandatory Oliver McGowan training in autism is being rolled out. As part of this we are encouraging the College to support the development of training tailored specifically for Psychiatrists. In addition the NHSE with HEE are supporting the development of a national community of practice for Specialist Autism Teams, probably similar to that now occurring in Wales. I was delighted that the SIG was able to join with the Wales Autism Community of Practice on 7 April for a highly successful joint educational meeting. I hope we have more opportunities for such joint meetings with other groups.
Within the College the CCQI are looking at how to set quality standards for specialist autism services.
We are trying to ensure that that experts by experience are able to comment on some of the College work. The College equality network includes neurodevelopmental disorders in its work, as will the programme on restrictive practices. CASC is developing a training programme around NDD In addition we have tried to become involved in some of the college policy work such as that on eating disorders.
Outside of our College we are supporting the development of a Neurodevelopmental Disorders network within the Royal College of General Practitioners. We hope that this network blossoms as General Practitioner support of neurodevelopmental disorders (such as by prescribing for ADHD) is so important for the operation of any psychiatric service.
All of this has relied on the enthusiasm of committee members and taken a lot of energy for which I must thank all those who have agreed to be committee members. I am missing the valuable input of psychiatric trainees into our groups, since our last member became a consultant. I am particularly keen to get more trainees involved with our academic committee.
I would be delighted to hear from any trainees, specialty doctors or consultants who are interested in supporting the work of the SIG. If interested please contact me at email@example.com.
Dr Peter Carpenter
Chair of the RCPsych Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry Special Interest Group