Dr Adrian James elected next President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Press release
08 January 2020

Dr Adrian James has been elected the next President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. 

In a closely fought election, President-elect Dr James saw off challenges from Professor Kam Bhui and Professor Pamela Taylor, who finished second and third respectively.

Current president, Professor Wendy Burn, steps down from the role on 1st July 2020 during the College’s International Congress, having served a full three-year term in office.

Speaking after the result, President-elect Dr Adrian James, said: “I’m humbled and delighted to be elected President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

“This is a pivotal time for Psychiatry. I will focus my energies on achieving parity of esteem, addressing workforce wellbeing and championing diversity and the needs of marginalised groups.

“I would like to thank Professors Bhui and Taylor for such a stimulating and positive campaign. My gratitude to all our members who have placed their trust in me.”

The position of President is the most senior post in the College, with a national and international leadership role in psychiatry. The President also chairs the College’s Council and Board of Trustees.

Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "I am absolutely delighted that Dr Adrian James has been chosen by our members to take over from me in July this year.

“I know that he will bring passion and commitment to the continuation of the work that I have been doing to ensure that care for our patients is improved. I am confident that under his leadership the College will continue to go from strength to strength."

The College revamped the election process this year, with hustings, candidate videos and an online Q&A session with the candidates used for the first time.

Paul Rees, Chief Executive of the College, said: “I would like to congratulate Dr James for winning such a closely contested election. He set out a really positive vision for the future of the specialty of psychiatry and the College.

“I am confident that he will prove to be a worthy successor to our current President, Professor Wendy Burn.

“I would also like to thank the other candidates, Professor Kam Bhui and Professor Pamela Taylor, who played a key role in what has proved to be an enlightening and positive election process – which has engaged psychiatrists across the UK, and globally.”

In the first round of voting, Prof Taylor received 24.57% of the votes, Prof Bhui 37.36% and Dr James 38.08%.

After Prof Taylor’s 2nd preferences were redistributed, Prof Bhui won 45.7% of the votes (1,530) and Dr Adrian James 48.4% (1,619).

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