Gatherings of more than 100 people cancelled by the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Press release
10 March 2020

Gatherings of more than 100 people have been cancelled or postponed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists as it seeks to protect its members, staff and patients receiving treatment for mental illness from coronavirus.

The event cancelled so far is the Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry & Trainees Annual Conference, which was due to take place on Wednesday 18 March. 

The events postponed are:

  • International Women’s Day event for secondary school pupils on Thursday 12 March
  • Physician Associates in Mental Health Conference on Tuesday 17 March

The College will cancel or postpone gatherings over 100 people scheduled to take place before the 16 April and will be reviewing its stance on a week-by-week basis.

Paul Rees, CEO of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “It is with deep regret that we have decided to take the unprecedented action and postpone large College events.

“The safety of our members, staff and patients is of paramount importance and we will do all we can to protect them from coronavirus.”

From Monday, the College’s 240 staff will have to work from home two days a week and be asked to observe social distance guidelines when they are in the office. This will also be reviewed on a weekly basis. 

Staff are also being advised not to travel for meetings and to avoid international travel for work reasons over the next four weeks.

Prof Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “The decision to postpone large gatherings hasn’t been taken lightly, and is the result of conversations with College officers, members, staff and patients.”

The College’s annual International Congress, due to take place at the end of June, is still scheduled to go ahead. 

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