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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR207. Safe patients and high-quality services: a guide to job descriptions and job plans for consultant psychiatrists

Price: £0.00

Approved: Nov 2017

Published: Nov 2017

Status: current

Number of pages: 58

Review by: Nov 2022

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The role of a consultant psychiatrist is changing, reflecting changes to clinical practice, social expectations, the role of other professions and available resources. Psychiatrists have often been at the forefront of such changes and used their skills and knowledge to develop innovative services that better meet the needs of patients and their carers. The guidance in this document is provided to support such changes, innovation and service development.

There is a clear expectation and demand from patients and carers for more time from their psychiatrists, with time to be spent ensuring that the relationship is one of partnership in which the psychiatrist plays a key role in discussing diagnosis, treatment options and treatment plans. To undertake this work to a satisfactory standard requires the psychiatrist to have sufficient time to spend with their patients.

The guidance set out in this document is designed to help psychiatrists and those that manage services determine how to meet these aspirations within the resources available. The guidance is designed with a focus on providing safe and high-quality services for patients and their carers. Services will, of course, vary in different settings and in different parts of the country. However, the parameters set in this document should guide those responsible for the commissioning, provision and delivery of services.


  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Job descriptions and job plans
  • General adult psychiatry
  • Old age psychiatry
  • Addictions psychiatry
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Rehabilitation psychiatry
  • Liaison psychiatry
  • Medical psychotherapy
  • Intellectual disability psychiatry
  • Perinatal psychiatry
  • Eating disorders psychiatry
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Clinical academic psychiatry
  • Appendix: Letter supporting doctors to undertake national work of benefit to healthcare systems
  • References


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Please note: In March 2015, the review date for this report was extended to 2016.