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

RCPsych eNewsletter - December 2015

College news


Other news






Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Professor Sir Simon Wessely

College news

President's Update

The only question regarding the result of the BMA’s ballot of junior doctors was the size. Would it be on a par with a North Korean election result, or merely a 1997 size New Labour landslide? In the event it was on a North Korean scale, the only difference being this one was real. An overwhelming mandate. It’s not a surprise. I know from my own conversations with trainees, junior doctors and consultants over the past few weeks, the depth of feeling and concern out there. I know that no doctor ever threatens to withdraw their labour lightly.



Psychs on Bikes
Psychs on Bikes: Sustainability guide





RCPsych Awards
RCPsych Awards: Professor Sir Simon Wessely
















Improving Clinical Software









Medfest 2016

Medfest 2016





Dr Lynne M Drummond

Dr Lynne M. Drummond


















Member Job Posts
Jobs: Posts for Members

















College in the Media
RCPsych: Media Centre














RCPsych in Parliament
The College in Parliament





Kaleidoscope: This month's research from the British Journal of Psychiatry.





This Month's Poll

Poll: your views wanted









This Month's Quiz
Quiz: Test your knowledge

News from the College

Psychs on Bikes cycle 100km to launch the new Sustainability Guide

Four of our psychiatrists, Adrian James, Phil Davison, Michael Pearce and Julian Mason cycled 100km from Oxford to London on 27 October as part of the launch of the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health’s (JCPMH) Guidance for Commissioners of Financially, Environmentally, and Socially Sustainable Mental Health Services. The Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Nursing and five other leading organisations in mental health made a commitment to a sustainable future for mental health.



Winners of the RCPsych Awards 2015

The winners of this year’s Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards were announced at the annual ceremony – now in its seventh year - at the college on November 10, which was hosted by the presenter The Reverend Richard Coles.  Some 300 guests working in psychiatry and mental health attended – the largest guest list to date.  The full list of winners can be read here. Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Professor Peter Tyrer from Imperial College’s Centre for Mental Health was journalist and author, broadcaster and former political aide, Alistair Campbell. The film made to accompany Peter’s Lifetime Achievement Award can be viewed here.



Top 20 Trainee Membership benefits

The Membership department has produced a new leaflet listing the top 20 benefits that College membership offers Trainees and PMPT. The leaflet can also be accessed from the PMPT registration website.



Equality for Mental Health campaign and the Spending Review

On 2 November, College President Professor Sir Simon Wessely joined forces with a number of individuals, including Norman Lamb MP and Alastair Campbell, to launch the Equality for Mental Health campaign. This was a cross-party, cross-society campaign, aimed at persuading the Government before its Spending Review, to help reduce the suffering of those with mental ill health by increasing investment into the provision of mental health services. Read more...


Initial details of the Spending Review regarding the NHS can be found at  Gov.UK and our College response can be viewed here.



Request from the Informatics Committee to rate your EPR system and help improve clinical software

The CCIO Leaders Network, the independent network of NHS clinical information leaders, and Digital Health Intelligence, the intelligence service on UK health IT, are asking clinicians across the NHS to confidentially share their views on what is good and what is bad about the key electronic patient record and clinical software they use. The project, which runs to the end of March, is the first time a survey of this kind has been carried out nationally across all areas of the health service.  This builds on the 2013 National Mental Health System Usability Study. Please take a few minutes to rate the software.



Medfest 2016

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is pleased to announce the return of Medfest – the UK’s only medical film festival. Run by UK Psychiatry trainees, it aims to increase interest in Psychiatry and to inspire others through the use of film. Now in its sixth year, the theme of Medfest 2016 is ‘Framing Trauma: Conflict and Medicine’. The team are in the early stages of planning and are keen to get interested parties on board in our venture to make 2016 the best year yet.


This month’s exclusive eNewsletter Interview

In this month's exclusive interview Dr Kuljit Bhogal speaks to Dr Lynne M. Drummond, Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust's Specialist Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Services.


College posts and external opportunities for members

  • Annual Elections – Council
    Members, Specialist Associates and Fellows of the College are reminded of their rights in connection with the forthcoming elections for the vacancies on Council for two elected Members or Specialist Associates and two elected Fellows.  The term of office is five years.  Nomination forms are available from Sue Duncan, email
  • Annual Elections — the Other Honorary Officers
    Members, Fellows and Specialist Associates of the College are reminded of their rights in connection with the forthcoming elections for the offices of Dean, Registrar and Treasurer.  All Honorary Officers, with the exception of the Dean and Treasurer, are eligible for re-election.  Nomination forms are available from Sue Duncan, email
  • Vacancy for MRCPsych Paper A Panel Chair
    A vacancy has arisen for a new Chair of the MRCPsych Paper A Panel to take up office in 2016.  The MRCPsych Paper A Panel Chair is responsible for all aspects of the production of the MRCPsych Paper A questions and final selection of the draft Examination Paper for approval by the Examinations Sub-Committee.

  • Opportunities for Higher Trainees to gain experience of College Policy Work

    There are two opportunities for Trainee Psychiatrists ST4-ST6 to be involved with and support the policy development work of the College, for a 12 month.  One is as a Trainee attachment to the RCPsych Policy Unit in London and the other is as a Trainee attachment to the RCPsych in Scotland.

  • Retirees: Do you have Wise Words to share?
    Are you approaching the end of your career? Do you wish you could pass on some of the insights that you have learned? The e-newsletter team is looking for soon to be or just retired members to take part in our new feature Wise Words. We would like to interview you about your reflections on your career and to capture any advice you have for those who have just started their careers in psychiatry.  The interview format will be similar to the fifteen-minute interview articles that have been published in recent e-newsletters.  If you are interested in taking part or know someone that might be interested, please contact for further information.


College in the media

The College has had good coverage in national, regional and trade media in November around a variety of issues, including the junior doctors’ dispute and the impact of welfare benefits.  Here is a selection:



College in Parliament – keep yourself updated

The Political Week

Interested in politics and public affairs? Want to know how the Royal College is making sure the voice of psychiatrists' and the patients are heard in Parliament? Happy to have one more email filling up your inbox each Friday? If you answer yes to all these questions please email and he will add your email to the list of people who receive our weekly 'political week' email. The Political Week contains a short (normally two sides) brief sent out every Friday on all the Parliamentary activity regarding psychiatry and mental health. This will complement the monthly update on Parliamentary work that will be included in future editions of this newsletter.


December’s Kaleidoscope column in the British Journal of Psychiatry

This December’s Kaleidoscope column in the British Journal of Psychiatry looks at the Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS), the first RCT of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the ROAMER international consortium, and sugar.


This month’s poll: your views wanted

The new junior doctor contract will jeopardise the recruitment and retention of psychiatrists. Vote now.


Result of last month’s poll

When you send a letter to a GP, do you usually send a copy to your patient?

63% said Yes,  35% said No; and 2% had no opinion



Win a College mug in our monthly quiz

All questions true or false; full answers will be in December’s Kaleidoscope column in the BJPsych.

  1. The ‘TADS’ study, the first randomised controlled trial of psychoanalytic psychotherapy (PP) in depression, has shown significant benefits for this psychological intervention, but they appear to rapidly decay with time.
  2. Studies on sugar consumption have shown it can make alterations to brain reward functioning analogous to those induced by illicit drugs.
  3. Preventative family intervention work for children of adults with diagnosed anxiety disorders has shown benefit only in those already displaying similar symptomatology to their parents.

Please enter your name and email address along with the questions you answered as true. Try the quiz.

Answers to last month's quiz - how well did you do?

  1. Three-year follow-up data from 2013’s controversial OCTET study has shown that over the longer timeframe evaluated, Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) do appear effective. False, they did not appear to make any difference.
  2. Following on parallel work in adolescents, a large (700,000) adult cohort study has shown that a low resting pulse rate and blood pressure are associated with a greater risk of violent crime. True, several theories on the cause/interpretation of physiological signals and their interplay with antisocial behaviour exist, though none are proven.
  3. A sample of 500 representative Americans found that, when presented with vignettes on hypothetical major life events, they believed that suicide was more acceptable if one suffered a disability. True, even those who had, or had family members with, disabilities, thought suicide was more acceptable in such circumstances.

Congratulations to Ollie White for winning November’s quiz.


RCPsych Events

  • Lecture postponed - ‘Professional Students of Destruction: Psychiatry and War, 1914-1945’ by Professor Joanna Bourke.
    This was due to take place on Tuesday 1 December 2015, but has now been postponed until early Spring.  We will let you know the new date once it has been confirmed.   



CQC Survey
CQC: Community Mental Health Survey






Faculty of Medical Leadsership and Management
National Medical Director: Clinical Fellow Scheme






General Medical Council
GMC: fifth Annual Report




NHS England
NHS England: mental health services passport for children



The King's Fund
The King's Fund: mental health provision


College of Policing
College of Policing: national guidance on mental health

News from other organisations and the NHS

Care Quality Commission’s Community Mental Health Survey

A survey of over 13,000 people who were treated and cared for in the community for their mental health problems has shown ‘no notable improvement’ in the last year and in some questions, a slightly higher proportion of people have reported a poor experience.



Applications for National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme now open

The National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme for doctors in training in England is sponsored by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh and managed by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. The scheme has been established to fast track and support those doctors in training who present with the clearest potential to develop as medical leaders of the future, providing them with a unique opportunity to spend 12 months in a national healthcare-affiliated organisation outside of clinical practice. The Royal College of Psychiatrists is one of the organisations in the scheme, and applications for 2016/17 are now open.



The GMC - The state of medical education and practice in the UK

The GMC has launched its fifth annual report on the state of medical education and practice in the UK. It draws on GMC and other data to set out what is happening in relation to the education and practice of doctors, and considers some of the current challenges facing the medical profession and the systems in which it works.



NHS England’s new mental health services passport for children and young people

NHS England, the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services have published 'Building the right support', a national three-year plan to develop community services and close inpatient facilities for people with a learning disability and/or autism.  The College’s response can be viewed here.



King’s Fund report on issues facing mental health provision

The King’s Fund published ‘Mental health under pressure’ , which reported on the issues facing mental health service provision. The College’s response can be viewed here.




Police guidance on mental health goes public for consultation

The College of Policing has published new draft national guidance clarifying the police's role in dealing with incidents involving people in mental health crisis, and is now seeking feedback on this draft. The consultation is open until 1 January, 2016.



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