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

RCPsych in Wales e-Newsletter - Summer/Autumn 2012





Message from Helen Matthews, Chair, RCPsych in Wales

Helen Matthews

Welcome to the Summer 2012 edition - my last Term of Office comes to an end in July.  So much activity in Wales is in active progress, I am not going to do the traditional retrospective veiw of the last four years.



Thank you to everybody who participated in the recent elections - it was pleasing to see so much interest in the different roles. Congratulations to the following Elected Officers:


  • Professor Rob Poole, Chair
  • Dr Helen Holmes, Elected Member
  • Dr Richard Lewis, Elected Member
  • Dr Victor Aziz, Education, Training and Standards Representative


A warm thank you to all of the Executive Committee.  I was particularly pleased we were able to recruit Alan Meudell as our Service User Representative and Sarah Robinson was recently recruited as our Service Carer Representative.  I hope we can in the future enhance our contact with lay and service user bodies.  Mick Dennis and Giles Harborne are standing down after four years service – Mick has been a stalwart in providing input on liaison issues and Giles has brought the perspective of a Clinical Lead.  Keith Lloyd and Ray Jacques have kindly agreed to stay on the Committee to aid continuity; Keith provides an invaluable link with the Welsh Psychiatric Society and Swansea University, Ray has represented the College on initiatives involving Primary Care, including the Measure.  Farewell and thanks to Rob Colgate as Public Education Lead, Rhys Bevan-Jones and Clare Lamb have kindly agreed to take on this role.  We are looking for volunteers to work alongside Rhys and Clare on this challenging area – there are opportunities to candidates to media relations, public participation, cross party political liaison, etc.


My role would have been impossible without the support of Siobhan and Manel, I know they are hoping to further develop the identity of the College in Wales.  A personal thanks to Caryl Harris, my health based secretary, who has made it possible to undertake the role.  I am sure she will appreciate some simplification of my diary.


Finally, best wishes to Rob Poole my successor.  Rob and I have already worked together on some initiatives.  I know Rob has the enthusiasm, commitment and experience to make a successful Chair.


With best wishes for a great Summer, including some special holidays.


Thank you and goodbye





Dr Tom Brown, the new Associate Registrar for Recruitment aims to develop a strategy that targets medical students and foundation doctorsWe are focusing on this area. I am delighted so many people have indicated an interest in the recruitment campaign – the first meeting was held on 13 July 2011.  Details are on our pages of the College website. All are welcome to become involved.  We have a further meeting following the Executive Committee meeting on 6 July 2012 (2.30 - 4.30) in Cardiff.  If you wish to become involved, please contact


Mental Health Act - Approved Clinician

Thank you to everybody who has contacted me re: AC issues.  We have requested an update from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) on the impact of the new arrangements.  The new arrangements have included individual employers taking on a more active role with BCUHB having a responsibility for ensuring quality issues. I was delighted that the College was associated with two successful legal update conferences led by BCUHB.


Mental Health (Wales) Measure

Mental Health (Wales) MeasureThe College has continued to respond and participate in activities covering the Mental Health (Wales) Measure.  The development of a policy department within the College in Wales has been invaluable, as well as Executive Members we have welcomed Manel Tippett as Policy Administrator and Dr Akshey Nair as a Policy Trainee attachment.  We were the first College Division to develop a Trainee Policy role it is being replicated across the College Divisions. 


Mental Health Strategy

The new policy infrastructure has made us better placed to respond notably to the current Mental Health Strategy. 


  • What are your views? 
  • Is the balance right re: prevention – intervention?
  • Will it drive service improvement? jmn
  • Will it encourage psychiatrists to work in Wales?


There are opportunities to respond through your Faculties or directly to the office:


Mental Health Act - Section 136 (CR 159)

During the legal update conferences the Colleges’ guidance on Section 136 was launched. We would welcome reports of any audit activity using these standards.


Welsh Psychiatric Society

RCPsych logo

We have developed a clear synchronistic relationship with the Society with a pattern of regular conferences. A particular thanks to the Society for sponsoring conference prizes and the Undergraduate Psychiatric Society.  The College welcomes the development of a Swansea society to mirror developments in Cardiff

Welsh Psychiatric Society - Evidence in Practic



NSAG and National Forum

The NSAG – Mental Health has been re-launched as a multidisciplinary structure initially hosted by the College in Wales.  The NSAG’s first role will be to respond to the Mental Health Strategy.  Additionally, the NSAG will be offering advice to Health Boards on their separate clinical strategies – the major NSAG’s were invited by the Minister to form a National Forum to undertake this work.


RCPsych in Wales: Policy Update 2012 -  Manel Tippett

With the devolution of more powers to the National Assembly for Wales in 2011, the RCPsych in Wales plans to continue to concentrate on developing the policy more



Thank you to our Clinical Leads for giving us feedback for the College census.  The results are being used to aid reconfiguration for psychiatric training.


Psychiatrist of the Month - Dr Giles Harborne, Consultant Psychiatrist and Chief of Staff, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

An informal and interesting interview with the 'person behind the psychiatrist'


Psychiatrist of the Month - Dr Giles Harborne, Consultant Psychiatrist and Chief of Staff, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health BoardA Consultant in Adult and Rehabilitation Psychiatry in Wrexham since 1995, he works with young people with severe and disabling mental illness, and has established a network of recovery and supported living services across the area.


Dr Harborne moved to live and work in the old North Wales Hospital in 1992, and has been Clinical Director for Mental Health in Wrexham and Flintshire since 2000. His research interests include workforce redesign and the development of independent nurse prescribing.


Chiefs of Staff are clinically qualified practising professionals appointed to lead and manage each of the 11 clinical programmes and to take responsibility for services. They determine their clinical programme group structures and appoint senior leaders for example general managers, heads of nursing, midwifery and/ or head of service and clinical leads. They are practising clinicians in the field encompassed by the CPG specialities. Clinical and managerial leadership development and education supports the Chiefs of Staff, managers, clinical leads and heads of service and is a critical element for development of talent and succession planning.


Full interview.....


Integrated Family Support Service - progress report


Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS) is helping some of the most vulnerable children and families in Wales. It is focussing on families where parents have substance misuse problems that impact on the welfare of their children.


The IFSS team (IFST) is a core team of highly skilled staff from various disciplines. When children are in need, and families are the tipping point, the IFST offers a crucial co-ordinated support the all family more



Bipolar Education Programme Cymru

Bipolar Education Programme CymruBipolar Education Programme Cymru is a group psychoeducation treatment for bipolar disorder that has been funded in Wales by the Big Lottery Fund. It was developed by Nick Craddock, Ian Jones, Danny Smith and the Mood Disorders group at Cardiff University.


The programme comprises of ten sessions, each lasting 90 minutes that are facilitated by CPNs or other mental health more 


Beating Bipolar


Beating is a web-based interactive psychoeducational intervention for bipolar disorder that has been developed by the Mood Disorders Research Team at Cardiff University. This intervention was developed with focus groups of patients, their carers, families and health professionals.... read more


All Wales Child Psychiatry Course

Dr Callista Hettiarachchi, ST6 in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, South Wales Higher Specialty Training Scheme


All Wales Child Psychiatry course is one of the courses available on Learning@NHSWales. The course was designed in 2009 and in more recent in further developed by Higher Trainees taking over editorial responsibilities.


The course is now regularly updated with Presentations form the South Wales Higher Specialty programme and form other training events in the region... read more


Winter School of Psychiatry - volunteers welcome

Research study Cardiff UniversityIn order to promote interest in psychiatry as a career, the First Annual Winter School in Psychiatry will be held in Cardiff on 16/17 November 2012. On Friday 16 November the School will start with a social evening, including a film viewing and informal discussions. The main events will take place on Saturday 17 November which will include talks, discussions and "speed dating" for psychiatric sub-specialties.  This is being organized jointly by academics, students and trainees. The aim is to keep costs to a minimum and give the best experience possible to the medical students who attend. Anyone interested in helping should contact Dr James Walters, Dr Ian Jones or Professor Nick Craddock at Cardiff University.


Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry Conference 2012

Feedback from Miss Laura Riddleston, Medical Student, Cardiff University


The frozen start to February this year saw me making my way to Newcastle, having been offered a bursary to attend the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry Annual Conference. This three day long prestigious event attracts about 450 delegates from as far afield as Canada and Australia- as well as a few lucky medical students!


Professor Kevin Douglas delivered the first keynote lecture of the conference on the topic of violence risk assessment and more


National Centre for Mental Health established for Wales

National centre for mental health established for Wales The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) is Wales’ first Biomedical Research Centre and part of the research infrastructure for Wales funded by NISCHR, Welsh Government.


The Centre, which is headed up by Professor Nick Craddock, has been established to facilitate and undertake high quality mental health research and engage with patients and NHS services throughout Wales. Key to this is the Wales Mental Health Network, which is aiming to recruit 6000 volunteers to take part in research. more


Food for Thought

'Forgiveness' - Dr Victor Aziz, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cwm Taf Local Health Board


Medical Student Career EveningForgiveness was a practice primarily left to matters of faith. Although there is no consensus psychological definition of forgiveness, agreement has emerged that forgiveness is the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and /or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.


Studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold more

Welsh Psychiatric Society and The RCPsych in Wales joint meeting

Welsh Psychiatric Society - Evidence in PracticEvidence in Practice

Friday 11 May 2012



RCPsych logoThe joint meeting of the College in Wales and the Welsh Psychiatric Society was a huge sucess with delegate numbers high and attendance from all areas in Wales.  Hot topics included evidence based suicide prevention and dementia.  As in previous years we had many submissions for the poster session of the event, we were delighted to see many enteries from medical students, some of whom were among the winners. 

Our winners this year were:


New Research Ideas:

1st Helen Daniels

2nd Nosheen Kay Sattar (Medical Student)


Research Findings:

1st Miriam Fine (Medical Student)

2nd Dr Sara Abu-Roomi



1st Dr Ranjini R Rao

2nd not awarded


Details for the next joint Autumn meeting have not yet been confirmed, but you will be notified via email as soon as the date/venue has been set.


Research Study - Looking after Families with Schizophrenia

Dr Ian Jones, Senior Lecturer - Honorary Consultant, Cardiff University


Research study Cardiff UniversityResearchers from Cardiff University would like to interview psychiatrists and psychiatrists in training about their experiences of working with patients and their families with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Of particular interest are the challenges faced by professionals in dealing with the issues around illness running in families. Participation would involve a brief (~30 mins), semi-structured interview about your experiences of working with patients and their families. If you would like to find out more about the study, or would consider taking part, please contact Dr Matilda Bradford -




  • Chair, Faculty of General Adult and Comminuty Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales - closing date Friday 27 July 2012. Job description.


  • Vice Chair, Faculty of General Adulta and Community Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales - closing date Friday 27 July 2012.  Job description


  • 4 x Elected Members, Faculty of General Adult and Community Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales - closing date Friday 27 July 2012.  Job description


  • Regional Representative, Faculty of General Adult and Community Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales - closing date Friday 27 July 2012.  Job description


  • Trainee Policy Attachment - RCPsych in Wales - the attachment gives ST4 - ST6 trainees the opportunity to work within the RCPsych in Wales office using some of the time allocated within their training programme for training in non-direct clinical care.  The attachments are ideally for one year but shorter periods may be considered.  Job description 


Faculty meeting dates

  • NeuroPsychiatry Section, RCPsych.  Thursday 6 & Friday 7 September 2012, Cambridge


  • Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales Cardiff Psychogeriatric Symposium - 3 October 2012 (exact venue to be confirmed).  For further information please contact the RCPsych in Wales


  • 'Older Minds - New Ideas' (previously Cardiff Geriatric symposium).  Wednesday 3 October, Village Hotel, Coryton/Whitchurch, Cardiff


  • Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales.  Friday 5 October, Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff


  • Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales.  Friday 12 October, Llangammarch Wells




RCPsych in Wales Executive Committee dates 2012

The Executive Committee dates for 2012 are confirmed as:


  • Friday 6 July
  • Friday 21 September
  • Friday 30 November


All meetings will take place between 10.30 and 14.30 in the VSAC room, Ground Floor, Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff.


If you would like to raise an item at a meeting, please could you email in the first instance.



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