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

RCPsych in Wales e-Newsletter - Winter/spring 2012





Message from Helen Matthews, Chair, RCPsych in Wales

Helen Matthews Happy New Year! and Blwyddn Newydd Dda!


Firstly, thank you to everybody for their support in 2011.  Welcome to our 6th Edition of the RCPsych in Wales newsletter.


During 2011 the College in Wales has been an integral part of the changing face of Mental Health services across Wales.  We fully contributed to the consultation process of the Welsh Assembly Government and worked collaboratively with external organisations such as the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru to provide joint responses. This collaborative working will continue through 2012 and can only strengthen our voice within the mechanisms of Welsh Government.


The RCPsych in Wales strives to forge strong relationships with other colleagues within the mental health arena.  We have held meetings with Health Inspectorate Wales and WAMH in PC/RCGP's to continually improve the quality of service for people affected by Mental Health illness. 


2012 promises to be another busy year with the continued consultation process of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure and Regulations.  Focus will also be on Recruitment and Retention across the UK.  The College in Wales will be working at the forefront of these.


Finally, a personal thank you to Siobhan Conway - especially for organising the successful Wrexham meeting in December and to Manel Tippett for her skilled support during a challenging phase in Mental Health.


Best wishes





'Real Evidence - Real Practice' joint conference, Wrexham, December 2011

'Real Evidence - Real Practice' joint conference, Wrexham, December 2011At the end of the year it was particularly pleasing to visit North Wales for our academic meeting hosted jointly with the Welsh Psychiatric Society and in association with the BPS. We were delighted that the new Minister for Health and Social Services could open the conference. (opening speech, Mrs Lesley Griffiths, AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, Welsh Assembly Government)


The meeting was very well attended and we were delighted to see a high number of submissions from our trainees and medical students in the poster presentation competition.


The winners of the poster competition were:



New Research Idea

1st Prize - Liz Forty

2nd Prize - Ben Shooter - (read abstract)


Research Findings

1st Prize - Jessica Lowe

2nd Prize - Natasha Friend



1st Prize - Abigail Legg - (read abstract)

2nd Prize - Dr Lakshmanan


Section 136 and Mental Health Legislation Conferences

As in previous years, two update conferences on legal issues will be held free for participants. The RCPsych Section 136 guidance will be launched in Wales during the conferences, which will be held on 28 March in Newport and 7 March in Wrexham. For further information, please contact Heulwen Hughes



Mental Health (Wales) Measure

Welsh Assembly Government logoAs you are aware, a series of contultations is underway. Please send your feedback to Manel Tippett, Policy Administrator: 


Current deadlines are:


- Draft Code of Practice Parts 2 & 3, Mental Health Wales Measure: closing date 16 January 2012

- Mental Health (Primary Care Referrals and Eligibility to conduct Primary Mental Health Assessments) (Wales) Regulations: closing date 27 January 2012

- Children and Young People's Continuing Care Guidance: closing date 13 March 2012

- Mental Health (Secondary Mental Health Services) (Wales) Order 2012: closing date 14 March 2012



Advisory Structures

The New Minister has initiated an All Wales Forum where the National Specialist Advisory Groups (NSAG's) have a seat. The Forum will advise Local Health Boards (LHB's) on their proposed strategies.  This gives NSAG's an opportunity to directly offer advice to the NHS as well as Government. In response to this enhanced role, the NSAG - Mental Health will develop into a more strucutred multidisciplinary body bringing together clinical and academic expertise. The RCPsych will continue to have a key role within the NSAG.



Recruitment and Retention

The College in Wales is striving to have this area as one if its key objectives over the next year. We have hosted a seminar involving the Deanery, Clinical Directors and Academic Departments. Tangible benefits include supporting the high profile inclusion of students and trainees in academic events. Obviously we shall be part of the whole College's campaign in this area.



College Elections

2011 saw us welcome in our new President, Sue Bailey and Treasurer, Nick Craddock. Locally we have elections for the Chair, Vice Chair, and two Elected Members. A personal warm thanks to Mick Dennis and Giles Harborne who have come to their end of Office. Equally, thank you to Keith Lloyd and Ray Jacques for offering to stay on the Executive for a further two years to enhance continuity. We are also grateful to Richard Williams for continuing to represent for a further year on the Education, Training and Standards Committee. 


For further information on the vacancies on the RCPsych in Wales Executive please email.




The RCPsych in Wales now has a full complement of Regional Advisors and Regional Representatives - for full details of these, our Executive Commmittee and Clinical Directors in Wales please see the Who's Who document. Additionally we are supporting a College survey on workforce. 



RCPsych in Wales - Policy Update 2011, Manel Tippett

The Mental Health (Wales) Measure has dominated policy work in Wales since the Meansure's inception in 2010.  The overall aim of the Measure is to provide more efficient services in Primary Care for patients experiencing mental health problems, and to provide service users in secondary care greater ownership of, and support with, their treatment and recovery.  The Measure was given Royal Ascent on 15 December 2010 and in 2011, a number of Regulations relating to the Measure were drafted and sent out for public consultation.....Read more...



Welsh Language Task and Finish Group - request for input

Welsh Language Task and Finish Group - request for inputOn behalf of the Ministerial Task and Finish Group on Mental Health and Service User Language needs, Dr Elin Walker-Jones is requesting your assistance.  She would be grateful if you could complete a questionnaire regarding assessment practices. A database is being compiled of available Welsh medium resources by asking pracitioners in Wales how they approach working with Welsh speaking service users.  The database will be available to all practitioners so that information regarding to availability of Welsh medium assessments will be easily accessible and will also help to identify which resources need to be prioritised for translation.


The results of this exercise will be fed back to the Welsh Government, in the hope that we can access funding to develop appropriate resources. This information will remain confidential - participants names will not be disclosed. The questionnaire is available in English and Welsh.  Please complete the one in the language in which you read and write comfortably. Completed questionnaires should be returned to Elin Walker-Jones as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your assistance. 



Psychiatrist of the Month - Dr Huw Griffiths, Consultant Psychiatrist/Clinical Director, Cwm Taf Local Health Board

Psychiatrist of the Month - Dr Huw Griffiths, Concultant Psychiatrist/Clinical Director, Cwm Taf Local Health BoardAn informal and interesting interview with the 'person behind The Psychiatrist'.


Huw Griffiths was born and raised in Aberdare and went to school at Rhydfelen before going to medical school in Cardiff. 


After house jobs he completed vocational training for General Practice and became a GP in Rhondda for 3 years before changing track and training as a psychiatrist....Read more...


Why Choose Psychiatry?  Dr Helen Matthews, Chair, RCPsych in Wales

GMC: Revalidation date set for 2012 and responses to consultationA personal and interesting article on one psychiatrists path through medicine:


"He will soon realise that he can't walk when he gets into his wheelchair" - this was my 'supervision' from a senior clinician in a spinal injuries unit. I had gone into medicine wishing to work as a rehabilitation physician following a wealth of experience as a teenage volunteer.... Read more...



We are delighted to announce the Joint meeting of the Welsh Psychiatric Society and the RCPsych in Wales.

RCPsych logoWelsh Psychiatric Society'Evidence in Practice' will take place on Friday 11 May 2012 at the Village Hotel in Swansea.

Provisional talks will include:

  • Clinical and public health
  • Schizophrenia
  • Dementia
  • Primary Care


For further information or to book a place please contact Paulina Lawniczak.




Faculty meeting dates

  • RCPsych Addictions Annual Conference, 3 - 5 May 2012 (Cardiff - exact venue to be confirmed).  For further information please contact the RCPsych in Wales
  • Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting - Friday 27 April 2012, Llangammarch Wells.  Further information
  • Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry, RCPsych in Wales - Friday 20 April 2012, Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff. For further information please contact RCPsych in Wales
  • Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry joint meeting with the British Geriatric Society 16 May 2012, Llandudno (exact venue to be confirmed.  For further information please contact the RCPsych in Wales
  • 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



RCPsych in Wales Executive Committee dates 2012

The Executive Committee dates for 2012 are confirmed as:


  • Friday 16 March
  • 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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