Usually the months after Christmas drag for me but this year
time has flown past.
We have been busy at the College with our submission of evidence
to the Mental Health Act 1983 review
which is now finished.
I have been testing out our ideas with various groups of members
on my travels and am pleased to see that on the whole we have
captured what the majority of Psychiatrists think.
This is only the first stage of the review, there will be lots
more work to do so do get in
touch if you want to contribute.
Highest ever applicants
As you know we had the highest number of applicants ever to core
training this year.
We aren’t resting on our laurels but are already working hard
for the future. On a bitterly cold day in January I attended the
National PsychSoc conference in Brighton.
Over 130 keen medical students spent their weekend listening to
speakers of a calibre that wouldn’t have been out of place at any
International meeting, thanks to all who gave up their time for
The lowlight of the weekend was the journey home which involved
a rail replacement bus, the only thing that would get me on one of
these is the chance to speak to so many potential recruits.
We also held an event for medical students in London where
Stephen Fry talked eloquently of his own mental illness (I would
just like to casually mention that he agreed to do this when we met
at Buckingham Palace).
The students were enthralled. After the talk he spent time
mixing with them, encouraging them to choose psychiatry and
submitting to numerous selfies.
Recruitment is no good without retention, so this year we will
be looking at how this can be improved. We are going to do this
with NHS Improvement who have already started work.
I think I know what factors are driving people out of the
workforce but if you have anything you want me to address please
get in touch.
A piece of very good news involves the Mental Health Investment
Standard (the MHIS).
Six months ago, I wouldn’t have known what this was but I’m now
extremely excited by the fact that this year’s NHS Planning
Guidance says that all CCGs must meet the MHIS.
The MHIS requires local areas to increase their spending on
mental health services in line with their overall increase in
budget allocation each year.
This means they have to invest in our services and will be
audited on whether they do or not.
We have been instrumental in keeping the spotlight on mental
health spending in every clinical commissioning group (CCG) and
lobbying for stricter rules on how they invest in mental health
As a result of our efforts, we have stopped the MHIS from being
It’s another step towards real parity of esteem for our
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