The Informatics Committee meets around three times a year
to discuss issues relating to the use of technology, data, and
information in health care, as well as mental health informatics in
particular. Members of the Informatics Committee
also represent the College at external events and advise on
matters of special interest to the committee.
Chair: Dr Hashim Reza
Dr Hashim Reza is Consultant Psychiatrist,
Caldicott Guardian and Clinical Director Informatics at the Oxleas
NHS Foundation Trust. He qualified MB BS (1982) at Lahore, Pakistan
and MRCPsych (1989) after training in psychiatry and psychodynamic
psychotherapy at Southampton. He was appointed to an academic
post at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan where he managed
a research database that was the beginning of career in health
informatics. He also trained formally in continuous quality
improvement and has had management responsibilities since returning
to the NHS in 1997. He has served as Clinical Director for Bromley
Mental Health Services (2007-11) and as Clinical Director
Informatics since April 2011.
Hashim has been in the lead role for the development and
implement of the electronic Care Records Service in London since
2005. He currently works as consultant psychiatrist to an acute
admissions ward in Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup.
Contacting the informatics
If you are a member of the College and would like to join the
Informatics Committee, please contact Thomas Rutherfoord at
to discuss the next steps.
If you would like to raise concerns relevant to the Informatics
Committee (for example: electronic patient records, outcome
metrics, data sharing and telehealth), please contact Thomas
Rutherfoord at firstname.lastname@example.org
for further information.
If you are representing an external organisation and would like
to contact a member of the Informatics Committee to discuss a
relevant concern, please contact Thomas Rutherfoord at email@example.com
for make arrangements.
terms of reference
The Informatics Committee will provide a source of advice for
the College on all matters related to health information and
developments in health information management. This will be
achieved through two principal processes:
Commenting and advising on all Reports received by the Committee
on issues related to health information. It is anticipated that the
majority of these will emanate from the NHS Executive and
Department of Health.
Participation by its members on relevant national committees and
working groups concerned with health service information
The Committee will represent the College and provide expert
advice to appropriate national committees concerned with health
informatics (e.g. Academy of College’s Information Group and
National Programme for IT).
The Committee will provide advice to the Dean and relevant
Committees, through PPC, on matters related to professional
standards, education and training in relation to health
The Committee will represent the College on national initiatives
on curriculum development and multi-disciplinary education and
The Committee will disseminate information directly to College
members to increase their knowledge and support them in all areas
of health informatics.
The Mental Health Informatics Group was formed in 1983 and
became a Special Interest Group of the College (Computers in
Psychiatry Special Interest Group or CIPSIG) in 1987. The group
held annual conferences, published a regular newsletter and held
Internet workshops at the College Annual Meetings. In 1995 the
Computers in Mental Health (CIMH) website was created by Martin
Briscoe and Carl Littlejohns. It expanded to contain an extensive
database of computing applications used in Mental Health. An email
discussion group was also created which eventually became known as
CIMH2000. Both website and discussion list were decommissioned in
In the autumn 1999 newsletter (produced by the then chair Martin
Baggaley) membership of CIPSIG was noted to be approximately 250.
Since then the membership has steadily grown to more than 1500 and
continues to rise.
In 2005 a joint paper was produced by the chair of CIPSIG Matt
Evans and the chair of the Informatics Committee Martin Elphick
proposing a structure whereby the two groups could work together
more cohesively. The paper was accepted early in 2006 along with a
change of name from CIPSIG to MHISIG (Mental Health Informatics
Special Interest Group) to reflect the increasing importance of the
formal topic of health informatics in our members' working lives.
In 2014, MHISIG became a Committee of Council.