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


RCPsych in Scotland

Who's who / Contact details

The RCPsych in Scotland has about 1195 Members, Fellows, Affiliates and Pre-Membership Trainees. The administrative office of the RCPsych in Scotland is located in Edinburgh at the Royal College of Physicians on Queen Street.

Alastair Cook






Chair: Dr Alistair Cook

Alastair has been Associate Medical Director for Mental Health and Learning Disability Services in NHS Lanarkshire since 2002 and was appointed Director of Medical Education for the Board in 2010.

After training in SE Scotland Alastair took up a General Adult Psychiatry Consultant job with an interest in liaison psychiatry in Lanarkshire in 1997. He was quickly attracted to move into medical managemant as lead clinician at Hartwoodhill Hospital in 1999, followed by the Associate Medical Director role.

Alastair was deputy regional adviser for the West of Scotland and chaired the Scottish Division workforce group in the lead up to MMC and the foundation of the speciality training board for mental health. He also chaired the NHSQIS steering group for the development of Integrated Care Pathways.

From 2007 to 2010 Alastair was seconded full time to the Scottish Government Health Workforce Directorate where he led on the development of the "Reshaping Medical Workforce" project, was part of the UK medical education scrutiny group and the editorial team for the Gold Guide and was also responsible for the review of consultant appointment regulations leading to the formation of the external adviser system.


Vice-Chair: Dr John Taylor

John Taylor has been a Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist since 1997.  Initially working in Glasgow South, he moved to Ayrshire and Arran in 2007 to take up post as Associate Medical Director for Mental Health Services. 

He has a keen interest in the development of services and training and continues to be an educational supervisor for higher trainees.  Since 2008, he has been the Secondary Care Appraisal Lead for Ayrshire and Arran and has been a NES tutor for appraiser training since 2010.

Prior to being Vice-Chair, he has been an elected member of the Executive Committee of the RCPsych in Scotland since 2007.

His time continues to be split equally between clinical work and his other roles.

David Christmas Picture


Financial Officer: Dr David Christmas

David Christmas is a Consultant Psychiatrist in the Advanced Interventions Service, a Scottish National Specialist Service for the assessment and treatment of chronic, treatment-refractory depression and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He has been in current post since 2006. Prior to this, he was a clinical lecturer in the University of Dundee (2003-2006), and he did his basic specialist training in Forth Valley.

His research interests include neuroimaging of mood disorders, and the neurosurgical treatment of chronic, treatment-refractory mood disorders and OCD. He is a proponent of evidence-based psychiatry.

Prior to being Financial Officer, he has been an elected member of the Executive Committee of the RCPsych in Scotland since 2007. He also chairs a small group advising the Committee on issues relating to suicide and suicide prevention.

Meetings Secretary: Dr Polash Shajaham

Polash is a Consultant Psychiatrist for NHS Lanarkshire and holds an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer position with the University of Glasgow.


Completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh in 1989 he went on to complete basic psychiatric training at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. He was employed by the Medical Research Council as Clinical Scientist based at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital studying brain electrophysiology, scanning and transcranial magnetic stimulation. In 1999 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer and Consultant Psychiatrist by the University of Newcastle.  He returned to Lanarkshire in 2001 where he is responsible for a busy catchment area (Bellshill, Lanarkshire) although retains a keen interest in academic psychiatry and various mental health topics including antipsychotic effectiveness, polypharmacy and physical health issues in mental illness.


His main research interest is psychiatric hospital outcomes based research.

RCPsych in Scotland Office Staff

Karen Addie, RCPsych in Scotland Policy Manager, direct dial: 0131 344 4964


Karen’s responsibilities include:

  • The RCPsych in Scotland’s communications with other agencies, including the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Mental Health and the Scottish Government
  • All press, media and public affairs work
  • Consultation responses and submitting them by deadline
  • Liaising with the Policy Unit in the College
  • Managing the office and staff

Angela Currie, RCPsych in Scotland Senior Administrator, direct dial: 0131 344 4967

(part-time Wednesday/Thursday/Friday)

Angela looks after the following areas:

  • Executive Committee
  • Distinction Awards Committee
  • Division Financial monitoring
  • RCPsych in Scotland Fellowship nominations
  • RCPsych in Scotland Elections
  • RCPsych in Scotland Meetings
  • Support to faculties

Rebecca Middlemiss, Policy Administrator, direct dial: 0131 344 4966

Rebecca is responsible for:


  • Providing support to the Faculties in Scotland of the RCPsychiS including organising conferences
  • Assisting with Policy and Parliamentary duties
  • Retired Psychiatrists Group
  • Working Retired Psychiatrists Group

Amanda Kneller, RCPsych in Scotland Senior Administrator, direct dial: 0131 344 4965

Amanda looks after the following areas:

  • Executive Committee
  • Division Financial monitoring
  • Annual RCPsychinS Fellowship nominations
  • RCPsych in Scotland Elections
  • RCPsych in Scotland Meetings
  • Mental Health Act Training (Section 22)

How to Contact Us

All Officers, Faculties in Scotland, and Committees should be contacted via the RCPsych in Scotland Office:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland

12 Queen Street (1st Floor)



Tel: 0131 220 2910

Fax: 0131 220 2915


Further details about The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, its Executive Committee, future meetings and events can be obtained from Karen Addie or Angela Currie.



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