Election of the Dean of the RCPsych

3 posts in this topic

It's that time again for all those eligible - vote for the next Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. I've copied the candidates' statements below.


DAVE, Dr. Subodh

FRCPsych, MMEd (Clinical Education). Consultant Community Psychiatrist, Derby; Hon. Asso/Professor, University of Nottingham; Foundation Training Programme Director, Trent; Lead, MMedPsych Programme, University of Zambia

The Dean of RCPsych must ensure the welfare of trainees and enable/empower trainers to send a clear message that quality care is not possible without quality training.

As Dean, my key priorities will be

Supporting trainees and trainers

The imposition of the contract is a flashpoint following years of discontent. In Psychiatry this is particularly important as we have major problems in recruitment. Disengagement from training needs to be corrected while ensuring safe service delivery. The danger is that over-regulation will lead to more tick boxes affecting trainees’ morale.

Demoralised trainees and harried Clinical Supervisors need support and as a busy community psychiatrist I understand the pressures they face.

Clinical and educational worlds need to work in conjunction and partnership, not in confrontation. Centering training on patient-care (learning from patient complaints and serious incidents; using evidence to improve patient-care rather than tick-box audits) can create a win-win for employers and trainees and above all for patients.

As Dean, I will work proactively not just with Deaneries, trainees and trainers but also with Trusts to help them deliver training where it is most effective- in clinics and ward rounds.

Excellence in education

  • Make the scientific (neuroscience and psychosocial sciences) basis of training in psychiatry more robust
  • Make training more directly patient-centred
  • Focus on formulation and clinical reasoning skills
  • Support greater opportunities for flexible training and Out Of Programme Experience e.g. research, volunteering, leadership, neurology etc.
  • With respect to Shape of Training, protect specialisms but encourage dual/crossover training and exposure to other specialities
  • Focus on Undergraduate/Foundation teaching and engagement with sixth formers
  • Fight to secure equitable funding for psychiatric training for which there is an urgent need
  • Ensure training and assessment (e.g. Annual Review of Competence Progression) are fair, equitable and consistent across Deaneries
  • Ensure equity in training and educational leadership across groups (Less than full-time, International Medical Graduates (IMGs), SAS doctors)


My passion for education/training and quality improvement is reflected in my work on a) patient-centred curriculum development and assessments at undergraduate and postgraduate levels b ) Expert Patient-led teaching for medical students and mandatory simulation training in Psychiatry for all Foundation trainees in Trent.

As Associate Dean for Trainee Support, I have tackled differential attainment for IMGs by shifting the focus to systemic issues affecting IMG performance, addressing issues with MRCPsych exams, introducing mentoring and celebrating the strengths that IMGs bring to the NHS.

Given my current roles in Undergraduate, Foundation and Postgraduate training, I have the experience and expertise of dealing with multiple stakeholders in the education system (GMC, Deaneries/Local Education and Training Boards, Universities etc). I have a track record of influencing GMC, HEE and BMA on training-related issues. I bring an international outlook, vital, in these days of a shrinking globe.

Psychiatric training needs at its helm a voice with passion, vision and courage. I believe I have the required attributes for this important job.

HALL, Dr Ian

MA MB BChir MPhil DipMgmt FRCPsych. Consultant Psychiatrist and Lead Clinician, East London NHS Foundation Trust

Originally from Manchester, I trained in Cambridge and London.

I currently have two national roles in education in the College. I have been chair of the MRCPsych CASC examination panel since 2012. We have changed the exam to improve validity and reliability, and are instituting changes to make it fair to all candidates whatever their background. I am also the College’s Associate Dean for Advanced Learning and Conferences. We have transformed the International Congress by responding to feedback, greatly improving the quality of the programme leading to major increases in attendance.

I also have national clinical leadership experience. Until 2014 I was elected Chair of the Faculty of Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability, leading the College response to the Winterbourne scandal, and ensuring the essential leadership role that psychiatrists have in delivering high quality care was understood by all. Before that I was the Parliamentary Liaison lead for the College, lobbying at Westminster and party conferences so that all of the major parties now take mental health much more seriously, and accept the need for parity of esteem with other health services.

As a member of the College Council, former Trustee of the College and recent member of the Finance Management Committee, I know how to get things done in the College and influence its future strategy.

My experience as Training Program Director and supervising doctors at Foundation, Core and Specialty levels in my service has taught me the value of listening to trainees to improve the quality of their training.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists plays a pivotal role in ensuring high standards in psychiatry and high quality training. My priorities as Dean would be:

  • Doctors in training make an enormous contribution to the NHS and their hard work must be properly rewarded. There must be robust safeguards to prevent their exploitation
  • Doctors in training have greater input into the way training is developed and delivered
  • College exams change to ensure they are a fair test for all candidates, whatever their background, while maintaining an appropriate high standard
  • Completion of Training in Psychiatry should not require an exit exam
  • Training and assessment must reflect the modern practice of psychiatry, embracing new developments where there is good evidence for their effectiveness
  • Psychiatric specialties must retain their identity so patients have access to psychiatrists with the specialist skills required to meet their needs
  • There is flexibility for Consultants to train in additional areas and get recognition for their skills, i.e. that Credentials are fit for purpose
  • The conferences and courses the College provides really address the development needs of all psychiatrists, involving members as much as possible in the development and delivery of these events
  • We must build on the progress made with recruitment into psychiatry, continuing to improve what we offer to medical students, developing attractive Foundation posts, and providing flexible training.

Finally we must not lose sight of the ultimate aim of education and training in Psychiatry: improving the mental health of our patients now and in the future.

LOVETT, Dr Kate Fiona

Consultant General Adult Psychiatry, Devon Partnership Trust. Head of School of Psychiatry, Health Education England, South West Peninsula

I studied Medicine at the Universities of St. Andrews and Manchester. Having been awarded a Distinction in Psychiatry at finals I trained as a Psychiatrist in the Northwest obtaining the MRCPsych in 1995. I completed an MSc in Clinical Psychiatry in 1997 researching the role of ovarian steroids in postnatal depression. I trained both full time and flexibly completing specialist training in 2001.

I have a longstanding interest in training and education. I have been undergraduate Psychiatry lead for Peninsula Medical School and Training Programme Director for Adult Psychiatry. I completed a Postgraduate Certificate of Clinical Education with Distinction in 2008. I served on the Education, Training and Standards Committee at the Royal College of Psychiatrists between 2010 and 2014. I am currently a co-opted member of the South West Division. I was appointed as CASC (Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies) examiner in 2008 and now undertake role of lead examiner. I was appointed Head of School for the Peninsula Deanery in 2012. I am responsible for quality assurance, recruitment and assessment and am experienced in chairing board meetings and panels.

I have strong communication skills and am comfortable using social media and digital broadcasting formats. I am a trained mediator. I have delivered training on educational supervision and social media for the College and organized conferences. I am able to span organizational boundaries.

My drive to develop systems that support compassionate care and recovery fuels my educational work and is underpinned by values of equity and fairness.

As a College we need to support all Psychiatrists to achieve their professional potential.

  1. Selecting Registrars
    We need to
    • Understand the variation in numbers of doctors entering psychiatric training and support outliers to strengthen their undergraduate psychiatry programmes.
    • Ensure Psychiatry is at the heart of the Foundation programme and that high quality placements are created and maintained.
    • Have a credible presence within medicine by taking the physical health of our patients seriously and develop a curriculum that reflects the skill set needed.
    • Be a visible presence within medicine and challenge stigma within the hidden curriculum.
  2. Training Registrars
    We need to
    • Reform workplace based assessments to reflect what we do in practice and ensure they become valued learning tools rather than seen as tick-boxes.
    • Embed quality improvement methodology throughout training.
    • Develop quality simulation training.
    • Find solutions to maintain training opportunities when services are commissioned from non-traditional NHS providers.
  3. Supporting Registrars
    We need to
    • Understand differential attainment by International Graduates and devise strategies to support completion of training.
    • Adopt flexible approaches to careers that embrace acadaemia, other medical experience and life outside work.
    • Support a culture that values our junior doctors by strongly acknowledging their contribution to patient care.
  4. Maximising Professional Development
    We need to
    • Develop credentialing to enable workforce flexibility whilst maintaining high professional standards after completion of training.
    • Meet needs of those mid-career to “continue well” as retirement age increases.
    • Influence mental health training outside our immediate profession.

I would be proud to represent you.


PhD MRCPsych. Consultant Psychiatrist, 2gether NHS foundation Trust, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

I am a General Adult Psychiatrist working in Gloucestershire across a 24/7 crisis team and an acute inpatient ward. I have been an active member of the college for many years: on the Psychiatric Trainees Committee (then the CTC), as an elected member for the South West, as Deputy Regional Advisor, Regional Advisor and currently as SW rep on the Education and Training Committee. I am an editorial board member and the visual images editor of the Psychiatric Bulletin.

Whilst Regional Advisor, I sat on Severn’s school board and chaired its quality committee. I still sit on Severn’s school board as simulation lead. I am the module coordinator and co-facilitator for the Severn Deanery Advanced Communication Skills Module on the core course, a two year course over three full days and ten half days that uses simulation extensively.

I have a particular interest in supervision. I provide supervision training and co-authored Severn’s supervision standards. As RA I defended provision of time in consultant job plans for supervision.

I am a motivational interviewing trainer and regularly train MI in the UK and abroad, e.g. for the PREMIUM project in India and for a European Union project for the Georgian criminal justice system in Tbilisi. I am a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and was chair of its board during its transition from an informal network to a US based international educational charity in 2009.

I was college trainer of the year in 2014.

At this point, the consequences of the new contract imposed on juniors is difficult to predict: it has the potential to undermine a lot of the good work on recruitment done over the last five years under the current Dean.

It’s not the best of times in any case. Trainers these days can feel like the harassed servant of two masters: the regulators of medical education, the GMC and HEE, publish technical documents that seem to compete in making training and appraisal ever more atomised into auditable competencies to be measured, recorded and accounted for. Integrating providers in the private and third sector adds to the difficulties. Unsurprisingly, trainees’ passion for simply pursuing excellence in their chosen career sometimes gets driven out along the way. I suspect too that there is a paradox in building a fragmented, procedurally driven training that isn’t learner centred and hoping it can produce doctors who are holistic, patient centred and containing of their own patients’ anxieties.

I’d love to be able to promise lighter touch regulation, whether for trainers, trainees or jobbing or retired psychiatrists. But I’m under no illusion that the college can deliver this (it can’t). I also know that sometimes the role of the Dean is to act as the vessel through which the GMC delivers its message to college members (I guess someone has to). But I’m clear about the values that I would bring to this job: excellence over competence; professionalism over managerialism; and humanism over technocracy.

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subodh dave is my vote

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Congratulations to Dr Kate Lovett who has been elected RCPsych Dean.

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