Continuing my plans to let interested parties know what I’m up to…
On Monday 22nd, I’ll have a regular BPS (British Psychological Society) teleconference at 9am. Then, as well as clinical work (I’m an NHS clinical psychologist), I will be having meetings with colleagues from FACT (the Liverpool-based Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) to discuss a project concerning wearable devices for veterans and people psychologically affected by conflict.
On Tuesday, I’ll be concentrating on University business.
On Wednesday 24th, I shall be representing the BPS at a meeting of the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) in Amsterdam which will be discussing the coordination of psychologists in research grant calls from the EU.
On Thursday 25th, I shall represent the BPS at a stakeholder roundtable meeting organised by the BMA and chaired by Baroness Sheila Hollins to discuss what collaborative action can be taken following the publication of the BMA Board of Science analysis report, 'Prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal – building a consensus for action'.
The stakeholders at the meeting included representatives from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College of Physicians, NICE, Public Health England, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Royal College of Nursing, the General Medical Council, as well as a number of withdrawal charities (REST Project, BAT, The Bridge Project, ADS, Recovery & Renewal).
- it was agreed that NICE should be encouraged to set up a commission into withdrawal, and that this should result in new guidance for practitioners
- it was agreed that there should be proper training on prescribed drug dependence & withdrawal within the curricula at medical schools
- it was agreed that more research is needed both into optimal withdrawal protocols as well as long term harms, particularly with regard to antidepressants
- there appeared to be almost universal support for a national helpline to provide support to people affected by prescribed drug dependence
The BMA are now going to write up the agreed actions from the meeting and propose next steps.
I’ll then be travelling up to Edinburgh, to attend a debate on the recent BPS report ‘Understanding Psychosis’ with a wide range of stakeholders and experts (not all of whom are likely to share my views).