Dr JS Bamrah – Consultant in General Adult and Old Age Psychiatry; Medical
Director, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust; Honorary Reader, University of Manchester.
Former Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust’s top doctor Dr JS Bamrah, known as ‘JS’, is seeking to become the next president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych).
Medical Director Dr JS Bamrah will contest an internal election in a bid to succeed Professor Sir Simon Wessely.
In his pitch for the role, the consultant psychiatrist tells colleagues: “Psychiatry is the most exciting of all medical specialities.
“I promise to serve you well, to address the many challenges we face, work on new areas of need and make parity [of esteem] a reality.”
Born in the East African state of Tanzania, Dr Bamrah studied medicine in India, a period he says stoked his enthusiasm for psychiatry and belief in NHS principles.
He says: “Of course there have been challenges, especially in recent years as I try to balance aspirations of colleagues while we struggle with increasing demand and diminishing NHS budgets. I understand these pressures as a clinician and manager.”
Outlining his presidential manifesto, Dr Bamrah pledges to:
I have experience in several policy areas and across multi-professional and leadership domains.
I’ve served the College at several levels: Council (2004-11); Director of CPD (2007-2012; designed and delivered a modern CPD policy and online submission); Regional Adviser (2002-2007); I served the College’s and BMA’s Ethics (and other) committees for many years.
Director BMA (2016-); Council observer/member, BMA (2011-); Secondary care Consultant, Tameside & Glossop Commissioning Group (2013-16); Executive Director, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (2013-); Trustee, African Caribbean Mental Health charity (2014-). I’ve frequently written in newspapers and featured on Radio/TV several times. I’ve advised/challenged politicians and leaders, on health matters.
Thirty-five years in the NHS and still enjoying!
My background (born in Tanzania, did medicine in India) has affirmed my convictions for the principles of NHS. My undiminished enthusiasm for psychiatry stems from wonderful early experiences in medical school. Of course there were challenges, especially in recent years as I tried to balance aspirations of colleagues while we struggled with increasing demand and diminishing NHS budgets. I understand these pressures both as clinician and manager.
Valuing our workforce
I will address the problems of recruitment and retention of consultants, as well as the issues relating to our Staff and Associate Specialists (SAS) and International Medical Graduates.
Consultants feel overburdened and burnt out, SAS doctors feel undervalued and frustrated by the lack of career progression, trainees are demoralised by an imposed contract and IMGs feel unwanted or nervous post-Brexit. I will work with the Registrar and Dean to strengthen our strategies.
My priorities as President will be to improving trainees’ morale and increase the number of doctors undertaking foundation training.
We need to increase our undergraduate and foundation year placements in psychiatry to meet demands of recruitment and ensure juniors’ training remains a priority over service delivery.
I will campaign tirelessly to ensure parity in funding.
The economic cost of mental illness to the UK is £105bn, similar to the entire NHS Budget. Mental health problems cost the NHS at least £10bn each year in physical care costs alone. All four nations face similar challenges. Poor commissioning has resulted in fragmentation of Acute beds services, affecting patient care.
Recommendations in the Crisp report will remain a high priority and I will commission work to determine the number of beds required.
Bed numbers in psychiatry have fallen without a corresponding increase in community resource. Poor access to CAMHS, adult and old age beds has become the norm. I will work to resolve this crisis.
I will work with academics on promoting research with commissioners and politicians to understand the challenges, post-Brexit.
Mental health research continues to lose out with just 5.5% of research funding going to mental health compared to a share of the total disease burden of about 23%.
Psychiatry is the most exciting of all medical specialities. I promise to serve you well, to address the challenges we face, work on new areas of need and make parity a reality. Please support.
The vote is now open for the next president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. All Members, Fellows and Specialist Associates have received an email from Electoral Reform Services with instructions on how to vote.
Read more about the candidates below. Voting closes on 24 January 2017. Here
Sir Simon Charles Wessely, FMedSci is a British psychiatrist. He is the professor of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and head of its department of psychological medicine, vice dean for academic psychiatry, teaching and training at the Institute of Psychiatry, as well as Director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research. He is also honorary consultant psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital, as well as civilian consultant advisor in psychiatry to the British Army. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to military healthcare and to psychological medicine. In 2014 he was elected president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.