Presidential handover

Hole Ousia

On Monday 24th July 2018 the Presidency of the British Association for Psychopharmacology was handed over to Professor Allan Young:

Professor Allan Young was formerly Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Psychopharmacology Committee [he remains on this committee now as a Member].

As an RCPsych committee member, professor Allan Young gives this generalised declaration of competing interests:

“Paid lectures and advisory boards for all major pharmaceutical companies with drugs used in affective and related disorders”.

He also outlines his research links with various commercial companies. Professor Allan Young confirms that he has no shares in pharmaceutical companies.

Professor Allan Young gives this declaration of 24 January 2017 on the British Association for Psychopharmacology.


This is a clip of the 52nd Maudsley debate, 13 May 2015:

Transparency: hold the applause (British Psychiatry)

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“He delivered piercing insights”

Hole Ousia

The Royal College of Psychiatristsdescribes“7 highlights” from its “sold-out”, and no doubt lucrative, International Congress 2018 which this year was held in Birmingham.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists gives this “keynote” as one of the highlights:

Professor Hamish-McAllister’s declarations of interest can be accessed from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. His declaration of 27th March 2017 confirms that in the previous three years, he had “accepted paid speaking engagements in industry supported symposia”from:

  1. AstraZeneca,
  2. Bristol Myers-Squibb,
  3. Eli Lilly,
  4. GlaxoSmithKline,
  5. Janssen-Cilag,
  6. LivaNova,
  7. Lundbeck,
  8. Merck Sharp & Dohme,
  9. Otsuka,
  10. Pfizer,
  11. Pulse,
  12. Roche,
  13. Servier,
  14. SPIMACO,
  15. Sunovian,
  16. Wyeth

It would be interesting to know how many of the  2,700 delegates from 54 countries, “more countries were represented than in the World Cup”  had  “piercing insight” into Professor Hamish McAllister-Williams extensive financial competing interests?


In June 2017, Professor Hamish-McAllister came to the small District General hospital that I work…

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Surgeon’s Hall: ‘Improving our understanding and treatment of depression’

Hole Ousia

As a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists I have received an invitation to the Autumn Meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland. This is to be held in Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh, on the 21st of September 2018. It was in this Hall that the one-eyed Anatomist Dr Robert Knox collected a huge array of pathological specimens and around the back of the Hall he paid resurrectionists, and later Burke and Hare, for bodies.

The afternoon session includes talks by two medical professionals whose academic careers have been an inspiration to me. Dr Allan Beveridge is giving a talk on the portrayal of alcohol in the modern Scottish novel and the psychiatrist and poet Professor Femi Oyebode is giving a talk on the nature of reality in Pirandello’s literary works.

The morning session has this introduction:

This is the morning programme:

It will be interesting to hear…

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‘Tens of thousands of children’

Hole Ousia

On the front page, and over several pages inside, the Times newspaper reported on prescribing rates of antidepressants:

The Times considered the prescribing of antidepressants to both young and old:

And confirmed that:

Dr James Davies was quoted:

This was the view of the Times Editor:

One of the potential drivers of over-medicalisation is the involvement of industry in both research and marketing. In the UK, the pharmaceutical industry spends over £40 million a year on doctors and academics who market their products to appear somewhere as part of “approved Continuing Medical Education”.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, in a response to a formal complaint, offered this statement of 8th June 2018:

However it is the case that the Royal College of Psychiatrists has no single, searchable register that records all payments to its Members. It is therefore impossible to determine the scale of any potential payments that have been…

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How much NHS Scotland money is going to ‘Quality Improvement Partners’?

Hole Ousia

Unfortunately this question cannot be answered as the information is not publicly available, this despite the fact that public money has been going to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement since 2007 and has since  become an “expanded partnership.”

I was copied into a FOI request (dated 24 July 2018) to Audit Scotland that sought to clarify how much public money was going to “Quality Improvement Partners” such as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston, USA.

The first FOI question asked for:
“All the information that Audit Scotland holds relating to financial dealings and the total amount of money paid to the organisation the Institute for Healthcare Improvement since the inception of the first engagement of their services by the Scottish Government and the Scottish NHS up until the present day.”

This was the response:
We have reviewed our audit records for both the Scottish Government and NHS audits where Audit…

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The President of my College

Hole Ousia

I was recently asked by a friend what I made of some of the responses by the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists on the potential for antidepressants to cause dependence and withdrawal.

I replied that I was somewhat uncertain what to make of the responses that I had come across.  I am not on social media and I am always wary of gauging anyone without really knowing them.

So these were some of my thoughts, which may, or may not, add up to something:

• Based on my experience of colleagues around me in psychiatry, Professor Wendy Burn is saying what I generally hear: that the prevailing view is that SSRIs are generally not harmful, have few long term side effects, and that dependence and withdrawal are issues confined to relatively few. I noted that one commentator said: “If, as Wendy suggests, it’s taken Twitter to open her eyes…

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Reflections on being a black client & black therapist: PART 1 Mind the Gap

Race Reflections

For about three years now, I have been holding a private psychotherapy and psychology practice where I see almost exclusively women and non-binary people of colour; in one to ones, in groups and in the community. This is one of my most cherished personal and professional accomplishments.

I have carved my practice out of my struggles and hopes as I continue to battle through the whiteness of clinical psychology and of psychotherapy. A whiteness I felt all the more sharply because as an inner-city child, I have grown up within communities of colour and, because the bulk of my clinical experience pre-doctorate was supporting black people and other communities of colour.

I have carved my practice out of my struggles and hopes as I continue to resist and exist within a society that still does not know how to treat people who look like me equally and decently regardless of…

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