The Autumn 2021 INSIGHT magazine reported that the Royal College of Psychiatrists
has been “acknowledged as leading the way” when the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges asked the President and CEO of RCPsych to give a presentation about how the introduction of College values has transformed the College’s internal culture, performance and ways of working.
Whilst it is admirable to adopt a values-based culture, it is disappointing that this culture has not led to positive participation in wider developments in medical ethics. To date, the College has not supported the introduction of sunshine legislation which would bring about full transparency in relation to potential conflicts of interest in both medical education and research. Instead of “leading the way” on this, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has stated that this is “a matter for the Government to decide”.
“First Do No Harm,” the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review chaired by Baroness Cumberlege in July 2020, recommended a range of actions to improve patient safety, including, but not limited to, sunshine legislation. As far as I am aware the Royal College of Psychiatrists has not openly responded to these recommendations.
When will we see the Royal College of Psychiatrists leading the way up the escalator to ensure that its internal values join with those set out in First Do No Harm? At present, it seems to me that the Royal College of Psychiatrists is even reluctant to look up.