In support of professional values

On Thursday 2nd July 2020, Professor Wendy Burn will give the President’s Valedictory Address and following this Dr Adrian James will give his Inaugural Address.

When Professor Burn was first elected as President of the College in 2017, I wrote to congratulate her and to wish her all the best in her leadership role. I would now like to offer my best wishes to Professor Burn for the next stage in her professional career.

This is a letter I wrote to the CEO of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2018 in support of respectful and constructive dialogue:

It was therefore welcome to read this joint statement published in the Lancet at the end of 2018:

I would like to wish Dr Adrian James all the very best in his tenure as President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. As President,  Dr James will, no doubt, do all that he can to encourage all College Members and Fellows to follow ‘Core Values for Psychiatrists’.  In all fields it is difficult for professionals to maintain an appropriate presence on social media. Professional organisations are well aware of this and that is why Guidance is in place. It  is vital that all members of any organisation know that they must follow this guidance both in their own behaviour and in the way they share comments made by others. Failing to do so risks erosion of trust in the profession and this would be detrimental to all.


Footnote:
Professor Sir Simon Wessely was President of the College before President Burn. In February of this year, at the time of my retiral from Medicine, I shared some of the kind messages that I had from colleagues, patients and carers.  Sir Simon kindly sent me this message by reply: “I would also like to wish you all the best for your retirement, and to recognise the depth of your commitment to your patients and the NHS over the years, and also to your honesty and integrity in a world where both these qualities can be short supply.  I wish you well”