Wake-up call for British psychiatry

Nicholas John Craddock, Danny Antebi, Mary Jane Attenburrow, Anthony Bailey, Alan Carson, Phil Cowen, Bridget Craddock, John Eagles, Klaus Ebmeier, Anne Farmer, Seena Fazel, Nicol Ferrier, John Geddes, Guy Goodwin, Paul Harrison, Keith Hawton, Stephen Hunter, Robyn Jacoby, Ian Richard Jones, Paul Anthony KeedwellMichael Patrick Kerr, Paul Mackin, Peter McGuffin, Donald J. MacIntyre, Pauline McConville, Deborah Mountain, Michael Conlon O'Donovan, Michael John Owen, Femi Oyebode, Mary Louise Phillips, Jonathan Price, Prem Shah, Danny J. Smith, JamesTynan Rhys Walters, Peter Woodruff, Allan Young, Stanley Zammit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

149 Citations (Scopus)


The recent drive within the UK National Health Service to improve psychosocial care for people with mental illness is both understandable and welcome: evidence-based psychological and social interventions are extremely important in managing psychiatric illness. Nevertheless, the accompanying downgrading of medical aspects of care has resulted in services that often are better suited to offering non-specific psychosocial support, rather than thorough, broad-based diagnostic assessment leading to specific treatments to optimise well-being and functioning. In part, these changes have been politically driven, but they could not have occurred without the collusion, or at least the acquiescence, of psychiatrists. This creeping devaluation of medicine disadvantages patients and is very damaging to both the standing and the understanding of psychiatry in the minds of the public, fellow professionals and the medical students who will be responsible for the specialty?s future. On the 200th birthday of psychiatry, it is fitting to reconsider the specialty?s core values and renew efforts to use psychiatric skills for the maximum benefit of patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-9
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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