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Authors' reply

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Nick Craddock
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Medical School, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK. Email: craddockn@cardiff.ac.uk
Danny Antebi
Affiliation:
Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust, UK
Mary-Jane Attenburrow
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Tony Bailey
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Alan Carson
Affiliation:
Royal Edinburgh Hospital, UK
Phil Cowen
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Klaus Ebmeier
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Anne Farmer
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
Seena Fazel
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Nicol Ferrier
Affiliation:
Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, UK
John Geddes
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Guy Goodwin
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Paul Harrison
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Keith Hawton
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Stephen Hunter
Affiliation:
Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust, Torfaen, UK
Robin Jacoby
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Ian Jones
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
Paul Keedwell
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
Mike Kerr
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
Paul Mackin
Affiliation:
Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, UK
Peter McGuffin
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
Donald McIntyre
Affiliation:
Royal Edinburgh Hospital, UK
Pauline McConville
Affiliation:
Royal Edinburgh Hospital, UK
Deborah Mountain
Affiliation:
Royal Edinburgh Hospital, UK
Michael C. O'Donovan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
Michael J. Owen
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
Femi Oyebode
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital
Mary Phillips
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA
Jonathan Price
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Prem Shah
Affiliation:
Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK
Danny J. Smith
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
James Walters
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
Peter Woodruff
Affiliation:
Department of Academic Clinical Psychiatry, Sheffield University, UK
Allan Young
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Canada
Stan Zammit
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

Type
Columns
Copyright
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2008 

We are pleased that our article has stimulated debate. This was our intention. We are disappointed that some correspondents dismiss our argument by attacking a stereotype of who they think we are or a caricature of what they think we might have said, rather than addressing what we actually did say. Such correspondents have missed, or ignored, the point of the article – namely, to ask whether the de-medicalisation that has taken place over recent years in British psychiatry is bad for the health of patients and the specialty. We believe this is a question that is worth taking seriously. It is clear from the substantial correspondence and other feedback that many psychiatrists share our concerns and wish for constructive debate.

This primary concern with the decline in medical standards of care and the deliberate politicisation of debates about service delivery does not imply that we cannot (a) embrace the importance of the full range of biological, psychological and social interventions for psychiatric illness and (b) value our non-psychiatric fellow professionals and their integral contributions to mental healthcare. We also believe to be self-evident that services should be informed by the experiences of patients, their relatives and carers, and that multidisciplinary teamwork is crucial for optimal management of psychiatric illness. We are not terribly interested in what is past. We are much more interested to look ahead.

Of the wide range of views expressed by respondents, we believe the voice of trainees and those contemplating a career in psychiatry should carry particular weight and we should like to hear more from them. They are the future of British psychiatry.

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