If you click on the picture of Professor Dinesh Bhugra on the left, from Guardian, you will be able to read their article titled: Mental health services in crises over staff shortages.
Professor Dinesh Bhugra must be leaving or retiring to be shooting like this. Normally, he has been perceived as being very compliant with all the previous government policies that lead to some of the situation in psychiatry he describes as novel, but has been present throughout Labour government. A lot of money has been put into psychiatry, but money is not everything and psychiatrists can easily create wards overflowing with patients by simply not discharging patients and/or inappropriate medication prescribing which can lead to addiction or side effects that make people feel ill leading to longer periods of hospitalization. Also if psychiatrists do not take any risks with patients or staff to challenge them but let them live in ignorance so that nobody gets upset and there are no complaints about the doctor one gets overflowing wards. Nobody grows.
120% bed occupancy means some patients are on leave as planned but their beds are filled by new patients rather than left vacant in order to improve efficiency of the service delivery and reduce costs to tax payers.
Professor Bhugra founded/facilitated Spirituality Special Interest Group at The Royal College of Psychiatrists at the time the previous prime minister was in a missionary state (although, probably not the position as well, but then we do not know, really).
The members of Spirituality Special Interest Group were able to launch attacks on progressive psychiatry with devastating effects for the patients. Professor Bhugra, if he prayed, had no effect whatsoever according to the situation he feels is true. He does not say anything about his own effectiveness. Religious psychiatrists, and religious patients' relatives as well as single activists attacked non-religious psychiatrists via General Medical Council Fitness to Practice sham peer reviews. In multi-faith working spirit of Blair administration more psychiatrists than ever were eliminated from clinical practice. Professor Bhugra was not noticed for standing in front of GMC with a protest placard saying: " Enough is enough" or similar.
Psychiatrists are the least religious of all doctors according to some researchers and The Royal College of Psychiatrists have tarnished their own image by putting faith before science. No wonder UK is short of psychiatrists. It is off putting to have image of psychiatry ruled by the religious as well as having medical regulator who bends over backwards to accommodate any nonsense in the name of political correctness. Human Rights Act 1998, in fact, allows the regulator to put patients' health first.
Professor Bhugra made the name for himself by writing on racial discrimination/cultural aspects in psychiatry. But when Doctors4Justice wrote to him that The Royal College of Psychiatrists published NHS London Section 12(2) Approval Policy which was racially discriminatory and breached Race Relations Act and other laws, he never responded to the best of our knowledge. Click on these links (colored) to read more.
The application form published by The Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2011 on their website was designed in 2005 by NHS London and never complied with Race Relations Act. In addition, NHS London has failed to monitor ethnicity of the applicants (psychiatrists). Therefore, as NHS London produced a racially discriminatory policy (it discriminated against locum psychiatrists doctors, the majority of whom are from ethnic minorities) NHS London (and other Strategic Health Authorities), certainly, did not wish to have their work monitored.
When in 2010 Equality Human Rights Commission wrote to NHS London after Doctors4Justice complained in 2009 about racial discrimination in their Section 12 Approval policy, NHS London Medical Director made various promises to Equality Human Rights Commission. He did not deliver the goods when we last checked in 2011. To make the matters worse, NHS London Information Access Team showed evidence of Anger management problems with fictitious claims of our requests being vexatious when we asked for statistics of ethnicity monitoring of the applicants (psychiatrists). They even suggested if we are not happy we could complain to their Chief Executive. Ha, ha. We do know that Chief Executives of all English Strategic Authorities were sent the copies of the Section 12(2) Approval Policy and just did nothing despite indirect racial discrimination and lack of ethnicity monitoring in the applications (with the exception of two out of eight) during Blair administration.
Psychiatry is a difficult and unpopular specialty and some foreign doctors and English doctors drifted there because of personal necessity rather than by their first choice.
Ethnic minorities always have less choice in medicine/employment, so one finds the largest numbers of ethnic minority doctors in the most unpopular psychiatric sub-specialties and unpopular medical specialties in general.
Then, there are some brilliant psychiatrists who just love psychiatry and are really good at it. At times they get clobbered by the less capable ones if they upset them. It is very easy to upset those who are doing something wrong and especially when told so. Again, to the best of our knowledge, Professor Bhugra did not defend whistleblowers just in case it proved risky for him. Neither did British Medical Association or any medical defense organization step in to do the decent thing despite the desperate pleas from doctors. "You are not being charged with talking to the press but with misconduct" they all crowed in unison. Breeding mediocrity may be official standard but it is not in keeping with the needs of the population. Eventually, one gets the results one has in the British hospitals.
Professor Bhugra laments that psychiatric patients complain of having too little to do. Well, my patients always had plenty to do as they had treatment/development programs in different spheres in their lives. Anyone can construct those with patients help and expression of interests.
Some of my colleagues complained I gave them too much to do at times, but so what! In one hospital where I worked only 10% of all patients had diagnosis on my arrival and they were there as in patients for years already. When I left my six months training post, 70% of my patients had diagnosis. Yes, of course, there were complaints about me, but that is to be expected in sleepy, dusty places where staff thought not having diagnosis in those patients who had learning difficulties was normal and to be expected. One of my consultants (boss, actually) could not stand my dynamic approach and started writing complaints about me. We had a secretary in common who could see the progress being made with all my hard work. The secretary typed complaint letters against me, consultant signed them and secretary binned the letters without sending them. This is how we worked as a team in a dysfunctional world and saved a number of lives. In her spare time this secretary with a heart of gold worked as a Samaritan. We remained friends for many, many years after I left.