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Professor Wessely elected President of RCPsych

Professor Sir Simon Wessely from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London has been elected the next President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and will take office on 26 June 2014.

Professor Wessely is Chair of Psychological Medicine and Vice Dean for Academic Psychiatry at the IoP at King’s. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours for services to military healthcare and psychological medicine.

He is also consultant liaison psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

Current President, Professor Dame Sue Bailey, who will remain in post until June, said: "I am delighted to announce that Professor Sir Simon Wessely is President-Elect. Simon is an extremely talented academic and a marvellous ambassador for psychiatry. The College will benefit enormously from his ability to speak out on behalf of our profession."

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional body responsible for education, training, setting and raising standards in psychiatry and represents over 15,000 psychiatrists in the UK and Internationally.  His priorities as President are to:

  • Make parity between mental and physical health a reality.
  • Improve the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists.
  • Improve recruitment into psychiatry and encourage medical students to discover the unique qualities of psychiatry.
  • Ensure excellence in education, and put high-quality training delivered by psychiatrists for psychiatrists at the heart of education.

Professor Wessely said: "It is a great honour to be elected President of our College. I am acutely conscious of the great responsibility that comes with this – not least the daunting task of continuing the achievements of my predecessors. I also wish to give my thanks to my fellow candidate, Dr Laurence Mynors-Wallis, who ensured that this election proceeded in a mature and collegiate manner. I look forward to working with him and all the College officers and staff for the benefit of our profession."

For more information, please contact Seil Collins, Press Officer, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Tel: 0207 848 5377