EFPT Forum in London

The Forum is the annual meeting of the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT), the umbrella organisation of the national trainee associations in more than 31 European countries. This year, under the UK presidency, the Forum took place in London for the first time. London is a world city. It is diverse and vibrant, which made it very appropriate for the 100 delegates from its member associations to meet and work together under the theme “Making Links”.

We had the privilege of having with us Dr Michael van Beinum, who in 1992 met here in London with other trainees, in what led to the creation of the Federation the following year. For the past 22 years EFPT has been stimulating connections between psychiatric trainees, who have worked together to improve training and consequently mental healthcare across Europe.

Delegates were invited by the London Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) to learn about mental health care as it was in the past and now is, through visits to the Freud and Bethlem museums and Maudsley, Bethlem and East London hospitals and clinics. Members of the Executive Committee joined the visits, followed by a dinner, where there were many opportunities to share experiences and network.

With over 21 invited speakers we had a packed programme that covered hot topics such as the logbook for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training, Recruitment, Leadership and Management for Trainees and, Policy and Politics. The programme also included sessions of relevance to trainees such as How to write a good paper and New treatments for psychosis.

We were keen to have a patients’ perspective so we had a session from the executive director of GAMIAN (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks), a patient-driven pan-European organization and a plenary session with a keynote Service user and carer lecture at the RCPsych International Congress. Both the outgoing and incoming presidents of the RCPsych gave keynote speeches to inspire the young leaders: Prof Dame Sue Bailey and Prof Sir Simon Wessely, respectively.

For the first time we opened attendance to medical students and held a fringe sports event – the health run.

The poster session “Crown Jewels” highlighted what is best about psychiatry training in each of the countries. France won the price for the best poster and also the Excellence Award with its national survey.

Meeting so many enthusiastic trainees and the exchange of ideas was a wonderful experience that will stay in our memories. I hope the links made can be strengthened over the years to come. I want to say a big thank you to the organising committee and our sponsors and look forward to next year’s Forum in Porto.

Dr Marisa Casanova Dias, MRCPsych, MSc
EFPT President 2013-2014


EFPT London Organising Committee (From left to right in photo: Alice Lomax, Louise Murphy, Marisa Dias, Ashish Patak, Muj Husain, Jude Harrison, Howard Ryland, Maurice Clancy). Also on the committee but not on the photo: Andrea Bartha, Laurie Hanna, Jenna Hathway.