Discontent at the UKCP

Earlier this week I commented on the worrying state of complaints procedures at the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. Since then somebody has forwarded on to me an e-mail that’s doing the rounds in the UKCP. It appears to show a senior figure in the organisation expressing thinly-veiled criticisms of the way the UKCP is run.

The e-mail poses a series of questions to the candidates in the forthcoming election for UKCP chair. The author suggests, “It has been said by some of those in positions of authority in the UKCP that the members should keep quiet and let the Board get on with running the organisation” and that “There is little transparency in the spending of the members’ money”.

The author also appears to have a low opinion for the current proposals for psychotherapy to have “assured voluntary registration” (where self-regulating bodies such as the UKCP get a stamp of approval from the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence) rather than statutory regulation. They ask, “Those with statutory titles i.e. psychiatrist, practitioner psychologist, psychiatric nurses, social workers etc are already perceived as being more professional. By going the VQA route do we not join the licensed service professionals such as hair dressers, beauticians, carers and day care workers?”

The full text is below.

Questions for Candidates
1. How will you ensure that voluntary quality assured (VQA) regulation, (CHRE) will have the same status as statutory regulation? Those with statutory titles i.e. psychiatrist, practitioner psychologist, psychiatric nurses, social workers etc are already perceived as being more professional. By going the VQA route do we not join the licensed service professionals such as hair dressers, beauticians, carers and day care workers?
2. What are the cost of the systems, i.e. standards monitoring, central complaints system, information systems, PR, compliance cost and other items for being prepared to APPLY for the CHRE QA kite mark?
3. It has been said by some of those in positions of authority in the UKCP that the members should keep quiet and let the Board get on with running the organisation, how would you respond to that statement?
4. How would you ensure that the visibility, integrity and credibility of the office of Chair and Chief Executive of the UKCP is increased and maintained?
5. One of the basic ways of devolving power is to ensure there is a good budgeting processes empower functions such as Diversity & Equalities, the Colleges and Faculties Committee, the Quality Assurance and Change Management processes etc . This gives the functions of these committees and departments the power to carry out their duties without interference from officers who may abuse their power. What budgeting process would you put into place?
6. Could you comment on the number of volunteers we have working on external projects and representing the UKCP in places like IAPT, NHS Commissioners, NICE, Mental Health Organisations, Service User Organisations and Parliamentary Enquiries? How could this be improved?
7. Given the low level of interest in the UKCP elections as evidenced by the number of directors elected unopposed and the cancellation of the debate scheduled for the 23rd of February, what level of voting by the membership would you consider to be enough to give a clear mandate for the elected chair. Would you ask for another election if you achieve less than 10% to 15% of the membership’s votes that are cast? Would you allow the Vice Chairs to act as Chair until the election took place?
8. One of the difficulties that exist with the UKCP’s leadership is a matter of visibility. Would you consider publishing appointments and meetings on the web for the membership and public?
9. There is little transparency in the spending of the members’ money and that individuals benefit financially from work they do on behalf of the UKCP. Would you publish expenses and monies paid to individuals for work done on behalf of the UKCP? Would you advertise for all positions that attract an honorarium?
10. Given the nature of our profession and the involvement of our membership it would be counter cultural to impose a pure business model on which there are different classes of shareholders and a board remote from the membership. What is your commitment to ensure that the organisation has a high level of consultation about the work of the organisation?

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11 thoughts on “Discontent at the UKCP

  1. Oh no! Not the malcontents from UKCP trying to find a place to get their voices heard again.

    • Wot fun!

      The plethora of committees the author proposes isn’t going to change much in my view. Remember the definition of a camel as a horse designed by a committee. Part of the UKCP’s problem is that it’s too complicated and needs simplification. After all, many more interested members of the public have heard of member organisations such as the British Psycho-Analytical Association (Freud’s lot) or the Philadelphia Association (Laing’s lot) than have heard of the UKCP, let alone knowing much about it.

      About a century ago, the then Lord Chief Justice of England ruled that the legal definition of reasonableness was to be “that which would appear reasonable to the man on the Clapham Omnibus” , i.e Joe Public. The tragedy of the UKCP is that Joe Public by and large has not heard of it. Until they address this fact in all humility they will be neither useful nor ornamental (nor reasonable).

      • Thank you for your reply. It would be fun if these matters were not so serious! However it is amazing what a little publicity can do to move these arguments on ever so suddenly. Communications that have been previously rendered invisible become the focus of attention and much bluster – at least for a while. It gives everyone a chance to show just how open and transparent they really are! The membership know the score by now.

    • I thought that email was from a former member of the establishment. One day establishment, next day rebel. The joy of time.

  2. Nice to see your continued worries about UKCP, sadly for the conspiracy theorists the odd email disagreeing with things from a membership of over 7,000 is hardly shocking. But UKCP members are generally happy so whilst your posts are amusing, perhaps you shouldn’t lose sleep over the situation, the members aren’t…

  3. You are so right – the members certainly aren’t losing sleep.

    • With everything that’s going on its not right at the top of my list. I might have some horlicks tonight to help my sleep though! *offers virtual horlicks for anyone* Other sleep aids are available please read the instructions…

      • You have definitely got to be someone from the top of UKCP
        as I have no idea what you are going on about now.

  4. I’m not at the top of ukcp but thanks for the credit maybe one day i might try my hand at that seems to be a fair few at it now but i don’t think i fit the model! No i meant too much with other things like the nhs reform, welfare reform bill, countless nhs trust reorganisations I can’t be the only one choking over the politicians talking on question time that digital woman the other week was mad.

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