Woking Doctor Joins Royal College of Psychiatrists


The Medical Director at Cygnet Hospital Woking has been appointed as Chair of the Adolescent Forensic Special Interest Group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Dr Richard Church overseas psychiatric care at the 62-bed mental health hospital on Redding Way. He said it was a huge honour to be elected.

He added: “I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to work with a group of inspiring colleagues and to take forward this subspecialty that serves a particularly disadvantaged group of young people and their families, and to take forward the fantastic work of the College.”

He said one of his early priorities will be to build on the strong Executive Committee and develop links with key stakeholders in youth mental health, youth justice, academia and third sector organisations doing important work in the field.

He explained: “I would like the AFPSIG to identify and encourage effective system-wide thinking at times of transition and to advocate for thinking of families – we know that there is often little available for relatives, who can be so significantly affected by youth crime.

“I’m delighted that my colleagues in Cygnet have been so supportive of my role in the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and that they recognise the value that this brings.

“As I strive with the AFPSIG to deliver better services for young people and their families at a national level, I have no doubt that we will be enriched as clinicians, to the benefit of our own services, patients and colleagues.”

Cygnet’s Group Clinical Director, Jon Van Niekerk, is the Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists General Adult Faculty Executive Committee. He passed on his personal congratulations to his Cygnet Health Care colleague.

He said: “This appointment is thoroughly deserved and I personally extend my congratulations to Richard. He is a first class doctor with excellent leadership skills and I have every confidence that he will influence and affect real change in mental health.

“HIs core values place service users at the very heart of the work they deliver and he is committed to ensuring care is of the very highest standards.

“He understands both the challenges and opportunities which exist within the sector and his drive, compassion, commitment and dedication makes him an excellent addition to our leadership team at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

“Myself, and everyone at Cygnet, celebrates his appointment and wishes him all the very best.”

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