Trust consultant is elected president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Dr Wendy Burn, a Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has been elected the next president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The College’s members, fellows and specialist associates cast their votes on Tuesday 24 January and, as the successful candidate, Dr Burn will take over from current president, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, in June. 

She will be the College’s 15th president and will be in post for the next three years.

Dr Burn brings to the role more than 27 years’ experience as a Consultant Psychiatrist, and is a recognised expert in dementia. Alongside her post at the Trust, she has held the position of Clinical Leader for the Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Clinical Network (SCN), where a priority is increasing dementia diagnosis rates. She has also been heavily involved in the development of postgraduate training and education throughout her career.

Dr Wendy Burn said: “I am honoured to have been elected president. This is the proudest moment of my life.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who voted for me, and to my colleagues and the leadership at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for encouraging development in its staff.

“I have pledged to seek more funding for direct clinical care, to promote the integration of physical and mental health care, to improve recruitment into Psychiatry, to support those already working in the specialty by reducing the burden of inspection and bureaucracy and to improve the current low morale amongst trainees.

“None of these are small issues or easily sorted but it is essential that they are addressed so that we can provide the care our patients need and deserve.”

Sara Munro, Chief Executive at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is a fantastic achievement for Wendy, both professionally and personally, and it’s clearly fantastic for the Trust too.

“Wendy has also recently been awarded a national Silver Clinical Excellence Award.

“This is just another reason to be hugely proud of Wendy and the work she does in old age psychiatry, medical leadership and in support of medical education.”