A week in the life of Dr Ian Collings



Today Ian chaired a multidisciplinary team (MDT) on the Gwelfor Unit at Cefn Coed Hospital in Swansea. Gwelfor is a high dependency rehabilitation unit which supports people with a range of complex, treatment resistant and enduring mental illnesses. The patients on the unit often have high level rehabilitation needs, higher than in the community rehabilitation unit Ian was at yesterday.

This afternoon Ian will be giving evidence at a mental health review tribunal for one of his patients. Ian has to provide evidence as to why one of his patients requires continued detention under the Mental Health Act. The legal aspect of Ian's practice is very important and it’s an area he needs to keep up to date with by completing regular CPD activities.

To end the week Ian will have the great honour of attending a local nursing home to discharge one of his patients who has been in hospital for a long period of time. Ian commented, "It’s really wonderful and rewarding for the whole team to see this patient moving forward in their recovery journey and successfully transitioning into the community."

The Wales Deanery would like to thank Dr Ian Collings for sharing his week with us and readers who have followed the blog.


Today Ian has been working in Cefn yr Afon community rehabilitation unit in Bridgend. This is a unit that supports people with a range of mental health problems who, following the acute stage of their illness, require a period of rehabilitation to improve their functioning and support them further through their recovery journey. Following their time with the unit, patients move on to a variety of settings including living independently.

Ian said, "I find it very rewarding to work with complex mental health patients. It can be challenging at times but supporting people through very vulnerable parts of their life is a great honour for me. It can give you a real buzz to see people make progress and stay well. Of course working with a multi professional team of individuals with a great deal of expertise is also an aspect of my work I really value and enjoy."

Check back to the blog tomorrow to find out how Ian will be spending his Friday.


Ian spent this morning speaking to the new cohort of the Welsh Clinical Leadership Training Fellows (WCLTF) about the opportunities the scheme provides. The fellowship is a one year out of programme scheme where successful applicants undertake a leadership and management project identified from proposals submitted by healthcare organisations in Wales, which are designed to provide appropriate experience in Health Service management. The scheme will provide training and experience in clinical leadership and management and will equip Fellows with the range of knowledge and skills they require to compete as medical and dental leaders in the modern NHS.

Ian commented, "I was very happy to give the opening address at the 2018/19 induction of the WCLTFs. The WCLTF scheme is a wonderful out of program opportunity to develop leadership skills for our trainees. As a Deanery we are committed to extending these opportunities to more trainees and further to other healthcare professionals as we transition into Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW). The impact of the scheme on our alumni has been significant with many going on to take leadership roles within the NHS and the wider public sector, e.g. Welsh Government and the private sector in aIl health start-ups".

This afternoon Ian will be attending a meeting at the General Medical Council were he will be representing the Wales Deanery with other healthcare stakeholders. The meeting will be hosted by the Chair of the GMC Prof Sir Terrence Stephenson. Ian said, "It will be a really important opportunity to speak with colleagues about some of the opportunities and challenges in education and training such as the development of leadership competencies."

Following that meeting Ian is looking forward to meeting with academic Psychiatry colleagues at the Hadyn Ellis Building to discuss academic training. "We have some world leading research into the genetics of psychiatric disorders happening in Wales and it would be valuable to engage our trainees more with these opportunities."


Today Ian attended an extended meeting with fellow members of the Wales Deanery Management Executive team. The monthly meetings are essential in ensuring the smooth running of the Deanery, and provide an opportunity to discuss and agree governance of the the organisation. They are chaired by Professor Peter Donnelly, Interim Postgraduate Dean.

Following discussion of this morning's agenda, Dr Helen Baker led a Differential Attainment workshop. The General Medical Council defines Differential Attainment (DA) as the gap between attainment levels of different groups of doctors and is considered an indicator that training and medical education may not be fair. It occurs across many professions, including medicine, where a variety of factors, such as social, economic and psychological, affect performance.This is an area of concern at present, and as a postgraduate training body, it is important for the Deanery to understand why this appears to be happening and develop strategies to support and improve the picture.

Ian commented, "We had a really productive meeting discussing differential attainment. This is clearly an issue that we need to address across the UK as there are different rates of exam success, ACRP outcomes and overall satisfaction of training across various ethnic groupings including UK primary medical qualification (PMQ)BME, EEA PMQ and IMG PMQ. As an organisation we have to develop a strategy to address this and we had some good discussions about how we plan to do this in the short, medium and longer term".

The afternoon's session was led by Karen Cooke, Organisational and Staff Development Manager within Human Resources at Cardiff University. The focus was on Change Management, a particularly relevant topic with the transfer of Wales Deanery into Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) on 1st October. Ian said, "As a senior team in the Deanery moving towards HEIW, it’s been really useful to share our views and thoughts about the transition and to share how we approach the change".


This morning, Ian attended the Sharing Training Excellence in Medical Education (STEME) conference hosted by the Wales Deanery at Cardiff City Stadium. The main theme this year is future-proofing education and training, an extremely important theme considering the numerous pressures that the health and social care systems are currently under.

Another theme for the conference is innovation in healthcare education, and a number of experts in the field spoke to attendees about the many excellent examples of the use of technology within the education arena.

Ian said, “It is important for me to keep up to date with educational CPD as I continue to be a trainer myself. I currently educationally supervise one trainee, clinically supervise another and am mentor to a third.”

This afternoon Ian met with higher trainees to talk about various Deanery updates and promoting the Welsh Clinical Leadership Training Fellowship (WCLTF). The programme is a one year out of training programme for doctors and dentists. It provides training and hands-on experience in clinical leadership and management, supported by a structured accredited educational programme delivered by Academi Wales.

Leadership Fellows undertake a leadership and management project from proposals submitted by healthcare organisations in Wales. The Fellows work closely with senior medical and/or dental colleagues and are supported in their host organisations by clinical supervisors. The programme equips the Leadership Fellows with a range of knowledge, skills and experience required to be credible an influential medical leaders in a future modern NHS. The LINCymru website explains the role of leadership in promoting excellence in medical training and enhanced patient care.

Dr Ian Collings

This week we are featuring a week in life of Dr Ian Collings, one of our interim Postgraduate Deputy Deans at the Wales Deanery.

Ian graduated from Imperial College School of Medicine in 2000. He completed all of his training in the South Wales area and became a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2005. Ian has been a consultant in Swansea since 2012, working in acute inpatient psychiatry, home treatment and rehabilitation and recovery. He has also been a Deputy Dean since January 2017 and manages a busy workload alongside his clinical work.

It will be a particularly busy week for Ian as he will be attending a conference, several meetings, a mental health review tribunal and undertaking clinical work. Check back to the blog next week to find out more.

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