Honorary Fellow and former Principal Dame Fiona Caldicott has won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The annual RCPsych Awards mark the highest level of achievement within the field of psychiatry.

Dame Fiona, Principal from 1996 to 2010, was the first woman to become President and Dean of RCPsych and worked closely with RCPsych’s Women and Mental Health Special Interest Group.

She said: “I am thrilled to have been awarded this Lifetime Achievement Award by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Becoming it’s first woman President was equally unexpected.

“I treasure both, along with serving as Principal of Somerville College.”

She chaired the Caldicott Committee into the protection and use of patient information and in 2014 she was appointed as the first National Data Guardian for Health and Care by the Secretary of State for Health. Her work has helped to ensure that patients’ personal confidential data is held and used safely to support better outcomes from health and care services.

Dame Fiona is Chairman of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a role she has held since 2009. She is now coming to the end of her term there. She has also been Chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

The RCPsych Awards’ judges said: “The decision was unanimous. Dame Fiona has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of patients and make positive, lasting changes to our NHS. We are delighted to present her with our most prestigious award for psychiatrists.”

Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “The RCPsych Awards are all about recognising and rewarding contributions to the mental health sector. But the Lifetime Achievement Award is a cut above the rest. I am so pleased that we’re able to publicly honour Dame Fiona for all the work she has done to improve the lives of people with mental illness.”

This year, the awards were presented by Victoria Derbyshire.

Dame Fiona with Victoria Derbyshire

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