Dr Rachel Winter, honorary consultant in old age psychiatry at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and associate professor in empathic healthcare and medical education at University of Leicester, has won the Royal College of Psychiatrists Higher Psychiatric Trainee of the Year Award this year. The winners were presented at the RCPsych Awards ceremony on Wednesday 9 November 2022.

The RCPsych Awards mark the highest levels of achievement in psychiatry and have now been extended to include awards for medical students and foundation doctors.

Dr Winter said: “As part of my clinical and academic training in psychiatry, I have had opportunities to develop skills in leadership, education and research. Alongside my training, I co-founded a recruitment to mental health careers initiative, Medicine Calling, to inspire students to consider a career in mental health and to help widen participation to medicine. The project is funded by Health Education England East Midlands and supported by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, University of Leicester and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and has hosted over 2,000 school and sixth-form students from across the Midlands at various events.

Alongside my clinical training, I have undertaken a Master’s in Medical Education and was appointed the medicine module convenor of the widening participation Medicine with Foundation Year degree programme (Year 0) at Leicester Medical School. I designed and co-deliver an evidence-based empathy-focused curriculum to help prepare students from less advantaged backgrounds for the academic, professional and personal challenges of a medical degree and to ensure Foundation Year students go on to thrive at medical school.”

Dr Winter shared: “As a PhD student investigating clinical empathy in healthcare, I used my expertise and experience to secure funding for a multimillion-pound Centre for Excellence in Empathic Healthcare which was launched at University of Leicester earlier this year. I’ve since been appointed as an associate professor in medical education and empathic healthcare at the university, and an honorary consultant in old age psychiatry with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. I’m looking forward to putting our ambitious proposals with the centre into practice to support the delivery of a transformational programme of education and research to improve patient and practitioner outcomes and to help put empathy at the heart of improved, effective healthcare.”

Professor Jeremy Howick, Director of the Stoneygate Centre for Excellence for Empathic Healthcare, said: “Dr Winter is a core member of the senior team at the Empathy Centre, and the Centre is very proud to congratulate her on this impressive achievement.”

Dr Saquib Muhammad, Acting Medical Director at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We are very proud to congratulate Dr Winter’s on her exceptional achievements over these last few years, this nomination is well deserved.”

To find out more about the RCPsych Awards 2022 and the winners this year, please visit: www.rcpsych.ac.uk/about-us/rcpsych-awards/rcpsych-awards-2022