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Oxford doctor wins prestigious international award

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Dr Jane Walker, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Clinical Researcher at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford, has been presented with a prestigious award from an international organisation based in the USA.

Dr Walker scooped the Don R. Lipsitt award from the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (ACLP) last month at an event in Orlando, Florida.

The award recognises psychiatrists who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the integration of mental health care with other medical care.

Dr Walker, who works at Sobell House at the Churchill Hospital, was recognised for her research and clinical care for people with cancer, including patients who also have depression.

She said: “I very feel very honoured to receive this prestigious award for my research and clinical work with people with cancer.

"It has always been important to me, as a doctor and a researcher, to improve the care that we provide for people who are seriously ill.

"We can only do that properly if we recognise that psychiatric illnesses, like depression, can have huge effects on people’s lives and that we need to work just as hard to help patients with their depression as we do with their cancer.

"And that means having experts in the mental and the physical aspects of illness working together on the same teams.  I am very proud to have made some contribution to that happening."

Dr Walker's work is dedicated to improving the lives of people with severe medical illnesses by integrating psychiatry into medical care.

Her research includes epidemiological studies, intervention development, and clinical trials.

She also trains and supervises medical and nursing staff to provide integrated mental and physical healthcare.

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: "I am very proud that Dr Walker received this prestigious award.

"It is a great recognition of the Trust's efforts to integrate mental health in all of our patient pathways and ultimately improve outcomes for patients."

This is the second time that an Oxford doctor has won this significant award - Professor Michael Sharpe, Psychological Medicine Lead at the Trust, received the award in 2015.

The Trust's Psychological Medicine team was described as a 'beacon of excellence' by judges as they won Team of the Year at the annual Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards in November 2018.