Biography of Dr Mark Collins

Dr Mark Collins is a Consultant Psychiatrist with over 25 years experience in all areas of general adult psychiatry. For many years, Dr Collins worked in hospital medicine as a physician, gaining experience in all branches of general medicine, including cardiology and three years in a neurology training programme in America.

1983

In 1983 he decided to specialise in psychiatry, for which his extensive medical and, particularly, neurological background provided a comprehensive and somewhat uncommon bedrock of knowledge to help with the interplay between medical and psychological problems.

1990

In 1990 Dr Collins took up his first post as a Consultant Psychiatrist with responsibility for an NHS catchment area in Central Wandsworth, where he pioneered the introduction of a community based service for patients who were at risk of slipping through the net.

1993

In 1993 Dr Collins entered full-time private practice. Until 2016 he was a Staff Consultant at the Roehampton Priory Hospital, where for many years he was Associate Medical Director and Lead Consultant of the Addiction Treatment Programme. After a number of years he established a working relationship with Cottonwood de Tucson Clinic in America, and when they decided to open an outpatient facility in London, they appointed Dr Collins as their London Medical Director.

2016

In 2016 Dr Collins left the Roehampton Priory Hospital and now works solely with outpatients at his Harley Street practice. For those patients requiring residential treatment, Dr Collins can refer to colleagues, with whom he maintains close working relationships, at a range of facilities within the United Kingdom and around the world.

Dr Mark Collins

Dr Collins takes referrals from medical colleagues, specialists and general practitioners, from therapists and other healthcare professionals, and in some instances self referrals. Communication with third parties will only be with the consent and knowledge of the patient, although where medication is recommended, good practice suggests the patient’s GP should be informed. The only times confidentiality is broken is if Dr Collins is ordered to disclose information by a Court of Law, if safeguarding issues arise, particularly regarding safety and welfare of children, or if an imminent threat to life is disclosed.

After an initial assessment, some patients will be followed up by Dr Collins himself, or where appropriate, and depending on the agreed treatment plan, they may be referred on to a therapist colleague and reviewed from time to time by Dr Collins. If residential treatment is required this can be organised.

Dr Collins’ medical and neurological background means he is very familiar with the interplay between mind, body and brain, and more conventional ‘medical’ approach to diagnosis and treatment, but he is also very interested in a range of psychological therapies, especially where good evidence exists for their efficacy. The prescription pad may be necessary, but is not his automatic first line treatment.

More recently Dr Collins has become interested in the field of Functional and Integrative Medicine which takes a holistic view of disease as a process that has more complex origins than the dysfunction occurring at a particular end point. For example recent research suggests that Parkinson’s Disease, a neurological disorder with clear cut pathology in a precise part of the brain, may have its origins in gut bacterial dysfunction decades before the neurological symptoms appear.

This interest has led Dr Collins to explore some ‘alternative’ therapies, including the use of high dose vitamins and co-enzymes, and more recently the use of Low Level Laser Therapy, which is a treatment method pioneered in Russia in the 1980’s. Recent research has highlighted the critical importance to our health and wellbeing of the bacteria residing in our intestines (the ‘gut microbiome’), and Dr Collins has lectured on this at international conferences and keeps abreast of research developments with a view to introducing specific therapeutic strategies to augment conventional treatment. That the brain influences the gut has been known for a long time, but the reverse process, whereby the gut, via the microorganisms within it, has profound effects on brain function, including generating anxiety, depression and addictive cravings, is relatively new knowledge which opens up all sorts of exciting therapeutic avenues. Additional ‘alternative’ therapies may augment conventional approaches.

In some cases, severity of symptoms may require nursing care and therapeutic input traditionally only available in a hospital setting. However there are many reasons these days why a psychiatric hospital might be undesirable. For this reason Dr Collins, with a small group of colleagues, has set up a service, Psanctum, offering home nursing, up to 24 hours per day, using specially trained nurses who have further psychotherapeutic training, overseen by a Consultant Psychiatrist, and with access from home to a wide range of additional therapeutic inputs. This service might be particularly useful for people experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of dementia, where removal from a familiar environment can cause deterioration, patients requiring detoxification from alcohol or drugs who are not ready to commit to a standard 28 day Rehab programme, and patients with more general problems such as depression, stress, severe anxiety or postnatal depression, who are, for whatever reason, reluctant to be hospitalised.

In summary, Dr Collins is a Psychiatrist with many years experience, a strong medical background allied to an emphasis on psychological as well as pharmacological therapies, and an interest in a range of ‘alternative’ therapies. As well as behaving with professionalism, he is known as someone who can truly listen to his patients, treating them with kindness and compassion. Mental health issues still attract stigma and shame, and sometimes active discrimination, especially in the workplace, and Dr Collins has lectured and campaigned in this area.