Celia Lavinia Hall (Feetam), a founding member and past president of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy and Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), has died aged 73 years.
An “achiever from the outset”, Celia studied at the School of Pharmacy at the University of London in 1968, and went on to achieve a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Aston University, Birmingham, in 1973.
After leaving university, she worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, before becoming principal pharmacist in psychiatry at Rubery Hill Hospital in south Birmingham. In 1985, she moved to the Priory Hospital Woodbourne, which provides acute psychiatric and substance abuse services to the private sector and the NHS on a contractual basis. As a self-employed pharmacy consultant, Celia worked closely with patients suffering from eating disorders, drug abuse and depression.
Between 1998 and 2014, Celia was a part-time senior teaching fellow at Aston University and programme lead for the Certificate in Psychiatric Therapeutics, Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy and MSc in Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice at Aston University.
In 2004, she was appointed deputy chief pharmacist and part-time manager of North Birmingham Pharmacy Services for the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust — a position she held for three years.
Ultimately, Celia was a freelance consultant, carrying out consultancy, teaching and writing for the pharmaceutical industry, and continuing her work as a clinical trainer and writer in psychiatric therapeutics and psychiatric pharmacy.
During her career, Celia lectured all over the world, from Scandinavia, to North America, to New Zealand. She also carried out extensive research into prescribing in mental illness, authoring or co-authoring more than 40 academic papers covering a variety of indications, including bipolar disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia and depression, and was on the first panel for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidelines on anxiety disorders.
Celia devoted 53 years of her life to her trade. During this time, she was also an active and influential member of several committees, including various pharmaceutical committees and RPS working parties, and won several awards.
She had an initial stint as treasurer of the UK Psychiatric Pharmacy Group (UKPPG), between 1999 and 2000, before taking on the role of vice-chair. Then chair, Steve Bazire, said Celia was “always on hand with sensible, insightful and pragmatic advice”.
In 2001, Celia was awarded the UKPPG ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, and later acceded to become its chair.
During this time, the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP), of which she was a founding member, began to take shape, and between 2004 and 2007 she led the organisation as its president.
Celia was made a Fellow of the CMHP in 2010 and, four years later, was also made a Fellow of the RPS. In 2018, Aston University awarded its first ‘Celia Feetam Award’ for best performance in its postgraduate certificate in psychiatric therapeutics.
Ciara Ni Dhubhlaing, president of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy, said that the pharmacy “family” would feel the loss of Celia “deeply”.
“Celia was a teacher, a mentor, an advisor and a dear friend to so many of us.
“She has inspired, encouraged and supported generations of mental health pharmacists who, in turn, have improved the lives of countless patients beyond those whom Celia helped directly herself.”
Hannah Mcfarlane, a teaching fellow in the School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University and lead clinical pharmacist at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, said she was “shocked and saddened” to hear the news of Celia’s passing.
“Words fail me. I feel a profound loss, both personally and professionally. I am proud to have been able to call Celia a friend and mentor at formative times in my life and know that she leaves behind a strong legacy of similarly-inspired individuals.”
Katherine Delargy, chief pharmacist, at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust said Celia was “an influential figure” in mental health pharmacy.
“Her intellect was sharp and caused many of us to rethink positions on evidence base as it pertains to patient care.
“She was an educator held in high regard, who always had time to assist her students. I well remember our exchanges when I was studying for the Aston certificate and diploma. She was a person who inspired positive changes. Her work has improved lives and will live on in her publishing and in the people who developed as professionals due to her pedagogy.”
Lynn Haygarth, a specialist mental health pharmacist and lecturer in pharmacy practice, worked closely with Celia for more than 30 years.
“We set up the first ‘Pharmacists new to psychiatry’ courses and had great fun as well as working hard.
“Then came the international psychiatric pharmacy conference, and Celia was there to stop panic setting in with her amazing manner, skills and knowledge. I have worked with her as the course leader for many years on the Aston certificate and diploma. I was delighted to be admitted as a full member of CMHP while she was president.
“When she retired, it was a great pleasure to nominate Celia as a Fellow of the RPS. An amazing colleague and good friend.”