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Centre for Psychiatry

Led by Professor Kamaldeep Bhui

The past
 Our history goes back a long way. St Bartholomew’s Hospital (or Bart’s) is the oldest hospital in England and The London Hospital Medical College the oldest Medical School in London. St Bartholomew’s Hospital was founded, with the Priory of St Bartholomew, in 1123 by Rahere, formerly a courtier of Henry I. In the early medieval period the sick were cared for by the brethren and sisters of the Priory, but gradually the hospital became independent. In 1822 John Abernethy persuaded the hospital governors to give formal recognition to the medical school, which had been gradually established during the late eighteenth century. The school was formed in 1995 by the merger of the London Hospital Medical College (the first school to be granted an official charter for medical teaching in 1785) and the Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital and is now 1st in London for medicine and 3rd in the United Kingdom in the Guardian League Tables (2018).
 
Department of Psychological Medicine
 Dr Eric Strauss founded the Department of Psychological Medicine at Bart’s in the 1930’s and started clinical service there. During his 21 years there he fostered and promoted the growth of the department of Psychological Medicine from its early infancy to full maturity. Later on, Professor Linford Rees was a distinguished physician who made a major contribution to the field of psychiatry during the second half of the 20th century. He was President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Medical Association. A close association between the two medical colleges was developed following the Royal Commission on Medical Education in 1968, and new links with the then Queen Mary College were established at the same time. In 1989 the pre-clinical teaching at the two medical colleges was merged and sited in the Basic Medical Sciences Building at Queen Mary (where it stayed until 2005, when it was moved to the Blizzard Building at the Whitechapel campus). In 1992, St. Bartholomew's, the Royal London and the London Chest Hospital joined to form the Barts and The London NHS Trust, with a full merger of the medical colleges with Queen Mary taking place three years later.
 
The present
 The Centre for Psychiatry continues this tradition and is a world leader in research on cultural, social and environmental aspects of public mental health research, as well as health services research to improve the care of patients. We are one of the three Centres within the world famous Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, part of Bart’s and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, a UK top 10 multi-faculty research institution. Currently under the leadership of Professor Kamaldeep Bhui, and supported by the grants from NIHR, Department of Health, Ministry of Justice, UK Research Councils (including Medical Research Council), industry, and a host of charities, the Centre comprises the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Collaborating Centre in research, education and policy and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre specifically for 'mental health services development'’. We are academic partner of East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), which received an ‘outstanding’ rating from CQC in 2016.
 
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
 In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, the Centre was ranked 5th out of 32 entries under UoA2. The results reflected a return of 20.61 full-time equivalent category A staff. The overall quality rating was of staff 44% at 4*(world leading) and 42% at 3* (internationally excellent). We did particularly well on impact and environment with 100% of our quality ratings at 3 or above. Psychiatry provided 2 of the 3 case studies for the Wolfson Institute, which received an overall average score of 3.74 out of 4.

Our strengths & futures
 We are world leaders in studies of population mental health, including epidemiology and mixed methods research into mental health promotion; prevention of mental illness; and improving patient care in collaboration with public institutions, patient groups and communities of concern, government and industry. Our new lines of research focus on the relationship between chronic disease and mental illness, severe and multiple disadvantage; and tackling health inequalities using co-design and progressive theories of change.
 
The Centre provides an integrated research and teaching environment in which we deliver research training at MSc and PhD levels, and we coordinate high quality undergraduate education with our NHS partners for medical students, psychiatric trainees, and postgraduates wishing to improve their academic practice and clinical skills. May of our courses are interdisciplinary; for example, our MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health is run with the Department of English and Drama, and the MSc Forensic Mental Health in collaboration with East London NHS Foundation Trust. In the undergraduate medical programme, we lead on the theme of Brain, Mind and Behaviour, which comprises Neurology, Psychiatry, Psychology, Ophthalmology and aspects of Community Medicine. We also lead on the new curricula on Medical Professionalism (MedPro) and development of Wellbeing and Resilience in Students.

Our research is organised around themes of:

Liaison Psychiatry

Psychological Medicine focuses on the interface between medical and psychological disorders with projects focusing on aetiological mechanisms and on developing interventions that improve outcome and quality of life.

Epidemiological and Cultural Psychiatry

This involves studies of environmental risk factors such as transport noise and air pollution and their effects on health, social and cultural risk factors for common mental disorders.

Social and community

The Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry is located at the Newham Centre for Mental Health in the London Borough of Newham. It closely collaborates with local clinical services, and has strong international links.

Violence Prevention

The Violence Prevention Research Unit (VPRU) studies the epidemiology of violent individuals; investigates links between psychopathology and violence; develops methods to estimate risk of future violence;

We provide undergraduate and postgraduate education in psychiatry.

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