Skip to main content
Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine (WIPM)

About the Centre for Psychiatry

At Queen Mary University of London, we believe that a diversity of ideas helps us achieve the previously unthinkable.

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, formely 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. The Henry VIII gatehouse at Barts HospitalIn 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 1985) 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).


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 (BMA). A close association between the two medical colleges was developed following the Royal Commission on Medical Education in 1968, and new links with 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 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.