In March 2012, we secured £4.7m to support experimental medicine facilities within a new NIHR/Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility (CRF) based at King’s College Hospital. We believe that the newly established CRF is the first of its kind in the world to be specifically designed to support mental health and neurosciences clinical trials. It will also enable us to further develop the pioneering research led by King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in specialist fields including haemato-oncology, cardiovascular medicine and diabetes.
The results of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) competition for Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) funding were announced. In partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, we were awarded increased funding of £49m over five years to support a new portfolio of experimental medicine and translational research. The increase in funding was awarded specifically to build upon our successful informatics strategy. The BRC is one of 11 in the country but remains the only one specialising in mental health research.
Our partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry also yielded a further £4.5m award up until March 2017 to establish a Biomedical Research Unit for Dementia, one of four in the country.
"The Maudsley part of the name is internationally recognised for excellence in research, treatment and teaching in mental health care and it's the combination of those two things together that makes us unique."
Stuart Bell CBE, Former Chief Executive of SLaM, contemplates the future of SLaM:
"In the last 20 years, there has been a real revolution in mental health care with the closure of the Victorian asylums and the establishment of community based services, and of course that's what Henry Maudsley founded a hospital in order to achieve.
What's remarkable is how much foresight there was in Maudsley's founding principles: first, that we should aim to provide effective treatments for mental illness, just as we would for any other illness, in order to try to get people better, rather than simply removing them from society; second that there should be research into finding new and better treatments; and third that there should be centers for training people who are able to deliver those treatments.
I think the big difference in the future is going to be the way in which science is developing and how we're going to be able to put that into practice. The last 20 years has been about putting building blocks of services in place, community teams, home treatment teams and different types of services. I think what we're going to be concentrating on for the next 20 years and beyond, is what actually goes on within those teams, what treatment will be available, what's the pathway of care that people are going to have on offer? How can we bring the new scientific developments in genetics, proteomics and imaging to find ways of screening, early detection, early treatment, perhaps even prevention of some of the mental illnesses that are now so common?
The best research in the world is of limited value if you can't put it into practice. We have had some success in doing this, for example in the development of services promoting early intervention, as a result of our unique relationship with the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. For the future, the key is being able to do that systematically. We also need to ensure that research is geared to real life clinical problems and can be applied in a meaningful sense in everyday services.
The essence of the Trust is in its name - we are rooted in south London and grounded in the clinical reality of serving a local inner city community with high levels of mental health need. The Maudsley part of the name is internationally recognised for excellence in research, treatment and teaching in mental health care and it's the combination of those two things together that makes us unique."
King's Health Partners
SLaM becomes part of one of the UK's five Academic Health Science Centres, King's Health Partners.
In 2009 South London and Maudsley became part of King's Health Partners (KHP) - one of the five Academic Health Sciences Centres (AHSCs) in the UK to be accredited by the Department of Health. KHP is a partnership between SLaM, King's College London, Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts.
The main aim of King's Health Partners is to improve NHS care for patients by putting new research findings into practice and providing high quality teaching for the next generation of clinical staff and scientists.
King's Health Partners brings real and lasting benefits to the local communities of south London who can access world leading healthcare experts and clinical services which are based upon by the latest research.
Cane Hill closes
Although most of Cane Hill Hospital had closed down in 1992, our Medium Secure Unit remained on the site until February 2008.
Once our patients were moved to our new unit River House at Bethlem Royal Hospital the site was demolished. Demolition of the site took 18 months and included most of the site other than the water tower and the church.
Many staff who still work at SLaM today trained and worked at the hospital. We interviewed a number of them to mark the closure in SLaM News the Trust's newsletter. This included an Interview with Cliff Meredith who still works at the Trust.
"It was 14 February 1960 when I first arrived at Cane Hill. There were eight inches of snow on the top of our car that day. My dad had got the job as Chief Fire Officer, with a house on the site and Cane Hill became my back garden."
"In 1960 the land was still farmed with a dairy and the hospital was nearly self-sufficient for food and milk. I was 12 when I started working there. I used to buy the Evening Standard and take it round to each ward, selling copies to the patients."
"Our house backed onto the mortuary, and I used to be woken up by the generators switching on and off and remember feeling really scared. In 1977 I began my electrician's apprenticeship together with my brother and we both got jobs at the hospital. We provided an out-of-hours service. If we had a Jewish body in the mortuary a small light had to be switched on all the time. I can remember being called in the middle of the night because it had blown. It was a priority that it was changed, so I had to go in there in the middle of the night. I can remember making my brother come with me. It's funny how it didn't bother him but there was just something about it that I didn't like."
"Many significant events in my life happened at Cane Hill. I met my wife here, we had our engagement party and a few years later my children were christened here. As the site was gradually wound down I was asked to stay on until the end. I can remember Christmas 1991, nearly all the services had left and my brother had tragically died. Putting the Christmas lights up at the front of the hospital was something we had done together every year. It wasn't the same. All of a sudden the place had a very strange feel about it. By the following year there were four of us left, most of the beds were emptied out and sent to eastern Europe and from then on it was our job to make the place secure."
"People said they used to hear sounds, thought the place was haunted, but if you think about the number of pipes running under the place, a labyrinth of tunnels, it's only natural that the building would make noise. The final day came in March 1992, it was a Friday lunchtime, when we hung our coats in our lockers, put the washing up on the side and locked up. That was it, Cane Hill closed. The site was taken over by a security management company; sadly it wasn't secure enough to keep the numerous arsonists and vandals out."
"A bit later I had a call from Ray Smith, manager of the SASS unit, offering me a job as a handy man. I was back. In July 2005 I was honoured to attend the Queens Garden Party, as recognition of my service to the NHS and celebrated 30 years service last November."
"I walk round the site from time to time and think back to how it used to be. It's sad that it's ended up like this. There are a lot of memories and ghosts here for me, and as you can imagine I won't ever forget this place, it's a part of me."
SLaM becomes the 50th organisation to be granted NHS Foundation Trust status.
NHS Foundation Trusts were established under the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. They are not-for-profit, public benefit corporations. They are part of the NHS and provide over half of all NHS hospital and mental health services.
NHS Foundation Trusts were created to devolve decision making from central government to local organisations and communities. They provide and develop healthcare according to core NHS principles - free care, based on need and not ability to pay.