Celebrating Maudsley Hospital’s centenary | Press releases

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Celebrating Maudsley Hospital’s centenary

Maudsley Hospital

David Bradley, Chief Executive and Sir Norman Lamb, Chair of South London and Maudsley reflect on 100 years of Maudsley Hospital.    

Maudsley Hospital, founded by psychiatrist Henry Maudsley, opened to the public in 1923. It had first been requisitioned by the War Office before its completion in 1915 to deal with the military casualties of the First World War. 

Our organisation has changed in many ways over the last 100 years and South London and Maudsley, which also comprises Bethlem Royal Hospital, Lambeth Hospital and The Ladywell Unit, Lewisham, is now one of the country’s largest and most complex multi-site providers of mental health services.  

However, Henry Maudsley’s vision, to be a hospital in an urban centre where mental healthcare, teaching and research would come together, endures.   

It was a vision built on the premise of partnership and innovation – a far cry from the asylums which came before. We continue to be very proud of our partnership with the world-leading Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.   

We are continuing to develop this valuable relationship through the King’s Maudsley Partnership, which will have its home in the state-of-the-art Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People just behind the Maudsley Hospital when it is completed later this year.    

The partnership will bring together our expert clinicians with Europe’s leading child and adolescent mental health research team – all supported by Maudsley Charity.   

Our ambition is that this partnership will help us to address the increasing demand for mental health care from children, young people and their families while playing a huge role in speeding up how innovation and research can benefit children faster.   

Huge advances in technology over the last few decades now help health and care professionals communicate better and enable people to access the care they need quickly and easily – websites, digital systems and electronic prescribing systems help us to make the best decisions for people who use our services. We’ve just launched a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) virtual waiting room to improve the experience for young people and their families who are waiting to be seen.   

We’re passionate about making sure people receive the right care in the right place. One hundred years ago mental health provision was almost solely hospital based but like our understanding of mental ill health, our south London population has grown and diversified.   

Over the last few decades, the traditional divide of primary, hospital and community care has shifted and we’re now focussing on integrated, holistic methods of delivering care. We’re also strengthening the mental health components of urgent and emergency care pathways and developing our partnerships to support people with issues which we know can have an adverse impact on their mental health – social care, housing and social mobility.   

South London and Maudsley delivers most of our care and treatment in our community - to more than 41,000 people. Some people recover better and faster if they’re cared for in their own homes and we have a greater understanding of how to meet the physical health needs of people with mental health conditions.   

We will always need to be able to provide inpatient facilities for people who are acutely unwell, which is why although you can still see the historical façade of the Maudsley Hospital, behind this landmark we are working hard to modernise our campus.  

New Douglas Bennett House, a modern eight-ward inpatient facility will be the new home to those currently based at Lambeth Hospital, as well as eating disorders and neuropsychiatry units. The new building is named after Dr Douglas Bennett, a consultant psychiatrist at Maudsley Hospital, who pioneered long-term care and rehabilitation services. Co-designed by patients, carers, clinicians, and specialist architects working together, the new building will offer a modern and much-improved environment for patients and staff.   

Experts exploring the history of Maudsley Hospital have mused that at the time, and although smaller scale, Maudsley Hospital was not a cheap alternative to asylums when staffing, design and administration were taken into consideration. NHS funding continues to be a challenging area, and we work hard to ensure every penny we spend helps to provide the highest quality care to people who use our services.    

Despite this, we’re still driven by parity of esteem, the principle by which mental health must be given equal priority to physical health.   

Just like it was 100 years ago, Maudsley Hospital remains an important landmark in south London. But we know we’re much more than just our buildings – thanks to our staff and the people who have made our organisation what it is today we have the opportunity to become an anchor institution, using our assets and resources to benefit the communities around us.  

Find out more about our five-year strategy Aiming High; Changing Lives   

For more information about our history visit slam.nhs.uk/our-history  


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