Memorandum titled "Research in Psychiatry--Maudsley Hospital"
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3 (155,154 Bytes)
1931-03-03 (March 3, 1931)
Original Repository: Rockefeller Archive Center. Rockefeller Foundation Archives
Reproduced with permission of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Director of Medical Sciences, 1930-1945
For Officers' Conference March 3, 1931
A proposal has been received from Dr. Edward Mapother, the Medical Superintendent of the Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill,
London, and adviser to the Mental Hospitals Committee of the London County Council. It is a request for endowment of research
work in psychiatry in a new and important reorganization of London psychiatric hospitals centering at the Maudsley Hospital.
The opportunity of organizing effective research work in psychiatry in a school of the University of London which also houses
the central laboratory for 20,000 mental patients of the L.C.C. and a well-established hospital of 170 beds, under a new and
far-reaching law effective January 1, 1931, is an occasion deserving careful attention of the officers. No part of the aid
requested would be used for buildings, hospital maintenance, general overhead or equipment of laboratories.
The aid requested is for the endowment of salaries of research workers. Though the sum suggested for the complete endowment
of all the salaries in the scheme would be considerable ($754,000), it is quite possible that a less extensive plan and a
gradual development contingent upon local support would reduce the endowment required from any one source to between $400,000
and $450,000. The average cost per year, however, over an 8-year period preparatory to capitalization, would not be over
The current year is one of unusual importance in the development of psychiatry in England. There has been a law enacted,
and effective January 1, 1931, which effects several changes of considerable importance in the administration of hospitals
for mental disease. Under this law the L.C.C. has among other things received the power to organize a series of outpatient
departments for mental cases in several L.C.C. general hospitals; to organize observation wards in L.C.C. general hospitals
(representing about 7000 new patients a year); and to assign to the Maudsley Hospital the control of all voluntary applications
for commitment; to expend funds for the support of outpatient clinics in mental hospitals. Previous to this year the development
of psychiatry has been seriously handicapped, and it may be noted that there is no department of psychiatry in any university
in the south of England, although the budget for the care of mental disease in England alone is more than 2,000,000 pounds
The Maudsley Hospital is a hospital with a private foundation, but supported by the L.C.C. as well as income from a few private
beds, and contains a combination of wards, outpatient department and laboratories, existing nowhere else in England. Postgraduate
teaching is done at the Maudsley for the Government services and for the diploma in psychological medicine. Though a hospital
entirely for cases under voluntary commitment, it has a wide range of patients and is in a position to select for teaching
or investigative purposes from some 20,000 cases in the L.C.C. mental hospitals, plus 10,000 cases of mental defectives.
Maudsley is furthermore in definite relationship with child guidance clinics, a special hospital for senile dementia, and
an organization for the study of problem children. Land is being acquired for a considerable expansion (300 additional beds),
but already new cases in the outpatient department at the Maudsley total 1578 yearly as compared with 625 at the Tavistock
Square Clinic, the next largest to the Maudsley in England. The part-time officers at the Maudsley are limited to 5 years
service. All full-time appointments are renewable yearly.
Within the buildings of the Maudsley Hospital is located the central laboratory for the mental hospitals of the L.C.C. This
laboratory is directed by Dr. Golla, and co-ordinates and supervises the local work of the different mental hospital laboratories
of the L.C.C., and trains the personnel therefor. It thus supervises the scientific work that can be done over a range of
30,000 patients (10,000 new patients per annum), and is in an exceptional position both as regards material and influence.
Authorization is requested for further negotiations necessary to the preparation of a definite proposal for aid to research
work in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital.