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Freeman, Hugh Lionel (1929-2011)

  • Freeman, Professor Hugh Lionel (1929-2011) FRCPsych, DM, FFPHM, MA, MSc, consultant psychiatrist
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


This collection comprises material relating to Hugh Freeman's career in psychiatry notably focusing on mental health policy in Britain, the history of mental health provision in Britain, mental health and the impact of the environment, community vs. institutional care, treating schizophrenia, drug treatment of mental health conditions, racial discrimination and mental health and breaking the cycle of violence (in relation to terrorism). Mainly notes and images for lectures, articles and off-prints, correspondence, slides for lectures. There are also three boxes of medico-legal case files relating to cases where Freeman gave a psychiatric opinion on each claimant.



Physical description

22 boxes


PP/HLF has been arranged as follows:
A Lecture Materials
B Correspondence
C Case Files
D Notes, Drafts and Research
E Publications

Acquisition note

The material was donated to the Wellcome Library by Professor Joan Freeman, 09/01/2012. An additional file of extracts of the newsletter of the Society of Clinical Psychiatrists was donated by Professor Freeman in July 2013, and an additional box of material was donated by Professor Freeman in August 2014.

Biographical note

Hugh Freeman was born 4 August 1929 in Salford and educated at Altrincham grammar school. He won an open scholarship to read modern history at St John's College, Oxford. His scholarship subjects were all in the arts but he was persuaded to read medicine, qualifying in 1954. He did his house jobs at the Manchester Royal Infirmary before serving as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. During his time in the army he was in charge of discharging men and dealing with violent alcoholics and he took the first part of the diploma in psychological medicine during this time. Following his army service he went on to the Maudsley Hospital in London and then became a consultant psychiatrist in Salford, Greater Manchester, where he spent the rest of his professional life.

Hugh Freeman's important contributions were in changing mental health provision in Britain and promoting community psychiatry. From 1967, at Hope Hospital and Salford Royal, he pioneered psychiatric units in general hospitals. He went on to greatly expand day hospital and outpatient care, enabling patients with serious mental illness to be managed in various settings outside medical institutions. His main concern was the conditions in which people were treated in mental hospitals and ways to prevent admission or to provide treatment in community settings. To this end he initiated teams of co-workers such as mental health social workers, mental welfare officers, nurses and GPs who provided early treatment and alternatives to mental or psychiatric hospitals. He also started one of the first psychiatric case registers with the help of the Salford medical officer for mental health. He used the register to monitor the service needs of the population of Salford, a poorly resourced industrial city environment.

Hugh Freeman wrote on a variety of subjects including the history of the National Health Service, aspects of psychiatry in the community, the effect of environment on mental health, racial discrimination and psychiatry, the treatment of schizophrenic patients with the drug chlorpromazine, the role of the social worker in the mental health service, and behaviour therapy. He was for ten years from 1983 editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry and also acted as assistant editor of other journals. In 1988 he started the international journal Current Opinion in Psychiatry. He edited and authored several books, notably Mental Health and the Environment, (1984), Mental Health Services in Europe: 10 years on, (1986), The Provision of Mental Health Services in Britain: the way ahead, (1986), Community Psychiatry, (1991), Alzheimer and the Dementias, (1991), Options for Improving Patient Care in Schizophrenia, (1996), 150 Years of British Psychiatry 1841-1991 (1991 and 1996), A Century of Psychiatry, (1999).

Although he retired in 1988, he remained active and helped to found the British False Memory Society. His last book, unpublished, was provisionally titled Cycles of Violence which explored the causes of terrorism. He was elected Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians in 1989 and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1998.

In 1957 he married Joan Casket, now known as a professor of psychology and expert in gifted children. They have three sons and a daughter.

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Terms of use

This collection has been catalogued and is available to library members. Some items have access restrictions which are explained in the item-level catalogue records.

Accruals note


The following is an interim description of material that has been acquired since this collection was catalogued. This description may change when cataloguing takes place in future:

1 transfer box received August 2014 (acc. 2111), consisting of:
Medico-legal files, 2002-2012
Conference programmes and flyers, 1967-2003
Miscellaneous correspondence, and a few papers,1997-2002 (to be sorted)


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