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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
BUCHANAN, Dr Alec William (b 1958)
Level of description
collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
0.18 metres cubed or 18 boxes


Name of creator(s)

BUCHANAN, Dr Alec William (b 1958) 

Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1958; University of Edinburgh, MB ChB, 1981; MRC Psych, 1989; University of London, MPhil (psychiatry), 1991; Senior Registrar in Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital, 1992; University of Cambridge, MPhil (criminology), 1993; University of Cambridge, PhD, 1996; University of Edinburgh, MD, 1996; Honorary Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Maudsley Hospital, 1997; Senior Lecturer in the Department of Forensic Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, London; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University. 2003. Publication:Care of the mentally disordered offender in the community edited by Alec Buchanan (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002)

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred via the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.

Content & structure

Scope and content

The collection consists of working papers relating to Buchanan's professional career as a forensic psychiatrist in the UK, [1984]-2001, chiefly research papers relating to the Special Hospitals Service Authority and psychiatric reports relating to Maudsley Hospital patients. Section 1 comprises papers arising from the daily administrative operations of Maudsley Hospital London. Section 2 contains research notes, questionnaires and criminal record 'multiple enquiry forms' produced from the Home Office Offenders Index. This material relates to an unpublished study conducted by Buchanan, 1992-1995, of discharged special hospital patients convicted of violent re-offences. The findings, intended to inform the decision making of those entrusted with the care of special hospital patients, were funded by the Special Hospitals Service Authority. There are also confidential psychiatric reports (see ref 3/1 to 3/6), produced by forensic psychiatrists at Maudsley Hospital, London. The reports evaluate an individual's competency to stand trial, defences based on mental diseases or defects (for instance the "insanity" defence), and sentencing recommendations. Section 4 contains questionnaires relating to a project funded by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation focused on developing the Maudsley Assessment of Delusions Schedule to provide a more accurate and effective way of assessing patient's delusions. Section 5 consists of papers relating a psychiatric case assessed by Buchanan in his capacity as a member of the Serious Untoward Incident Panel of the Hounslow and Spelthorne Community and Mental Health NHS Trust. The collection also includes photocopies of articles from medical publications and on-line resources compiled by Buchanan which relate to the ethical connotations of patient confidentiality in connection with medical trials and research (see ref 6/1).

System of arrangement

Arranged in the following sections: Papers as Forensic Psychiatrist, Maudsley Hospital; Special Hospitals Service Authority (SHSA) study; Maudsley Hospital psychiatric reports on offenders; Maudsley Assessment of Delusions Schedule; Hounslow and Spelthorne Community and Mental Health NHS Trust; patient confidentiality research papers.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Records relating to individuals are subject to the Data Protection Act, and are closed for 80 years from the last date in the file.  Access may be granted to researchers in certain circumstances, and upon signature of a special undertaking, providing such research if for purely statistical purposes and published data is anonymised such as to prevent the identification of individuals.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies of section 6 only, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archives and Information Management.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Detailed catalogue, available online, and in hard copy in the College Archives reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Description control

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Entry compiled 2007


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  • Administration of justice
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Health
  • Health policy
  • Health services
  • Hospitals
  • Law
  • Legislation
  • Mental diseases
  • Penal sanctions
  • Prisons
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychopathology
  • Social problems
  • Violence

Personal names

  • Alec William
  • Buchanan
  • Forensic Psychiatrist
  • b 1958

Corporate names

  • Department of Forensic Psychiatry
  • Institute of Psychiatry
  • Maudsley Hospital

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