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About Wendy Burn

Professor Burn was appointed as a Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in Leeds in 1990 and now works part-time in a community mental health team for older people and as the National Mental Health Clinical Advisor to Health Education England.

She has been involved in the organisation and delivery of postgraduate training since she started as a consultant. She has held many roles in education. She set up the Yorkshire School of Psychiatry and was the first Head of School.

She was Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists from 2011 to 2016 and President from 2017 to 2020.

She is currently Co-chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Gatsby Wellcome Neuroscience Project which focuses on modernising the neuroscience taught to psychiatric trainees. She is also Chair of the Clinical group of Equally Well, a project set up to improve physical health in people with a serious mental illness, and leads the Expert Group on COVID-19 Care for People with Mental Illness for the World Psychiatric Association. She was awarded a CBE in the New Year honours 2021.


Professor Burn is working with Health Education England to improve the education and training in mental health for all parts of the workforce.


Professor Burn's research interests are in old age psychiatry and education.

Published Work

Burn, W., & Mudholkar, S. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on mental health: Update from the United Kingdom. Indian Journal Of Psychiatry62(9), 365.

Cuttle, G., & Burn, W. (2020). Neuroscience: the way forward. Bjpsych Advances26(6), 318-319.

Adebowale, V., Alderson, D., Burn, W., Dickson, J., Godlee, F., & Goddard, A. et al. (2020). Covid-19: Call for a rapid forward looking review of the UK’s preparedness for a second wave—an open letter to the leaders of all UK political parties. BMJ, m2514.

Pandian, H., Mohamedali, Z., Chapman, G., Vinchenzo, P., Ahmed, S., & Mulliez, Z. et al. (2020). Psych Socs: student-led psychiatry societies, an untapped resource for recruitment and reducing stigma. Bjpsych Bulletin44(3), 91-95.

Burn, W. (2018). Being bipolar can be “awesome” . . . but only if you get the right support. BMJ, k2653.

Bajwa, S., Boyce, N., & Burn, W. (2018). Researching, practising, and debating mental health care. The Lancet Psychiatry5(12), 954.


BM, MMedSc, FRCPsych

Doctor of Medicine honoris causa, University of Leeds, 2018

Honorary Fellow of Academy of Medical Educators 2018

Honorary Fellow of Royal College of Psychiatrists 2021