Dr Ruth Seifert (1943-2009)

Consultant psychiatrist

Dr Ruth Seifert was born in Holloway in London in 1943 to a large Jewish family. She was a consultant psychiatist at Hackney Hospital from the early 1980s to the early 1990s. She worked in the dilapidated 'F' block and was described as "feisty, outspoken, and respected the patients, but could be a pain to those in authority. She was canny about telling the difference between 'the mad' and 'the bad', an invaluable gift, as the managers were responsible for patients having their liberty taken away."  At Hackney, Seifert set up the psychiatric intensive care unit while battling for funding from bureaucrats implementing the Conservative's divisive health service reforms. "The psychiatric wards were so badly resourced that patients in severe states of mental distress were forced to sleep inches from one another – accompanied by the stench of leaking waste pipes – while the rising tide of violence included serious sexual assaults."

She was a fellow at the Royal College of Psychiatrists from 1988, and was deputy chairman of Bart's Medical Council (1988-90), and regional adviser in psychiatry to the NE Thames Regional Health Authority (1993-97). She retired in 1998. She died in March 2009.



This page was added by Tony Public on 13/03/2010.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.