David Lewis Davies
Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
of the Oxford Record Linkage Study and Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, died suddenly on 29 August 1982, aged 55. John Baldwin qualified in medicine with honours in Aberdeen. In the course of post graduate training in psychiatry he became interested in epidemiology. A research fellowship enabled him to pursue this interest in the University Department of Psychiatry in Aberdeen, where he and his colleagues set up a pioneering psychiatric case register. He set out to show how this kind of
... n gathering could be used to plan and manage mental health services. The results of this important work were published as a book. The Mental Hospital in the Psychiatric Service, in 1971. From Aberdeen, John Baldwin moved to Oxford to direct the Record Linkage Study. This comprehensive register included all forms of medical and surgical diseases as well as psychiatric disorders. The new post brought large adminis trative responsibilities, but it also allowed John Baldwin to extend his interests beyond psychiatry. For example, he pub lished on maternity and child health, on cancer and on thyroid disease. These wide interests were reflected in his election to the Fellowship of the Faculty of Community Medicine. However, while devoting himself wholeheartedly to these general medical issues, Baldwin's first interest con tinued to be in psychiatry. He developed two aspects of the case register. The first concerned the linking of medical and psychiatric data. This research was developed in conjunc tion with the WHO in an important study of medical dis orders among the families of schizophrenic patients. The second interest was to develop the potential of computers to link the records of different members of the same family, a technically difficult undertaking which he was still pursuing at the time of his death. Despite these wide responsibilities, John Baldwin con tinued to take an active interest in the work of the Oxford Division of Psychiatry of which he was chairman for several years. He was a friendly colleague, always ready to give time to others. He never failed to offer advice and help to those who were planning their own research. He was especially concerned with problems of the ethics of psychiatric research and was for many years chairman of the Research Ethics Committee. To his immediate colleagues he was a warm-hearted, popular man. In the wider field of medical research he was respected for his wise counsel. Outside his work, he led a particularly happy family life in his home in an Oxfordshire village. He is survived by his wife and one son.