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Alastair John Forrest

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 10 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2226
  1. Sarah Forrest

Alastair John Forrest was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, to Gavin, a GP, and Joan Forrest. He qualified from the University of Otago, New Zealand, in 1965 before completing his house jobs in Auckland. From here he travelled to the UK as a ship’s doctor on an Anchor Butter boat, a story often shared in the years since, reflecting both his love of the sea as well as his unassuming nature. He subsequently worked in the US as an intern at Washington Hospital Center and then as a resident in psychiatry at Manhattan State Hospital.

Alastair travelled back to the UK to join the London Hospital psychiatry rotation and then the training schemes at St George’s Hospital. He became one of the youngest consultant psychiatrists on gaining his membership to the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1974.

Alastair’s first consultant post was at Netherne Hospital in Surrey, where he worked for 15 years. This period covered the move away from inpatient to community care and lead up to the closure of the hospital, after nearly a century as one of the large psychiatric hospitals around London. It was here he …

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