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Personal profile

Research interests

Paul's research principally focuses on the epidemiology and treatment of personality disorders (PD) and self-harming behaviour.  His research has highlighted the substantial health problems experienced by people diagnosed with personality disorder and, by impacting on clinical guidelines, his work has helped to stimulate service development in a highly neglected clinical area.

He also has a long-standing research interest in self-harm, having led a series of key epidemiological studies into the natural history of self-harm, as well as translational studies of interventions for people who self-harm.



  • observational studies
  • randomized controlled trials
  • health services research


Paul studied medicine at Barts Hospital Medical College in London.  He rapidly developed an interest in psychological medicine as a medical undergraduate, taking an intercalated BSc in Psychology & Medicine at UCL. He was later awarded the Strauss Prize in Psychological Medicine. After completing his house jobs at Barts and the Homerton Hospitals, he completed training in Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital.  With funding support from the Department of Health, he took a masters in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (distinction) before being awarded an MD.  His thesis described the first rigorous study of personality disorder in primary care.  The Department of Health subsequently awarded him a postdoctoral fellowship, during which time he led a series of key papers on the epidemiology of personality disorder, and the development of a rapid screening test for personality disorder (the Standardised Assessment of Personality Abbreviated Scale; SAPAS) which has been adopted by clinical services across the world. 


Clinical experience

Currently, Paul works as an honorary consultant psychiatrist with the Liaison Psychiatry team at Bristol Royal Infirmary.  Between 2004-2015, Paul led South London & Maudsley's national service for people who recurrently self-harm. The service pioneered harm reduction for the management of self-harm. From 2013-2015, he was the sessional consultant psychiatrist to London South Bank University.  

Expert advisory roles

Paul has advised the Department of Health and NHS organizations on the management of personality disorders.  He was a member of the NICE Guidelines Development Group on the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (2009) and was an expert member of NICE's Quality Standards Advisory Committee (QSAC) on Personality Disorders (2015). 



  • psychiatric epidemiology
  • personality disorder
  • self harm


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