Scope and content
┆Oral history interview with Dr. Bertram Mandelbrote.
**Name**: Bertram Mandelbrote
**Biographical summary**: Mandelbrote was a medical professional best known for his work at Littlemore Hospital in Oxford where he established a therapeutic community known as the Phoenix Unit in 1959. Previously, Mandelbrote had installed therapeutic practices at both Coney Hill and Horton Road Hospitals in Gloucester where he worked as the physician superintendent. In 1970 Littlemore opened the Ley Clinic to treat drug addicts with Mandelbrote appointed as consultant. Whilst working at the Clinic, Mandelbrote was exposed to the California 'concept house' model, leading him to establish the Ley Community in Yarnton, Oxfordshire. The Community was a charitable foundation providing a residential therapeutic community and recovery programme for men and women with drug and alcohol dependency. Mandelbrote went on to found further rehabilitation service, including Restore and the Isis Centre, both in Oxford.
**Interviewer**: Craig Fees
**Brief summary of interview**: Mandelbrote begins by recalling his time at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and his work on copper metabolism in disseminated sclerosis patients. He describes how his interest in the psychosomatic aspects of medicine developed, leading into a career in psychiatry. Mandlebrote gives an overview of his early career through his roles at the Royal Maudsley, Fever Hospital, Royal Hospital Hammersmith and Warlingham Park. He describes the experience of working with eminent colleagues including Aubrey Lewis, Eric Wittkower, John Fleminger, David Clark and T.P. Rees. Mandlebrote moves on to discuss his experiences at Horton Road and Coney Hill Hospitals in Gloucester. He reveals the inhumane conditions he found on arrival and descibes how he implemented a complete change in the structure of the hospital, the type available, and the care that was provided. Memories of Horton Road and Coney Hill lead into an overview of Mandelbrote's time touring America in the early 1960s before the conversation moves on to his appointment at Littlemore Hospital. Mandlebrote recalls the process of creating Unit A which followed traditional psychiatric methods, and Unit B (known as the Phoenix Unit) which looked to establish a therapeutic community. He describes how the Phoenix Unit operated before moving on to very briefly discuss establishing the Ley Clinic (later known as the Ley Community) for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
**Date of recording:** 24 May 1995
**Recording length**: 0:45:14; 0:41:47; 0:43:08 and 0:31:41