Scope and content
┆Oral history interview with Bertram Mandelbrote.
**Name:** Bertram Mandelbrote
**Biographical summary:** Mandelbrote is 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**: Mandlebrote gives a considered introduction to the work of the Phoenix Unit, Ley Clinic and the Ley Community. He describes the origins of the Unit and Clinic, distinguish between the methods of the Phoenix Unit and those of the unconnected, but similarly named Phoenix House organisation. He then moves on to talk about the Ley Community and the early years at Hitchfield House. He describes the rules of the Community, the role of the work groups, and the various treatment plans used. He describes the type of patients who were admitted to the Community (including those with active criminal convictions or underlying mental health issues), and the different use of 'humiliation' in UK and US drug rehabilitation. Mandlebrote moves on to talk about the success rate for treatment in the 1970s and the relationship of ex-patients to the Community. Mandelbrote recalls the relationship the Ley Community built with both the therapeutic community movement and mainstream society. He offers for discussion the elements which he believes have allowed the Community to succeed where others have not, but acknowledges societal changes and how these have affected the Community. In the later half of the interview he reveals his personal motivations and medical beliefs. Mandlebrote ends the interview by describing the Isis Centre and the changes that have taken place at Littlemore Hospital since his departure.
**Date of recording**: 30 April 1996
**Recording length**: 0:42:23, 0:36:56 and 0:42:48