Brain Sciences


Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones receives prestigious psychiatry award

20 November 2020

Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Honorary Professor at the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, has won the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ top award – Psychiatrist of the Year.

Henrietta Bowden-Jones

During her acceptance speech Professor Bowden-Jones, the founder and director of Central and North West London’s National Problem Gambling Clinic and the National Centre for Gaming Disorders, paid tribute to the Trust for believing in her concept of developing specialist clinics to treat people with gambling and gaming problems.

Her work has led to a better understanding of the neuroscience of Gambling Disorder as well as a clearer understanding of the vulnerabilites of the patients at the National Problem Gambling Clinic. 

Professor Bowden-Jones was chosen despite a number of high-quality entries and was recognised for her contribution at national and international level to the field of Behavioural Addictions.

In 2008, she founded the National Problem Gambling Clinic. This was the first-ever NHS clinic designated to the treatment of Gambling Disorder and remained the only one until in 2019 the NHS Long Term plan replicated the model to create 15 more in order to provide an evidence-based network of treatment centres across England.

In 2019 with new NHS funding she founded the National Centre for Gaming Disorders, the first NHS centre to treat Gaming Disorders. She has also been an advisor to both the House of Commons and the House of Lords for several years on all matters pertaining to Behavioural Addictions and has been the spokesperson on Behavioural Addictions for the Royal College of Psychiatrists for over a decade.

Professor Bowden-Jones said: “When I heard about the award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists I was literally speechless. I spent a few hours silently reflecting on the enormity of the news and of the fact that, for the rest of my life the recognition this award carries will be one of the most important moments of my career.

“Being bestowed this most prestigious prize, the Royal College of Psychiatrists ‘Psychiatrist of the Year Award 2020’ is the highest recognition our profession can ever dream of achieving.  I am honoured to receive this recognition and would like to share it with all the colleagues who have worked with me at the National Problem Gambling Clinic over the last thirteen years as well as with all of our past patients whose suffering has shaped the way we truly understand the disease in all its debilitating forms.”

Dr Adrian James, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones is a deserving winner of our Psychiatrist of the Year award. She has made an exceptional contribution to services for the treatment of people addicted to gambling and to academic knowledge of this devastating disorder. On top of this, she has also provided inspirational leadership to the Medical Women’s Federation.”

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences said: “I am absolutely delighted that Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones has been recognised for her tremendous contribution to the field of Behavioural Addictions – a well-deserved achievement.”

Dr Simon Edwards Medical Director, Diggory Division, CNWL Honorary Associate Professor, UCL said: “Its wonderful news. We are delighted for her and proud that she does such amazing work in CNWL. She is a tour de force in her addiction research and a very dedicated and passionate advocate of providing pioneering gambling and gaming disorder services. She’s a tireless campaigning raising national awareness to the plight of people harmed through these disorders.”