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Alistair Burns

CBE FRCP FRCPsych MD (Hons) MPhil


Honorary Member of Department of Psychiatry

  • Emeritus Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, University of ‎Manchester
  • Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Alistair Burns is emeritus Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Manchester, an Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and an Honorary Member of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. Previously, he was a Honorary Consultant at the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Burns trained in general and old age psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital in London from 1983, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 1992. From 1993, he was Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at The University of Manchester (emeritus status since October 2023). From 2010 until October 2023, he was the National Clinical Director for Dementia (and Older People’s Mental Health) for the NHS in England. In 2015, he was awarded a CBE for services to Dementia.

As a clinical academic in the University, he led an extensive research programme, including a number of clinical trials. He has published over 400 academic papers and has authored/edited 32 books on dementia and older people’s mental health. He is a Past President of the International Psychogeriatric Association and was editor of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry for over twenty years.