NHNN neurologist wins Wellcome Book Prize 

28/04/2016 00:00 
Congratulations to our consultant neurologist Suzanne O'Sullivan who has won the Wellcome Book Prize 2016 for her book about psychosomatic illness.

Dr O'Sullivan's debut book, It's All in Your Head, explores a range of debilitating illnesses that are medically unexplained.

We all exhibit physical responses to emotion such as blushing and stomach aches for example, but sometimes these responses can be much more debilitating, causing seizures, paralysis, and even blindness. As many as a third of people visiting their GP with such symptoms do not appear to have an obvious medical cause and the stigmatisation associated with this can be quite profound. Dr O’Sullivan’s book uses case studies from her clinical experience to explore these issues in more detail.

Dr O'Sullivan, who works at UCLH’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, said: “I am thrilled to have won this prize. It’s a personal achievement but more importantly, I’m delighted for my patients because this is a subject which is not often talked about and carries a lot of stigma. This prize is a real mark of respect for these patients and I really hope it goes some way to improving their lives.”

Chair of this year's judges, Joan Bakewell DBE, said: “It is a truly impressive book, chosen for its many virtues.”

She said Dr O'Sullivan's first-hand accounts of diagnosing her patients offered new insights into the relationship between the body and the mind.

“The fact that society divides them into two medical disciplines - the physical and the mental - is being increasingly challenged. O’Sullivan’s book brings to light important examples of how the two inter-relate,” Baroness Bakewell added.

The £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize 2016 celebrates the best books published from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015, which engage with some aspect of medicine, health or illness.

 Latest news

 Contact details

Communications unit
2nd floor central
250 Euston Road
London NW1 2PG

Media enquiries

Switchboard: 020 3456 7890
Media enquiries: 020 3447 7542 / 020 3447 9506
Email: uclh.media@nhs.net

Out of hours
The normal working hours for the Communications Unit are Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. The only media enquiries that will be answered outside of these working hours are urgent enquiries and those relating to major incidents. To access the out-of-hours service call switchboard on 0845 155 5000.

Share this story