Blue plaque in honour of pioneer GP

The blue plaque
The blue plaque

A pioneer of mental health treatment has been honoured with a blue plaque.

A pioneer of mental health treatment in Brighton and Hove has been honoured with a commemorative blue plaque.

Councillor Lynda Hyde, the mayor of Brighton, unveiled the plaque dedicated to Dr Helen Boyle (1869-1957) at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Aldrington House on New Church Road, Hove.

Dr Boyle was Brighton’s first woman GP and her ground-breaking approach to treating mental illness changed the lives of countless working class women in the area.

As well as working in general practice Dr Boyle founded the Lewes Road Dispensary for Women and Children in Hanover, and later opened the Lewes Road Hospital in Roundhill Crescent, specifically for the treatment of working class women with early stage mental illness. This hospital later became known as the Lady Chichester Hospital and transferred to Aldrington House in 1919.

Attending the unveiling were members of the Boyle family – niece and nephew Richard and Ursula Boyle, and great nephew David Boyle - and the Ambassador of Serbia, Dr Ognjen Pribićević, in recognition of the time Dr Boyle spent working in Serbia during World War One.

On unveiling the plaque, Councillor Hyde said: “Dr Boyle’s work to transform the treatment of working class women with early stage mental illness was ground-breaking and transformative, and it’s only right that the city should celebrate the achievements of this remarkable woman.

“Hers was, by anyone’s standards, quite a remarkable life, full of achievement, ambition and strength. A life worthy of recognition and celebration, and with her achievements and determination in mind it is my absolute pleasure to unveil this plaque.”