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Birns, Jonathan - consultant in stroke, elderly care and general medicine


Consultant profiles

Jonathan Birns


Secretary: Petula Bent
Tel: 020 7188 2515

  • Biography

    • Consultant in stroke, geriatric and general internal medicine
    • Honorary senior lecturer at King's College London
    • South east London training programme director for geriatric medicine
    • Deputy head of the London School of Medicine

    Dr Jonathan Birns trained at University College London, and undertook his PhD at King's College London. He has worked at a number of hospitals in London, including Hammersmith, the Royal Brompton, University College Hospital and King's.

    In addition to his clinical interests, he is training programme director for geriatrics in south east London and has developed a number of innovative and pioneering medical education programmes.
  • Education and training

    Dr Jonathan Birns qualified at University College London Medical School in 1998, where he was awarded a First Class Honours BSc and 29 prizes including the prize for best overall performance in the MBBS Examinations. He undertook postgraduate general medical training at the Hammersmith, Royal Brompton, University College and Whittington Hospitals and attained MRCP in 2001.

    He then completed the London Deanery Specialist Registrar training programme in Geriatrics and General Internal Medicine and spent 3 years as Clinical Lecturer in Stroke Medicine at Kings College Hospital.

  • Specialist interests

    • Cerebrovascular disease
    • Stroke service development
    • Simulation training
    • Interprofessional learning
  • Awards


    South East Thames Regional British Geriatrics Society Conference (2019) –
    Best Abstract Prize

    King’s Health Partners Safety Connections Conference (2017) – Best Abstract Prize

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Therapy Quality Improvement Study Day (2017) – Innovation Award

    University College London Partners Education Conference (2016) – Education Abstract Prize

    British Medical Association Book Awards (2016) – Oncology First Prize

    South East Thames Regional British Geriatrics Society Conference (2016) – Best Abstract Prize

    United Kingdom Swallow Research Group Conference (2016) – Abstract Prize

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Clinical Coding Awards (2016) – Award for Excellent Contribution to Improvements in Clinical Coding

    Developing Health Educators for the Future Conference (2015) – Best Simulation Poster Abstract

    British Medical Association Awards (2014) – Education Category Runner-up

    University College London Partners Education Conference (2014) – Best Abstract Prize

    Health Education South London Innovation, Diffusion and Excellence Awards in Healthcare Education and Training (2013) – Director of Best Healthcare Education and Training Programme Award

    London Hypertension Society Annual Symposium (2004) – Best Abstract Prize


    University College London Medical School Third Clinical Year (1997-1998)

    • University of London MBBS Gold Medal Examination First Runner-Up Betuel Prize
    • Broderip and Atchison Prize for Best Overall Performance in MBBS Examinations
    • Hetley and Atchison Prize for Best Performance in Final MBBS Clinical Examinations
    • Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Performance in Final MBBS Written Examinations
    • Philip Seth Belasco and Douglas Cree Prize in Medicine
    • Lyell and Leopold Hudson Prize in Surgery
    • Distinction in Medicine
    • Distinction in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    • Distinction in Surgery
    • Distinction in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    • Certificate of Merit in Pathology

    University College London Medical School Second Clinical Year (1996-1997)

    • Amulree Elective Bursary
    • British Medical and Dental Students’ Trust Elective Award
    • Glaxo Wellcome Medical Fellowship Elective Prize
    • Zeneca Pharma Medical Student Elective Award
    • London Jewish Medical Society Student Bursary
    • Haberdashers’ Company Trotman Senior Exhibition

    University College London Medical School First Clinical Year (1995 -1996)   

    • John Murray and Sir William Gowers Prize in Clinical Pharmacology
    • Reichenbaum Essay Prize in Geriatrics
    • Certificate of Merit
    • Commendation in British Geriatrics Society Amulree Prize Essay Competition

    University College London Medical School Intercalated BSc (1993-1994)    

    • Wolfson Foundation Award
    • Nuffield Foundation Undergraduate Research Bursary

    University College London Medical School Second Pre-Clinical Year (1992-1993)

    • Meyerstein Scholarship for Best Aggregate Performance in 2nd MB
    • Charles Bell Prize in Anatomy and Developmental Biology
    • Whittet Prize in Pharmacology

    University College London Medical School First Pre-Clinical Year (1991-1992)

    • Carter Prize in Immunology
    • Drummond Prize in Biochemistry
    • Distinction in Anatomy
  • Research interests

    Jonathan's research is currently mainly focussed on the evaluation of interprofessional learning and healthcare improvement, for which he has been awarded 17 grants (11 as primary investigator), totalling over £500,000, and published widely.

    Jonathan has also maintained research interests in cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), and stroke prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, following on from his PhD in the field. Indeed, the findings from his PhD thesis led to the design of the multi-centre PRESERVE RCT (investigating blood pressure management in patients with SVD) that was funded by a £980,000 British Heart Foundation/Stroke Association Programme Grant (on which he was a co-applicant).