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The University of Southampton
Medical Education
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Dr Wendy Lawrence PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS, MSc, BSc

Associate Professor of Health Psychology, Subject Lead – Communication, BM6 Y0 Senior Tutor and Deputy Module Lead for Professional Practice

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Dr Wendy Lawrence is Associate Professor of Health Psychology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

I am a Chartered Psychologist, member of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology and HCPC-registered. 

Research interests

My research interests cover all aspects of health improvement including lifestyle behaviours such as diet and physical activity, with a particular focus on ways to support behaviour change to improve population health. I contribute qualitative expertise to a range of projects.

Evaluation of the impact of HCS in different contexts and populations has been a key focus of my research work. Funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, I supported the delivery, roll-out and evaluation of training across New Zealand to the maternal and child health workforce (with over 3,000 trained up to 2021) Healthy Conversation Skills Training web page. As part of ongoing international collaborations, I have trained fieldworkers, researchers and practitioners in South Africa, China, Australia and Canada in HCS, with many then becoming HCS Trainers. 

As part of my commitment to supporting post-graduate learning and early career researchers, I supervise PhD students and candidates undertaking their Health Psychology Stage 2 qualification.

During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21, I worked with University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust colleagues to support the COVID-ZERO campaign. I also contributed to two public consultations to further our understanding of the public’s attitudes towards Covid-19 human challenge studies: one with the Southampton Biomedical Research Centre and one with Imperial College London.

Research group

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

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I have several teaching and leadership roles within the Faculty of Medicine, working closely with students and staff to provide high quality learning and development experiences.

As Senior Tutor I provide pastoral support for the BM6 Y0 students and work closely with the Senior Tutor team to ensure medical students’ well-being generally.

As Deputy Module Lead for Professional Practice 1 & 2, I support students from a widening participation background develop understanding and experience of the practice of medicine.

As Subject Lead for Communication, I am responsible for ensuring the medical curriculum across all years and programmes delivers and assesses the GMC Learning Outcomes related to communication; this includes training students in “Healthy Conversation Skills” (HCS). 

I am the global lead of HCS, a training intervention developed in Southampton which equips front-line practitioners, teachers and students with skills to have more effective conversations and better support people to make sustainable health behaviour changes. The training has been commissioned by organisations in the UK and internationally to support workforce development and improvements in population health. It is one approach to delivering Health Education England’s initiative to meet the UK government’s Making Every Contact Count agenda.  I work closely with Health Education England (Wessex) to support the ongoing development, delivery, evaluation and accreditation of HCS training. An example of HCS training to teachers is described in this video on LifeLab.

Dr Wendy Lawrence
Primary Care, Population Science and Medical Education
Faculty of Medicine
University of Southampton
Building 85
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 85/L4 MEDU/M55

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