I am a Lecturer in Health in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University.
I am a Chartered Psychologist and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My research interests focus on mental and psychological performance in work. I look into the factors (psychological, social, institutional, structural) that enhance or disrupt professional/work performance. I have researched how we learn, train, improve and cope with work, and with academic study. I have also investigated identifying and responding to errors and failure in work.
My educational background is in Psychology (BSc, First Class, University of Manchester, 2008), Occupational Psychology (MSc with Distinction, University of Nottingham, 2009) and Applied Psychology (PhD, University of Nottingham, 2013). My PhD explored doctors' and medical students' attitudes toward older patients and their care in healthcare settings. I also have an interest in healthcare professionals' attitudes and expectations in the workplace and how this influences work performance, care quality, safety and error. I am also interested in notions of professionalism in healthcare, including expectations of providing empathy in care and the link with professional burnout. This work has included the effect of chronic work stress and burnout in relation to medical and legal professionals. My previous role in the School of Medicine at Imperial College London involved human factors in primary care patient safety in North-West London. I am currently working on a project with the UK charity, LawCare, to develop online resources for developing psychologically healthy practices within the legal profession. I am also currently researching how individuals can self-identify the edges of their optimal/safe performance before experiencing burnout or substantially increased risk of human error.
I am registered with the British Psychological Society as a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol). I am trained in ability and personality testing in the workplace and am a registered test-user for BPS Occupational Ability and Occupational Personality psychometric tests (NEO-Revised Personality Inventory).
Safety, quality and performance at work: monitoring patient safety in primary care medicine; identifying and prioritising safety and quality concerns in healthcare settings.
Psychological and cognitive work performance: occupational stress and burnout; human error, failure and recovery; personal resilience at work in medicine and law.
Professionals' education and training: Teaching empathy to healthcare professionals; gender in the medical workplace; experiential non-clinical skills training in medicine; teaching empathy in medicine and law.
Attitudes research (qualitative and quantitative): the unidimensional or tripartite model of attitudes; stereotype/content model; attitudinal questionnaire measures.
Review methodology: Conducting and writing reviews; synthesising healthcare services research literature.
I am currently writing content for K323 'Investigating health and social care'.
Article on burnout for The Conversation was the most-read article of Open University contributors to The Conversation UK in 2018-19. The article reached over 100,000 readers as far as Singapore, the US, Canada, India and Malaysia (‘Millennial burnout: building resilience is no answer – we need to overhaul how we work’ 21 January, 2019).
Article on recovery from burnout for The Conversation reached over 53,000 readers (‘How to recover from burnout and chronic work stress, according to a psychologist’ 11 March 2020).
Academic consultant for BBC series Hospital (Series 1), which was nominated in the Best Documentary Series category for a Grierson Award 2017 and won the Royal Television Society award for Best Documentary Series 2018.
Invited keynote speaker at the National GP Appraiser’s Conference 2019 Health Education and Improvement Wales, (‘Addressing stress and burnout in healthcare settings’, 21 June 2019).
Featured guest on ‘The State of Things’ WUNC-FM North Carolina Public Radio
Featured guest on BBC Asian Network Radio
Article for The Conversation (‘Female doctors show more empathy, but at a cost to their mental well-being’ 24 April, 2018).
2019-2021 Co-investigator on Dunhill Medical Trust Research Project grant: ‘Uncertainty in healthcare: a qualitative study of patients' and clinicians' experiences and co-design of professional development and patient information materials' led by University of Leicester (£135,008).