Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare

News, events and publications

Courses, workshops and events

Launch event

  • Wednesday 26 April 2023 - Sir Bob Burgess Building, Freemen’s Common, Leicester, LE2 7TF

Book now for the launch event

The official launch event for the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare will take place on Wednesday 26 April 2023. Browse the full programme and information about the high-profile speakers, expert presenters, and an exciting selection of thought-provoking workshops.

Event programme

Pre-launch conference


  • Registration and lunch 


  • Welcome to the University of Leicester - Professor Thompson Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Life Sciences, University of Leicester 


  • Plenary I - Professor Jeremy Howick, Director of the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare, University of Leicester


  • Workshop A (choice of 7*)


  • Refreshments and networking


  • Workshop B (choice of 7*) 


  • Plenary II - Professor Nisha Dogra, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry Education, University of Leicester


  • End of conference

Official launch


  • Registration (new arrivals) and refreshments


  • Opening speeches
    • Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester
    • Professor Jeremy Howick - Director of the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare, University of Leicester


  • Keynote speech – Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham (formerly, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, England)



  • Official launch with Sir Will and Lady Nadine Adderley, Stoneygate Trust, and closing remarks


  • Refreshments and networking


  • End of event


Participants may select to attend 2 from a choice of 7:

Communicating effectively with inclusion health populations (Symposium)


  • Leigh Andrews
  • Dr Andy Ward
  • Professor Andrea Williamson

If you were to get worse… Goals of care conversations in acute healthcare settings (Workshop)


  • Mandy Williams
  • Kim Taylor

Obesity medicine - how a systemic lack of empathy has stopped evidence-based care, and how we are fixing it (Workshop)


  • Dr Stephanie de Giorgio

Increasing student empathy through patient involvement in medical education (Workshop)


  • Professor Elizabeth Anderson

Anger and Empathy: A delicate, yet potentially positive and powerful, partnership! (Workshop)


  • Dr Gary Redfeather

Fostering empathy through creative arts (Workshop)


  • Marianne Scahill-Pape 

Roadblocks to researching empathy in healthcare (Workshop)


  • Dr Rachel Winter
  • Dr Daniel Slavin

Pre-launch conference

Plenary I: Empathy as a blockbuster drug

Jeremy HowickPresenter: Professor Jeremy Howick

Jeremy Howick is a Professor at the University of Leicester and the first Director of the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare. His mission is to ensure that a dose of empathy is included in all healthcare consultations and he is leading a growing team of academics and clinicians to embed a novel empathy curriculum into the medical school, and to cascade to other healthcare organisations.

An award-winning medical researcher, he has published over 150 papers and 3 books, including The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine. He has pioneered fundamental research in evidence-based medicine, placebo effects, and empathy and is currently the principal investigator on a Medical Research Council-funded project aimed to improve the way potential trial treatment benefits and harms are communicated to patients. 

Jeremy Howick has founded several highly successful courses and research groups, including the Oxford Empathy Programme. He is passionate about communicating the results of his research to the outside world and has written a book (Doctor You) and appeared on the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4, as well as The Guardian, The Times, Men’s Health, the Daily Mail and the Huffington Post.

He is active on social media and you can follow him at @JeremyHowick.

Plenary II: How addressing diversity can improve empathy

Nisha Dogra headshotPresenter: Professor Nisha Dogra

Professor Nisha Dogra BM DCH MA (Socio-legal studies, children), Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Practice, PhD.

Nisha is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry Education at the University of Leicester and a retired consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist. Nisha has led innovations in how medical students can be taught diversity to ensure they deliver high quality care to a range of patients and understand how their own perspectives may influence the care they provide. The diversity training has been modified for healthcare professionals and medical educators.

She has also worked towards making curricula more inclusive of diversity so that diversity is integrated across learning. She has advocated for more faculty training and engagement to make change more sustainable and provide appropriate role models for students. She has published widely including peer reviewed publications, edited and written books as well as writing chapters for books edited by colleagues related to psychiatry and education. In her presentation, she will demonstrate how attending to diversity may help enhance student empathy.


Communicating effectively with inclusion health populations (Symposium)

Inclusion health includes any population group that is marginalised and socially excluded. This can include people who experience homelessness, drug and alcohol dependence, vulnerable migrants, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, sex workers, people in contact with the justice system and victims of modern slavery, but can also include other socially excluded groups. (Public Health England, 2021).

Communication with patients in inclusion healthcare requires a different approach to that usually adopted in mainstream practice for a number of reasons. People experiencing homelessness state that communication barriers prevent access to healthcare. We know that most deaths in this group are from conditions amenable to treatment so we must ask “are we providing care that supports effective communication?” People experiencing street homeless have been shown to be at greater risk of having additional communication needs, with high rates of linked conditions, such as acquired brain injury, autism, mental health difficulties, prison history and care history. People who are migrants may have additional language communication needs and have experienced psychological trauma. An empathic and trauma-informed approach is essential to enable practitioners to consult effectively with marginalised populations.

This symposium will draw on the expertise of active practitioners working in inclusion health and furnish attendees with communication strategies to work more effectively with socially excluded population groups.

Public Health England 2021, "Inclusion Health: Applying All Our Health".


Leigh Andrews headshotLeigh Andrews

Leigh is a speech and language therapist. She works for Change Communication, a registered charity, supporting people experiencing homelessness with communication needs. Leigh chairs the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist's Homelessness Clinical Excellence Network, and is a Registered Intermediary with the Ministry of Justice. Leigh is interested in system change not sympathy. 

Andy Ward

Dr Andy Ward

Andy is Education Lead for the Stoneygate Centre for Excellence in Empathic Healthcare with the aim of developing and delivering empathy-focused training for undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare students and professionals. He has a long history in medical education and is an Associate Professor in Medical Education at Leicester Medical School where he leads a large module in the early years of the curriculum covering communication skills, examination skills, diagnostic reasoning, patient safety, diversity and patient-centred care. He also works as a GP at Inclusion Healthcare in Leicester providing primary care services to people experiencing homelessness.

Andrea Williamson headshot

Professor Andrea Williamson

Andrea is Professor of General Practice and Inclusion Health at the University of Glasgow, a medical officer in Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services and a GP in Glasgow Homeless Health Services, combining teaching, research and clinical practice. Andrea has a number of roles in the Undergraduate Medical School and in post graduate medical training. She teaches and trains about the social determinants of health, Inclusion Health practice and trauma informed care. She leads on research about missingness in healthcare and is involved in wider research to improve care for people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage. She is a founding member of GPs at the Deep End Scotland, deputy chair of the Health Inequalities Standing Group, RCGP, is on the NIHR HS&DR research funding board, and was the primary care member of the NICE Guideline Committee ‘Integrating health and social care for people experiencing homelessness’.

If you were to get worse… Goals of care conversations in acute healthcare settings (Workshop)

Holding skilful patient-centred conversations around future care can have a profound impact on patients’ quality of life and experience.

Yet, these conversations can be challenging. Many health professionals do not feel adequately prepared or confident to initiate these conversations, discuss prognostic uncertainty, deal with emotions, or discuss decisions about care that balance duration and quality of life.

A new 2-day course entitled: “If you were to get worse…”, Goals of Care Conversations was launched in 2022. It provides training and practice for staff working in acute care settings to have sensitive and compassionate conversations with patients who are at significant risk of dying in the next 12 months.

We invite you to join us for an interactive workshop that will showcase some of the content and activities used on the is experiential course.


Mandy Williams headshotMandy Williams MSc, BSc, RGN, PGCMHE

Mandy works as a Senior Tutor in Clinical Communication Skills on the undergraduate medical course at Cambridge University Hospitals Trust and as an independent coach and trainer on postgraduate communication skills courses. She has over 30 years’ experience working in senior nursing positions in specialist palliative care. Mandy has been a facilitator on the Advanced Communication Skills Training course for senior clinicians in the UK (formerly called ‘Connected’) for over 18 years. In the last 18 months has been working with Dr Jonathan Silverman, Dr Paul Kinnersley, Sandra Winterburn and Kim Taylor to plan and deliver a course for clinicians working in acute care settings around Goals of Care conversations.

Kim Taylor headshotKim Taylor

Kim is a simulated patient and simulated patient trainer with over 20 years involvement in medical education. Kim has extensive experience in breaking bad news and end of life care training with healthcare professionals across specialties and disciplines. Her work includes ACST (Advanced Communication Skills Training) courses, Macmillan workshops, projects on TYA cancer, BBN training for the undergraduate medical course at Cambridge University and postgraduate courses for HEE (Health Education England). Kim has worked nationally and internationally on Train the Trainer courses with EACH. She has devised and led simulated patient training workshops and courses in Portugal, Austria, Sri Lanka, Russia, the UK and more recently online for the Nelson Mandela University, SA and with EACH.

Obesity medicine - how a systemic lack of empathy has stopped evidence-based care, and how we are fixing it (Workshop)

Short presentation

  • The experience of patients with obesity in healthcare.


  • Why this may have come about over the years and what we could try and do to change it?

Short presentation

  • Current policies to try to improve things.


  • Where we go from here? What difference would empathy make?


Stephanie De Giorgio headshotDr Stephanie de Giorgio

Dr de Giorgio is an experienced GP who has become an expert in Obesity and written the RCGP e-learning modules and NB Medical Obesity course and presented nationally and internationally on the topic. She is also a director of All About Obesity, a third sector advocacy organisation to help with education and preventing obesity stigma in society and healthcare. She also has lived experience of obesity and has had gastric sleeve 5 years ago, which has given her a patient perspective of experiencing healthcare as a person with obesity.

Increasing student empathy through patient involvement in medical education (Workshop)

Medical students can be helped to develop empathy from listening to the lived experiences of patients/carers as they tell their stories of every-day encounters with professionals in hospitals and clinics. Members of the Patient and Carer Group at the University of Leicester will share some of the learning they offer with examples as we show how student learning is deepened and enhanced by patient involvement in the curriculum. While students meet patients when in clinical learning they rarely have chance to explore how they are truly feeling and practitioners could make these encounters person-centred and empathic.


Elizabeth Anderson headshotProfessor Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson is Professor of Interprofessional Education at Leicester Medical School where she is also lead for patient safety. Elizabeth moved from health care research, having worked Nurse, Midwife and Health Visitor, to scholarship in Medical Education where she led innovative practice-based educational interventions, underpinned with theoretical insights.

She served on the Board for the Disability Partnership, ‘The Prince of Wales Advisory Group on Disability’ while supporting education on disability awareness. She has also served on the Board for the UK Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education UK (CAIPE) and in 2016, she was awarded a CAIPE Fellowship for her contributions to interprofessional learning (IPL) and will become Joint Chair of CAIPE in the summer of 2021.

Elizabeth was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy for outstanding contributions to education in 2007. She is widely published in the area of IPL in practice. She advocates for patient involvement and runs a Patient and Carer Group to align patient involvement in the design and delivery of professional education. 

Anger and empathy: A delicate, yet potentially positive and powerful, partnership! (Workshop)

A highly interactive workshop (for those wanting to participate), Dr Redfeather will help attendees explore the potential that angry people cannot just be 'handled,' they can become our greatest allies - and we become theirs. When dealing with angry people we might not see anger, as the poet David Whyte suggests, as 'the purest form of care...'  But we know we don't get angry over things that we don't care about - we just don't know how to handle the situation. If properly choreographed, all interactions with angry people can become a powerful and positive thing. Please note: Neurodiverse or physically limited attendees are encouraged to attend as reasonable adjustments will be woven into the approach.


Gary Redfeather 250sqDr Gary Redfeather

Dr Gary Redfeather has spent the last 30 years working as a clinician-researcher and holistic wellness practitioner in educational, clinical, industrial and entrepreneurial settings. Focused on the neuroscience of learning and organisational dynamics, he has developed and expanded the national leadership training program for the Pharmacy Leadership and Education Institute (PLEI), as well as those for Leadership Trainer, two US-based non-profit organisations. He has led the MSc Clinical Leadership, Education and Research programme at De Montfort University and lectures on the University of Wyoming's Masters in Health Systems Administration programme.

Fostering empathy through creative arts (Workshop)

Life drawing sessions for medical professionals. An invitation to consider the human form through a different lens to clinical practice.

The aims of this session are to:

  • highlight the wellbeing benefits of the practice of life drawing
  • explore life drawing as a mindful activity
  • and to promote the benefits of social prescribing to the arts. 

This introduction to life drawing will include short dynamic poses and the opportunity to gain drawing skills.


Marianne Scahill Pape headshotMarianne Scahill-Pape

Marianne Scahill-Pape is the Learning and Outreach Manager at Attenborough Arts Centre and course leader for the student selected component (SSC) Disability and the Arts module for 3rd year medical students at the University of Leicester.

A practicing artist specialising in cultural learning and wellbeing, she works with a wide range of partners, schools and communities to ensure the arts are inclusive, representative, and open to everyone. She has raised over £1.5m for the arts in Leicester and engaged 30,000 people in 2021-2022.

Her SSC introduces students to the psychosocial benefits of the arts; the affirmative and social models of disability, and how to socially prescribe the arts.

Roadblocks to researching empathy in healthcare (Workshop)


Rachel WinterDr Rachel Winter

  • Associate Professor in Medical Education and Honorary Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry

Rachel is an Associate Professor working with the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare. She has worked as a clinical academic at Leicester Medical School for the past 8 years, during which time she has completed a master's in medical education and is currently undertaking a PhD in empathic healthcare. Rachel helped establish the highly successful Medicine with Foundation Year in 2017, with funding from the Stoneygate Trust. She developed, implemented and evaluated the medical school's first empathy-focused curriculum with the Foundation Year student. She now has a leading role with the Centre in supporting the development and roll out of a school-wide curriculum in empathy. She is also an Honorary Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry at Leicestershire Partnership Trust.

Dr Daniel Slavin

  • Foundation year doctor in palliative care and Honorary Academic Fellow at the Centre for Empathic Healthcare

There is general agreement that empathy is important in medicine and that it can and should be fostered in our student and professional medical workforce. To teach, sustain and assess empathy we must first define and operationalise it, and then effectively measure its development and its impact on patient care.  

In this workshop we will unpick some of these major obstacles. Participants will bring their own experiences to contribute to a discussion around our top three challenges and how these might be overcome. 

  1. The thorny issue of defining empathy in the healthcare setting
  2. Operationalising the concept of empathy
  3. Measuring empathy and the impact it has
  4. Other problems, including contamination in randomised trials
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