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Louise Thomson

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Louise studied Psychology at UCL before moving to Nottingham to complete a Masters in Occupational Psychology. She did a part-time PhD on Employee Sickness Absence whilst working as a Research Assistant in the School of Psychology, and subsequently became a Lecturer in Occupational Health Psychology at the Institute of Work, Health & Organisations at the University of Nottingham.

In 2000, Louise joined the Institute for Employment Studies to pursue more policy-focused research and evaluation work. She also spent time as a freelance consultant, researcher and teacher. In 2009, Louise returned to the University of Nottingham as Senior Research Fellow at CLAHRC for Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

Louise is currently Assistant Professor in Occupational Psychology and Lead Academic for the Research Support and Evaluation Unit at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). At IMH she supervises a team of researchers in undertaking objective service-facing evaluations of a wide-range of interventions in a variety of different settings. She is also Course Director for the MSc in Occupational Psychology, the University's BPS-accredited Stage 1 post-graduate qualification required to become a Chartered Psychologist (Occupational) and HCPC-registered Occupational Psychologist.

Expertise Summary

Louise is a Occupational Psychologist (CPsychol, HCPC-registered) specialising in psychological, social and organisational issues in occupational health and job retention. She also has expertise on the evaluation of interventions and services in health and social care, with a particular focus on adoption of new working practices and roles by health and social care staff.

Teaching Summary

I am Course Director for the MSc in Occupational Psychology. I am the module convener for Organisational Development and Change (C84 ODC) and supervise student research projects across the Applied… read more

Research Summary

My current research focuses on:

  • the effectiveness of job retention and rehabilitation services and interventions in reducing sickness absence and improving job retention
  • the implementation of evidence-based practice by health care professionals
  • healthy and safe working conditions for healthcare staff and patients

Active Research Grants:

  • Evaluating the Care Certificate: A Cross-Sector Solution to Assuring Fundamental Skills in Caring (Principal Investigator) Funded by DoH Policy Research Programme (£312,710), 2016-2018

  • Occupational Advice prior to lower limb joint replacement (Co-investigator) Funded by NIHR HTA (£498,894)2016-2018

  • The development and testing of a communication skills training intervention for healthcare professionals caring for people with dementia in acute hospitals (Co-investigator). Funded by NIHR HS&DR (£459,434) 2015-2017
  • Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace: a feasibility study. Funded by IOSH (£59,992). 2017

Recently completed research grants:

  • Implementation of Individual Placement and Support in the East Midlands (Lead). East Midlands AHSN £154,477
  • Dementia and Employment - Scoping Project (Co-investigator). Public Health England £50,000
  • Dementia Friendly GP Practices: Independent Evaluation (Lead). Alzheimer's Society £14,000
  • The Impact of 12-hour shifts on Healthcare Assistants (Principal Investigator). Funded by NHS England (£67,000) 2015
  • Getting the Best from the Fit Note (Co-Investigator). IOSH, £125,000
  • Pre-protocol planning to inform a study of employed patients with mild to moderate mental health disorders and the impact of the GP fit note on mental health and work outcomes. (Co-investigator). Nottingham CCG £23,783

Recent Publications

I am Course Director for the MSc in Occupational Psychology. I am the module convener for Organisational Development and Change (C84 ODC) and supervise student research projects across the Applied Psychology MSc courses.

I run a series of training workshops for NHS staff on research methods and analysis. These are aimed at developing research knowledge and skills in staff in order to increase their ability to access, evaluate and implement existing research findings, as well as supporting them in developing and conducting their own research projects.

I am currently supervising two PhD students

Past Research

Louise has conducted research on psychological, social and organisational issues in occupational health. She has worked with a wide variety of organisations to identify the causes of work-related stress and develop stress management strategies. Whilst working at the University of Nottingham from 1995-2001, she was involved in various projects concerned with the development and evaluation of procedures for the assessment and management of work-related stress. She has also conducted research funded by the HSE to identify examples of best practice following absence due to stress-related illness, and the various factors that influence the effectiveness of organisational practices in rehabilitating employees.

Since returning to the University of Nottingham in 2009, she has worked on service-facing projects in the health and social care sector. Broadly, these involve the pragmatic application of research methodologies to evaluate practice in health and social care organisations, and to developing the capacity for health and social care organisations to undertake this activity themselves.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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