The Psychologist Magazine January 2014

Page 26

psy 01_14 p46_49 careers_Layout 1 09/12/2013 12:30 Page 48


Making the most of our unique skillset Beatrice Chapman talks to health psychologist Vanessa Bogle

r Vanessa Bogle is an experienced health psychologist who has worked in a range of applied roles. She works part-time as a Senior Public Health Strategist in the public health department of a local authority in London. She has over 13 years experience of NHS experience. She is also currently the Acting Programme Director of the Health Psychology Doctorate at City


for a private healthcare company, I was particularly interested in the role of health psychologists in applied settings. So I wanted to ask Dr Bogle to share her thoughts on her varied career and experience. Tell be about your experience as a public health strategist? Within my role as Senior Public Health

developing new service models. I am also responsible for the development of the infrastructure of the NHS Health Check programme, a national programme that aims to prevent cardiovascular disease amongst people aged 40–74 years. My key areas of work include men’s health, obesity, physical activity, cancer prevention and brief intervention training. Health psychology is very much ingrained in the work of health trainers, and the national core training was developed in collaboration with a team of health psychologists. Further examples of work include conducting an evaluation of the NHS Health Check programme and developing service models to increase physical activity levels amongst sedentary populations. On an ongoing basis I roll out motivational interviewing training to a range of healthcare professionals to support the delivery of the NHS Health Check programme. Those eligible for a check, irrespective of their risk of CVD, should receive a brief intervention to support health behaviour change. The training is designed to enhance the quality of the interventions delivered.

You are saying this is very much a health psychology role; however, your title at work is not Health Psychologist. Yes. Although my title does not reflect that I am a health Dr Vanessa Bogle and Eddie Nestor (BBC Radio London presenter) at the Men’s Comedy Health psychologist, I use my skills and Check event, November 2013 knowledge in applying health psychology theory and evidence to address major public health concerns, such as obesity and University London. In addition, she is a Strategist I provide expert psychological physical activity, and to address health member of the Motivational Interviewing advice and leadership on behaviour inequalities. This contributes towards Network of Trainers (MINT) and regularly change interventions and training. changing and understanding health delivers training to a range of health Examples include the commissioning of behaviours and in developing more professionals and students. behaviour change interventions – for effective interventions and services. As a psychology doctoral student example, social marketing, Health One of my key areas of work is at City University and a trainee health Trainer/Champion service and physical physical activity. I sat on a physical psychologist and research/project manager activity programmes, which often involve activity steering group where we were


vol 27 no 1

january 2014