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Biography

Derek Mowbray is a Chartered Psychologist. He specialises in the primary prevention of psychological distress. His work approaches and interventions are well recognised and adopted throughout the UK and internationally. He is a Director of The National Centre for Applied Psychology, Chairman of The WellBeing and Performance Group, a group of companies specialising in prevention including Organisation Health and The Management Advisory Service.

Derek is visiting Professor at Northumbria University and the University of Gloucestershire, where he is tutor to the MSc in Wellbeing and Performance based on The WellBeing and Performance Agenda. Passionate about his subject he has written extensively about it, and in the past year has published Guides to The WellBeing and Performance Agenda, Corporate Resilience, Adaptive Leadership and Personal Resilience.

Derek’s work in the prevention of workplace stress focuses on the problems at work that may trigger off adverse reactions in people, causing them to feel unwell, under intense pressure, tension and strain, and which results in under performance. This includes psychological presenteeism, its devastating impact on the performance of individuals and their organisations.

Professor Derek Mowbray is an Organisation Health Psychologist who specialises in helping the workplace become a fabulous place to work. This involves transforming organisations to focus on achieving peak performance by enhancing the psychological wellbeing of the workforce, so that it experiences social engagement – characterised as being vibrant, with absorption and dedication.

Derek Mowbray holds three research degrees including a doctorate in the psychology of leadership. He is a Fellow of The Institute of Healthcare Management, a Fellow of The international Stress Management Association and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

He is an expert in the application of research findings into practice, and in facilitating change in organisations.

Born into a family of medical doctors in the North East, he was educated at The Chorister School, Durham and Fettes College in Edinburgh.

He attended the Universities of Durham, Wales, Bath and the Open University.

His academic appointments include a Kings Fund Fellowship and Honorary Research Fellow at St. Thomas’s Hospital and Medical School; Secretary of State Fellow at the University of Wales (Cardiff), Visiting Fellow at the Universities of East Lancashire, Surrey and Westminster and Visiting Professor at the Universities of Northumbria and Gloucestershire.

Derek Mowbray’s working life started at Winterton Hospital working alongside Bill Revesley in clinical psychology. He moved to West Cumberland Hospital to work with John Yates before joining the NHS Graduate National Training Scheme. In Cardiff he started the Research and Intelligence Unit before going to St. Thomas’ Health District in London as Kings Fund Fellow and Director, Department of Health service Planning and Development in 1974. In 1979 he became District Administrator (DA)- the equivalent of Chief Executive - at the time when Commissioners took responsibility for the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority, and was amongst the first four DA’s to hold personal responsibility for the management of their district, until the Commissioners’ appointment was dissolved as being illegal.

In 1982 he was made Director of The Management Advisory Service to the NHS, an experiment established by the then Secretary of State. One of his reviews – the Review of Clinical Psychology in 1989 was judged as one of the eight best pieces of research of the decade by The Psychologist.

In the 1990’s Derek Mowbray began an independent career which has lasted until today, with the exception of brief periods with Tribal plc, as director of The Beeches Management Centre in Belfast and part time at Northumbria University.

During this period he was the only NHS member of the support team to the Griffith’s Inquiry into the management of the NHS.

In 2003 he reverted full time to his first love – psychology. He worked with Professor Jenny Firth-Cozens at Northumbria University on stress, exploring the impact of leaders on followers, and subsequently with Professor John Taylor on developing the role of Associate Clinical Psychologist, an idea of theirs funded by the Department of Health but abandoned just prior to the initiative Improving Access to Psychological Therapies which has spread throughout the UK.

In 2006 he established Organisation Health Psychologists (OrganisationHealth) as a vehicle for advising organisations on the primary prevention of stress. This work subsequently migrated to The Management Advisory Service (UK) which is the vehicle for all his current work on The WellBeing and Performance Agenda.

Derek Mowbray is a Vice President of The International Stress Management Association (UK). He is, also, a director of The National Centre for Applied Psychology, a director of The Management Advisory Service (UK) and several other companies. He is visiting Professor in Psychology at Northumbria University and Gloucestershire.

He lives in Gloucestershire.

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