In this monthly masterclass for teams within our Pathway Partnership Programme, we will be hearing from Dr Andy Ward and Ray Cottington about The Importance of Empathy in Inclusion Healthcare. 

Systematic reviews have demonstrated that there is variation in empathy between healthcare practitioners, that empathy can be taught, and that enhanced empathy improves patient outcomes. Despite this, empathy has been shown to decline in medical students as they progress through their training.

In this talk, we will share the work being done at the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare to reverse this decline and the links between empathic healthcare and trauma-informed practice. Lived experience of homelessness and addiction will be included in the presentation, with examples of how empathy made a difference in the real world.


Dr Andy Ward is an Associate Professor in Medical Education and Honorary Senior Academic General Practitioner at the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare based at Leicester Medical School. Andy’s role is to develop innovative and evidence-based teaching interventions across the medical curriculum that will increase and sustain empathy in medical students. He has wide experience in producing teaching around patient-centred care and has presented on his work internationally. Andy also works as GP at Inclusion Healthcare in Leicester and as a presenter for NB Medical Education.

Ray Cottington is the Hepatitis C Trust Peer Program Manager for the Leicester ODN. Ray was in active addiction for over 20 years until he went to rehab in 2016. The organisation’s aim is to test, treat and fully support patients until they are cured, as well as to micro eliminate hepatitis C in the UK by 2030. The team also collaborates with many services and organises a range of projects, including homeless outreach, testing for HCV in drug services and Primary Care. He also started the Pharmacy Project in Northampton which was presented at the INSHU 2022 and 2023 (conference of the International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users).  

Find out more about joining our Pathway Partnership Programme.