Spirit Study

Oxleas Spirit Study Logo

Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal orientated style of communication with particular attention to talk about change.  It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the persons own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.

Within the last year, seven Oxleas staff members have completed the Advanced Motivational Interviewing Skills training, Level 6, provided by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and accredited by the University of West London.  The staff members came back from the training full of enthusiasm and confident that this training will be of benefit to Oxleas' patients and staff across all directorates.

A motivational interviewing steering team (MIST) was set up with the main objective of cascading the training throughout the Trust.  It was agreed that evidence of the effectiveness of this training needed to be produced in order to push it forward and this led to the birth of the Oxleas Spirit Study.

A successful discretionary bid was made which has funded a project lead post for one year. Three streams of research will be undertaken in partnership with Greenwich University as follows:

Identified staff groups in each of the three service areas will be offered two days training with regular on going supervision groups to embed into practice.  Staff at Greenwich University will assist with the devising of the research methodology.

Results and recommendations will be presented in a report of the studies, and potentially articles will be submitted to peer review journals for publication.

How does Motivational Interviewing fit in the trust values?


MI facilitates behaviour change, and can enhance joint working with GPs, other health professionals and agencies such as drug and alcohol services.


MI focuses on change and this can be in relation to risks, such as self-harming, excessive drinking, risky sexual practices.  It therefore seeks to promote the safety and wellbeing of service users.

Having a user focus

MI recognises that people are the undisputed experts on themselves. MI is a way of activating a person’s own motivation and resources for change.


There are over 1,200 publications on MI – Evidence suggests that the application of MI will improve the service offered by the Trust.


Adds to existing clinical skills.

Being responsive

MI can be practiced with integrity even in relatively brief consultations.

Care, compassion and engagement

Motivational Interviewing fits in very well with the Trust’s Care, Compassion and Engagement (CCE) initiative which aims to improve the services that patients receive by ensuring that the staff who deliver them are fully responsive to the patients’ needs.

The underlying spirit of MI is based on:

  • Partnership
  • Acceptance
  • Compassion
  • Evocation

Contact the team

Debbie Batstone (biography)
Project Lead

Justine Trippier (biography)
Consultant Nurse