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Hazel Stuteley biography

Hazel Stuteley is the Director of the Connecting Communities programme based at University of Exeter Medical School.

Following registered nurse training at King’s College Hospital, London, she qualified as a health visitor in 1972 and worked in inner-city practices in Southampton and London before moving to Cornwall in 1975, gaining many years experience in rural and urban disadvantaged areas.

In the mid eighties Hazel worked for Social Services with self-harming teenagers and teenagers on remand, and developed parenting programmes for families with children on the Child Protection register.

1990-2000 saw a return to Health Visiting as a full-time HV. Her practice included the highly disadvantaged ward of Penwerris in Falmouth, where she co-founded the multi award-winning Beacon project. In April 2000 she was appointed as a member of the Prevention and Inequalities Modernization Action Team to develop the national NHS Plan, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer for England. Later that year Hazel was seconded to the Department of Health (DH) where she led the development phase of the Healthy Communities Collaborative and also undertook an active role as a Neighbourhood Renewal Adviser for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Following the award of an Honourary Fellowship at Exeter University in 2002, she became a co-founder member of the Health Complexity Group, a multi-disciplinary team who use insights from complexity science to understand the barriers and drivers to transformational change. Hazel and team co-designed Connecting Communities (known as C2), an evidence-based seven-step programme, aimed at  equipping frontline service providers with knowledge and skills to work more effectively within disadvantaged communities. C2 has now been running for eight years and is active and effective in upwards of 15 communities throughout the UK. In 2010, C2 was the fieldwork model of choice for the DH-funded Health Empowerment Leverage Project, commissioned to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness and health benefits of community development within the NHS.

Widely published and married with three sons, Hazel was awarded an OBE in the 2001 Queen’s New Years Honours list for services to the community in Falmouth.