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Dr Laurence Church
Consultant Psychiatrist in General Adult Psychiatry

Dr Laurence Church

Dr Church joined Priory Group in 2012 as a consultant psychiatrist working in general adult psychiatry and addictions. He moved to full time practice at Priory Hospital Woking in 2014, having had a successful five years as a consultant with Guildford Community Mental Health Recovery Service, where he had been awarded two NHS Clinical Excellence awards in recognition of his contribution to patient care.

Dr Church’s time is primarily focused on providing care to outpatients and those receiving inpatient and day care at Priory. He is an established member of a peer group of fellow consultants at Priory Hospital Woking and works with other healthcare professionals in the multidisciplinary team at the hospital to ensure the best possible outcomes.

For the last four years Dr Church has been an approved appraiser for Priory, visiting other consultants within the group in order to carry out their annual appraisals.  He is passionate about teaching and educating other professionals, patients and their families about mental health conditions and has regularly delivered presentations to local GPs on a wide range of mental health topics, receiving very positive feedback.  He is currently co-editing the second edition of Psychiatry PRN, a textbook of psychiatry for medical students.

Dr Church is also a trustee for Oakleaf Enterprise, a mental health charity providing a range of vocational training courses and social inclusion activities for people in the local community who have mental health problems.


Dr Church qualified as a doctor (MBChB) in 1998 at the University of Birmingham. After initial postgraduate training he became a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych) in 2002. Dr Church then undertook specialist training on the St George's, Maudsley and Guy's Hospital schemes in London, also obtaining a Master’s degree (MSc) in Psychiatric Research in 2007.

Since 2009, Dr Church has been approved on the General Medical Council (GMC) specialist register to practice general adult and old age psychiatry. He left his consultant NHS post in 2014 to practice full time at Priory Hospital Woking.

Research Interests

Dr Church is a co-author of a leading undergraduate textbook of psychiatry, Psychiatry PRN, which received a 'highly commended' prize at the 2010 British Medical Association book awards.

He has also published articles in peer-reviewed journals on psychiatric education, considering how to train better doctors for the future. Dr Church’s MSc thesis studied the use of cannabis in early psychosis. He has provided expert opinion on a number of mental health related topics in the popular press.

Clinical Articles and Research Papers


  • Stringer, CHURCH, Davison and Lipsedge (Eds).  Oxford University Press, 2009. 

Peer Reviewed Journal Papers:

  • Whelan, P.J., CHURCH, L., Kadry, K. (2009).  Using standardized patients’ marks in scoring postgraduate psychiatry OSCEs.  Acad Psychiatry, 33, 319-322.
  • Whelan, P.J., Lawrence-Smith, G., CHURCH, L., et al.  (2009).  Goodbye OSCE, hello CASC - Organising and evaluating a mock CASC examination and course.  Psychiatric Bulletin, 33, 149-153.


  • Whelan, P.J., CHURCH, L. (2005). The first cohort of OSCE Part 1 candidates reaching Part 2.  Pschiatric Bulletin, 29, 353.

Examples of Opinion Articles:

I am devoted to my full time private practice at Priory Hospital Woking, providing an effective, responsive and individualised service to each person receiving my care.  I believe in a holistic approach which considers mind and body. A positive, collaborative and therapeutic relationship is central to providing the tools, be it medication or psychological therapy, to help people recover. I consistently receive excellent feedback from patients, families and colleagues on my practice.

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