Health and wellbeing coaches (HWBC) predominately use health coaching skills to support people with lower levels of patient activation to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become active participants in their care so that they can reach their self-identified health and wellbeing goals. They may also provide access to self-management education, peer support and social prescribing.

HWBCs use a non-judgemental approach that supports the person to self-identify existing issues and encourages proactive prevention of new and existing illnesses. This approach is based on using strong communication and negotiation skills, supports personal choice and positive risk-taking, addresses potential consequences, and ensures people understand the accountability of their own decisions based on what matters to the person.

They will work alongside people to coach and motivate them through multiple sessions, supporting them to self-identify their needs, set goals, and help them to implement their personalised health and care plan

Training/Development Requirements

  • Training will include an understanding the basics of social prescribing, plus an accredited health coaching skills programme (minimum of 4 days) and documented practice hours, along with opportunities for reflection and follow upactivities
  • Ongoing regular supervision from a health coaching mentor is required. Any health coaching provider will have to be accredited by the Personalised Care Institute(PCI).

Benefits to this role

  • Health and wellbeing coaches actively support people to self-care. It is person-centred and empowering and is based around a person’s own aspirations and goals. It has been shown to increase patient activation and help in preventative behaviours and self-management. It has also been shown to improve two-way communication and partnership working with overall improved health outcomes.
  • Patient activation is associated with fewer visits to general practice. Support for people to self-manage their own health is increased and reduced demand for care due to improved patient wellbeing.
  • There is seen to be increased efficiency due to quicker discharge from caseload and potential to cut waiting times. Less waste identified from unnecessary tests and medication. Long term sustained benefits in terms of cost reductions and service development. There are reported increases in job satisfaction amongst health and care professionals actively using the approach.
  • Following the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) from April 2020, this role is reimbursed at 100% of actual salary plus defined on-costs, up to the maximum reimbursable amount of £35,389 over 12 months.
  • An independent evaluation showed that, of over 5,000 referrals to Healthy Change (Nottingham Public Health team) in the first year: – The service successfully referred over 80% of clients to lifestyle change services. This enabled over 75% of members to achieve one or more additional goals at end of the coaching period. Service was rated as good or better by over 85% of members. There was a reduced “Did Not Attend” rates for specialist lifestyle services as well as supporting lifestyle change; and improved self-care.
  • Coaching was shown to address lifestyle factors that are key determinants of health inequalities.