What can health and wellbeing coaches do within primary care?
Health and wellbeing coaches are one of three additional roles under the umbrella of personalised care, with the aim of supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing, using a holistic approach and considering what matters to that individual. The infographic below shows a board overview of the 3 roles.
Given this broad remit the role of the health and wellbeing coach can be flexible to suit the PCN or population/community. Some of the roles health and wellbeing coaches might undertake include:
- Health coaching support either 1:1 or in a group setting, often for people with one or more long term conditions
- Support self-management of long term conditions and encouraging empowerment
- Supporting behaviour change
- Proactive identification of people where support might be needed including those with long term health (physical and mental) conditions
- Patient centred health and care planning, based on what matters to the person, acting as ambassadors for personalised care
- Managing and prioritising a caseload, working as part of a multi-disciplinary team
- Reducing health inequalities
- Reducing the workload of GPs and other surgery staff to help ensure patients can access the right care at the right time
Training and supervision
Pre-requisites– there are no particular qualifications required to become a health and wellbeing coach and often this will come down to experience in relevant areas and the enthusiasm for the role. Experience of coaching or counselling can be useful, but not essential and training can be provided on the job to develop these skills. Further details can be found in the recruitment pack below.
Training pathway– The welcome pack, also seen on the right of the page will provide some guidance to those new in role.
NHSE advises a 4 day health coaching training program for all health and wellbeing coaches, without relevant prior experience and training. This should be a Personalised Care Institute (PCI) accredited course. The list of accredited providers is available at: Accredited training (personalisedcareinstitute.org.uk.
During the 22/23 financial year 4 day health coaching training is being provided free of charge via the ICB and training hub, from an accredited provider. For more details of the training available please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
NHSE has developed a package of learning and support for health and wellbeing coaches including webinars, online learning programme, regional training workshops and informal peer support. To access this please email email@example.com and tell them you’re a health and wellbeing coach, which PCN you’re part of and your contact details.
Supervision– Having appropriate supervision within the practice and/or PCN is vital. These personalised care roles provide immense support for our patients, however they are often involved with complex and challenging patients. This is rewarding but does require support to ensure this doesn’t become a burden. A clinical supervisor is needed to provide day-to-day support as well as structured clinical supervision, often by way of a monthly review. Day-to-say support could be provided by the on call GP, but having named regular supervisor, often a GP lead is important. Please see induction section below for further information.
Induction please see the summary produced by Dr Olesya Atkinson to support social prescribers. Much of the guidance including the induction plan and supervision guidance is applicable to health and wellbeing coaches.
Peer support is informally provided by NHSE on the email above in the training section. In county the training hub has supported the setup and facilitation of peer support for social prescribers and care co-ordinators. As yet this has not been developed for health and wellbeing coaches due to lower numbers in primary care. However we are very happy to support setting up similar for health and wellbeing coaches as numbers allow. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
Please find on the right of this page a suggested recruitment pack below which can be adapted for use in your PCN.