Sarah Frost, Project Manager, Person Partner Place, Big Life Group, Manchester

My role is to support the development of skills related to health coaching in the health and social care workforce in Manchester, this was commissioned as an element of the PPP programme funded by Health Education England in north west England.

Personally, I have developed a greater awareness of the impact of my communication style and how coaching can be useful in many different settings and conversations. I have been lucky to work with trainers who are enthusiastic, supportive, keen to learn and share that learning. Some of those who have completed the training gave me the following feedback about how they have used the learning in practice:

  • “The day after the workshop I had a consultation with a lady that I had worked with before and tried this way of doing it and it was a completely different outcome. Using the coaching I felt for the first time we actually got to the bottom of things and she felt that I had listened more than last time. I think we are going to have a much better relationship going forward.”
  • “I am now using the TGROW model in my future practice and feel that this has given me more direction and focus. I feel this is giving the client more options and supporting their decisions enabling them to self-care.”
  • “My patient was refusing to take medication which resulted in poorly managed COPD. By using the solution focused coaching questions, the patient was able to realise what she had to do in order to avoid exacerbation.”
  • “I have had a different type of conversation with a patient who had told me they hadn't been walking for 12 months. I coached the patient to think of a goal herself and this was to go outside and make herself a cup of tea. On the ward, we then made a cup of tea together and she has now progressed to walking with a frame and having further rehabilitation at home.”

Sarah’s tips:

  • Acknowledge and build on good practice that's happening already.
  • Make use of you coaching 'champions' - people who can help promote its use and share skills.
  • Don't underestimate the time needed for a mindset shift to occur
  • Be clear about the benefits of health coaching - use the evidence to make the case.
  • Get buy in at senior levels to support and sustain the implementation.

"Conversation doesn't just reshuffle the
cards. It creates new cards."

How talk can change our lives,
Theodore Zeldin

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