Dr Vicki Bowman, GP, North Norfolk

I was keen to have more effective consultations with patients and promote this transformational mindset. By utilising health coaching skills, my objectives have definitely been achieved. I find consultations less stressful and more enjoyable, I have seen a reduction in prescribing, referral and repeat consultations, and an increase in patient satisfaction.

I have completed a ‘Train the Trainer’ course, have attended regular Continuous Professional Development (CPD) sessions, and have embedded the role within my day to day work in interactions with patients, staff and colleagues.

I now see every patient contact as an opportunity to tap into a patient's own motivations for wellness. I no longer feel the stress of trying to 'solve' my patients problems and the appointments are conversations rather than transactional consultations. I feel more resilient, I have also found that staff feel more valued and have a greater sense of their own potential.

The main challenges I have found are how to encourage GPs away from a more transactional model and how to make health coaching seem less 'fluffy' to the uninitiated.

I have now found a colleague within my organisation and we are joining forces to try and persuade our organisation to allow us to deliver training which will hopefully allow us to gather more positive evidence...from small acorns, great oak trees grow.

Tips for success in health coaching:

  • Have an open mind - embrace the shift in mindset
  • Have a network of enlightened colleagues for support, ideally a 'buddy' in your own organisation
  • Complete ongoing CPD and opportunities to develop as a coach
  • Subscribe to updates of progress nationally
  • Enjoy your conversations

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

How talk can change our lives,
Theodore Zeldin

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