Ruby Bansel, Diversity and Inclusion Project Manager, Leeds and York Partnership NHS FT

I have a general interest in health and wellbeing and was keen to establish myself in a professional role as a health coach trainer, to look at new ways of working in clinical practice.

Through developing my knowledge and skills in health coaching I have gained further understanding and belief in patient experience and empowerment. I have learnt how to use practical applications through models and tools, and developed the ability to share this learning with clinical staff.

I have now delivered a number of sessions as pilot programmes to clinical teams, I am also involved in the Trust’s health coaching steering group, and mapping the future direction of health coaching.

The Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events have been particularly valuable in helping me to implement health coaching, as well as support I received to revise some of the content originally taught in the ‘Train the Trainer’ modules. Peer support from fellow health coaches has also been important.

Evaluation from our pilot sessions indicates an increased level of skills, knowledge and confidence in staff to utilise tools in a clinical setting. They now have the ability to have meaningful and better conversations with patients and staff, and have the belief that individuals are experts in their own recovery journey.

I do think that health coaching is often undertaken in a piecemeal way and I feel that there still needs to be further substantiation and evidence on the impact and benefits in mental health settings, as there is such a range of acuity with mental illness.

Ruby’s tips:

  • Have a comprehensive plan in place
  • Understand the evidence base of effectiveness of health coaching when working with patients with specific health needs (mental health)
  • Seek and secure organisational and leadership commitment to the development and delivery of health coaching
  • Measure return on investment and impact of adopting health coaching in practice
  • Market and share success stories

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