Alison Kent, Rheumatology Specialist Nurse, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

My interest in health coaching derives from a need for more effective ways to change health behaviour. I also wanted to be able to train other healthcare professionals in how to have a better conversation with patients.

I use the principles of health coaching daily within my practice. I have also conducted two health coaching courses in my Trust with more on the way shortly. Another target for me is to get health coaching on the agenda for the national Rheumatology Nurse meetings. I have found that introducing this method has improved my job satisfaction, both as a manager and a nurse specialist.

We are supporting those with long term illnesses, helping them to take ownership of their condition. We have experienced positive patient outcomes, in particular an increase in patients’ confidence to make health changes.

Health coaching is here to stay, it’s not a fad. I feel very blessed to have undergone the training that has enable me to pass on the 'magic' of coaching to others, changing the way you have conversations could save the NHS! Alison’s tips for health coaching:

  • If you can communicate with others you can use coaching techniques
  • Practice! You may not get it right every time but keep going
  • You can never 'listen' too much

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

How talk can change our lives,
Theodore Zeldin

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