Sue Phelan, Occupational Therapist and Kim Morseley, Psychologist, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust

Sue – Occupational therapist

Having worked as a clinician for many years, this was the type of training that felt like it could make a difference to all members of the team and how we engage our patients in self-management. We have now trained over 350 staff within our Trust in health coaching. Following a recent survey of the staff trained, we know that the vast majority continue to use the techniques and employ the mind-set developed in the course.

We structured it by running two day coaching courses, eLearning and half day packages to raise awareness and increase engagement. As leaders, we have supported various projects across the organisation to help embed the approach within different clinical areas. We have undertaken numerous presentations and discussions with the senior management team.

I believe that the coaching has significantly impacted my approach and my patient group. Colleagues have relayed to me that this is also the case for them.

Although there have been challenges, I am proud of what we have achieved in raising awareness of this method and engaging our staff community. The driver behind the project is the work we carry out with our patient group and the difference this has made to individuals' lives, this is what I am most proud of.

Tips for health coaching:

  • Be willing to see the potential
  • Be patient
  • It’s often about the process not the content
  • Less is more
  • It might take less time than you think

Kim - psychologist

Having worked in a multi-disciplinary team for many years I was initially struck by the impact that health coaching training had on my colleagues, and the impact it had clinically on people's ability to take responsibility for their health and make change.

Moving forward with health coaching I found it to be an invaluable tool in my supervision and management of staff and also found it had an enormous impact on my own resilience and wellbeing. The opportunity to train others and facilitate the growth of health coaching within my organisation therefore felt like an exciting opportunity.

As a coach I use the training in both individual and group work, and also utilise the skills in management and supervision of my team. Working with a colleague, I have run many two day coaching courses for staff and have also e-learning and half day training packages to raise awareness and engagement with this approach. We also offered Continuous Professional Development (CPD) sessions to build on the skills of staff who have completed the two day training.

Aside from my experience of using health coaching clinically with patients (group and individual) and in supervision with staff, we have trained over 350 staff within our Trust. Following a recent survey of all staff trained we know that the vast majority of staff continue to use the techniques and employ the skills and strategies learnt on the course to some degree.

I am proud of everything that we have achieved through the training but perhaps my proudest moments are the enormous differences that this approach has made to the people I work with - the patient stories.

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Theodore Zeldin

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