The better conversation story

These resources were developed by Dr Penny Newman and colleagues, funded by a Regional Innovation Fund, Health Education England, NHS Leadership Academy and the NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme (NIA). The NIA is a partnership between NHS England and the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), hosted by UCL Partners.

The aim is to support organisations, individuals and teams with a range of ways health coaching can be used, for example, by practicing clinicians as well as health and wellbeing coaches.

Health coaching was first pioneered in the East of England in 2010 when Dr Newman, a Suffolk GP and Consultant in Public Health, commissioned TPC Health to co-create and run pilot health coach training. This training was scaled nationally and at the same time, a community of practice (better conversation) and series of evaluations created. In 2019 NHS England established the roles of health coaches in primary care.

We are grateful to everyone who worked to co-create all these materials, and in particular, the clinicians who pioneered health coaching in their own organisations in the early days, particularly in the East of England.

If you would like to be part of this social movement, to advocate for, and hold better conversations that lead to better health please contact Penny here.

Contact us here

Latest blogs

Natasha McDowell, Occupational Therapist, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

Natasha McDowell

Health coaching is brilliant and thought provoking, I have found it very useful. It improves peoples outcomes and improves health.

Ross Joannides, Team Leader, Impact Health Coaching, West Sussex

Better Conversation

Having previously worked with young adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems, I became very passionate about the opportunity to implement a new approach.

Deborah Neal, Consultant Physiotherapist, Yeovil NHS Trust

Dr Deborah Neal

Learning health coaching techniques has given me additional skills that complemented my existing enthusiasm and expertise for my clinical area of supporting self-management in those with long term or neurological conditions.

Kate Nash, Lead Respiratory Nurse Specialist, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

Better Conversation

I am using health coaching in my clinical practice and have been given eight days per year outside of my existing role to train others.

Nina Finlay, Trudi Dunn, Zoe Noble, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Better Conversation

Each of us noted positive clinical experiences resulting from the application of health coaching skills following an initial two-day training course.

Heather Simpson, Senior Programme Manager (OD), Primary Care Delivery, NHS England

Better Conversation

I truly believe that coaching can support the NHS in transforming and in supporting patients to become better managers of their own health.

Alison Kent, Rheumatology Specialist Nurse, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

Better Conversation

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.

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

The role of Health

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.

Dr Vicki Bowman, GP, North Norfolk

Better Conversation

I was keen to have more effective consultations with patients and promote this transformational mindset. By utilising health coaching skills,

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

Better Conversation

My role is to support the development of skills related to health coaching in the health and social care workforce in Manchester,

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

Better Conversation

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.

Jo Reid, Advanced Practitioner Physiotherapist, Cambridge and Peterborough NHS FT

Better Conversation

Having strongly identified with the values and principles of health coaching i.e. to facilitate empowerment, choice, improved patient and staff experience, I was keen to dedicate some time to help staff access this way of working.

Matt Simpson, Programme Manager, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

Better Conversation

After attending one of the workshops I realised how important and effective this approach could be. It fitted with the work we were already doing around person centred care, and new care models.

Karen Ridealgh, an Occupational Therapist from Leeds and York Partnerships Foundation Trust

Better Conversation

I became involved in health coaching because I felt that the principles fitted with my philosophy about working with people who have health difficulties.

David Sweeting and Kieran Morling, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists, East Coast Community CIC

Better Conversation

We both work with patients suffering with persistent musculoskeletal pain, many have maladaptive coping strategies that contribute to their symptoms.

Joanne Wallis, Wellbeing Physiotherapist, Cambridge and Peterborough NHS FT

Joanne Wallis

I embarked on the health coaching approach because of the possibility of positively effecting behaviour change, what I had been doing wasn't working

Our story

Health coaching training was first developed in 2010 by Drs Newman and McDowell in NHS Suffolk funded by a Regional Innovation Fund, roll out across the East of England was commissioned by Health Education England and the training then selected onto the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) Programme.

These Better Conversation resources were co-funded by the NIA Fellowship, Health Education England, Innovation Agency (North West Coast), Eastern and Yorkshire and Humber AHSNs. We are grateful to everyone who has worked with us to grow the movement for better conversation, clinicians and leaders alike.

What is the NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme?

Read about promoted innovations

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How talk can change our lives,
Theodore Zeldin

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