What is Health and Wellbeing Coaching?
Health and Wellbeing Coaching is a relatively new position within the National Health Service (NHS). The role works alongside Social Prescribing Link Workers and Care Coordinators. This role is part of the NHS’s long-term plan to make personalised care the ‘norm’ across primary care. The idea is to help support Primary Care Network (PCN) staff in helping people look after and manage their own physical and mental health.
It is estimated one in five people who see their GP are there for reasons that cannot be solved with medical treatment. This inevitably leads to areas of inefficiency in NHS services.
Patients may become frequent attenders if they do not feel their needs are being met, which can lead to long wait times and a repetition of work.
Starting a session with someone with no clear goals or what they want to work on and by the end of the session they have set a goal and plan to go with it… is such a rewarding feeling!
The role of the coach
A coach’s main role is to help people to take an active role in looking after their own health and wellbeing. Particularly people with long-term conditions that can be managed through lifestyle changes. We aim to help people make these positive lifestyle changes, with the aim of leading to long-term behaviour change. This can be achieved through setting goals and targets, establishing healthier habits and increasing peoples knowledge, skills and confidence.
When working with patients it’s important that the coach isn’t making decisions and choices for the individual. The emphasis of coaching is to centre the sessions around the individual and what matters to them.
By focussing on things that motivate and are important in their lives encompasses this ‘personalised care’ approach. Building a trusting relationship and rapport is very important. It helps support work towards their self-identified goals and is the essential work of a Health and Wellbeing Coach.