Health and Wellbeing Coaches
What is a Health and Wellbeing Coach?
A health and wellbeing coach can support you to improve how you manage your physical and mental health. They work with you through a series of sessions to help achieve your personalised health and care plan goals, offering support and advice about diet and lifestyle.
How can a health and wellbeing coach support me?
Health and wellbeing coaches support you to take proactive steps to improve the way you manage your physical and mental health conditions based on what matters to you.
They support you to develop knowledge, skills and confidence in managing your health and care, to improve your health and quality of life. They will coach and motivate you through multiple sessions to identify your needs, set goals and support you to achieve your personalised health are care objectives - providing interventions such as self-management education and peer support.
- 1:1 and group coaching
- Support setting personalised health goals
- Linking in with other services
- Support to manage your long-term health condition
- Support towards eating well, staying active or managing your weight
- Support to manage your mental wellbeing
- Adhere to a care plan
Where is a health and wellbeing coach based?
Health and wellbeing coaches are based within your local community. You may have access to one or multiple health and wellbeing coaches depending on where you are from. They work out of local GP surgeries and you would have an appointment at the GP surgery you are registered to.
How do I make an appointment to see a health and wellbeing coach?
Health and wellbeing coaches are accessible via your GP Surgery without the need for a referral. When ringing for an appointment the reception team may suggest you speak to a health and wellbeing coach and a member of the team will then be in touch with more information and to find out if health coaching will be suitable for you.
What can i expect from an appointment with a health and wellbeing coach?
During the first session with a health and wellbeing coach they will find out more about you, your lifestyle, values, goals and anything that might get in the way of achieving those goals. You will then set some short-term goals that will enable you to start to work towards what it is you want to achieve. In the sessions that follow you will review your progress, set new goals and discuss any challenges you might have faced to help you overcome these in the future. In doing so, health coaching helps you develop the skills and confidence to manage your health and wellbeing.
Will I need to see a health and wellbeing coach on a regular basis?
You will be offered 6-8 sessions of support, consisting of 45-minute consultations via telephone, online or face-to-face.
Why is the health and wellbeing coach based at my GP surgery?
Primary care networks are prioritising the need for dedicated health and wellbeing provision within their primary care teams. The health and wellbeing coach works closely with the clinical staff in your GP practice to seek advice and guidance on different aspects of your care where necessary.
Case study 1
"My patient was referred for support with weight management but revealed very early on that she is an "emotional eater" and is prone to "self-sabotage". She learnt to use food as a way to cope with childhood trauma and now, as an adult, finds that she suppresses memories and emotion, and that food is her only tool to manage this.
"We shifted the focus away from weight loss as this was adding pressure, the need to control and feelings of failure. Instead, sessions are centred around creating meaningful change which benefit her physical and mental wellbeing more broadly. Using a trauma-informed approach to support her, we have worked on improving sleep quality, developing a self-care plan, building self-compassion, managing negative thought patterns, building eating patterns which consider both enjoyment of food and health gain and promoting joyful regular activity. Maintenance strategies are important and both goals and care plans are mindful and considered.
"My patient had 8 health coaching sessions over 2 months and her confidence and self-compassion continue to improve."
Case study 2
'My patient is a 37 year old female living with obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. She was referred for support managing her weight and diabetes and received four health coaching sessions over seven weeks.
"She expressed early on that she would prefer a non-diet approach to coaching as pursuing intentional weight loss previously had had a negative effect on her wellbeing. She was motivated to make some positive lifestyle changes to improve health rather than being weight-focussed. We explored her reasons for change and ideas she had. She set goals to increase physical activity and to improve her relationship with food.
"Goals were reviewed during each session and after seven weeks is more physically active, reports a greater enjoyment and appreciation of family mealtimes, eating more mindfully, and an improved awareness of external cues leading her to overeat and how to overcome these. Although her personal wellbeing was high at baseline, minor improvements to life satisfaction, sense of worthwhile actions and happiness were observed after seven weeks. She reported feeling motivated to maintain these changes and confident in her ability to do so."
Partner organisations supporting health and wellbeing coaches
- Local physical activity centres
- National Diabetes Prevention Programme
- NHS weight management support
- Mental health support services
- Living Well Smokefree
- Peer support groups
"[My coach] was very helpful. Easy to talk to. And having anxiety, I found it surprisingly easy to discuss any concerns and problems with her."
"Whilst speaking with [my coach], we were able to establish further treatment and help I needed, which is now in progress."
"Thank you again. Although I realised I’d put on weight and the effect of this on my health. It was nice to have non-judgemental discussion and support from [my coach]. Information given re portion size and increasing movement and band exercises useful."