The health coach in primary care is a programme that is new to the DES network contract. It is one of the additional roles.
Health coaches are non-clinical healthcare staff who help patients increase mobility and reduce pain, lose weight and improve eating habits, make long lasting lifestyle(behavioural) changes.
Health coaches provide long form conversations to assess the patient’s fitness levels, lifestyle and medical conditions. They also provide personalised guidance for example, dietary advice, physical activity and alcohol reduction.
The goal of a health coach is to define achievable and realistic goals, facilitating patient’s adherence to the programs and successful outcomes. As well as motivating patients through education and providing options that are easy to integrate into their daily routine.
Health coaches empower patients to live independently by taking more control in managing their own health by giving them options.
They help patients by contributing to reducing their pressure on clinical staff by reducing unnecessary GP appointments. Health coaches help facilitate better links with community to create a proactive and reactive route and adapt and shape their services around the surgery/ area’s needs. They also develop training, education and CPD for staff (i.e., MSK exercise, evidence-based obesity interventions, Diabetes Type 2), improving continuity of messages.