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Bid to improve health care through ‘better conversation’

4 October 2016

A new set of resources has been developed to provide advice and training to health care staff to help them have better conversations with patients, leading to effective behaviour change.

Research has shown that only 60% of patients feel they are sufficiently involved in decisions about their care and many patients often don’t make lifestyle changes despite being advised to do so by a doctor or nurse. These new resources, which form part of a ‘Better Conversation’ campaign, aim to address this by encouraging health and care professionals to use a health coaching approach, treating as partners in their care rather than passive recipients.

The resources have been put together by a collaboration of health organisations, led by NHS Innovation Fellow Dr Penny Newman.

The resources include:

  • A short video
  • Inforgraphics
  • A resource guide containing case studies
  • Patient stories about communication

Dr Penny Newman said: “The conversation between any clinician and patient is paramount. I am passionate about us having conversations that enable people to thrive by feeling more motivated, confident and in control of managing their own health and care.  

Only by understanding what’s really going on and putting patients more in the driving seat can we enable them to better manage their own health and adopt more healthy behaviours.”

Mandy Rudczenko, the mother of a 16-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis whose care giver has used a health coaching technique said: “Health coaching has enabled myself and my son to find ways of managing his relentless treatment regime, without the negative baggage which comes with telling someone what to do.”

NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who wrote the foreword to the resource guide, has described health coaching as an essential part of the plan to transform the way health care services are provided, to make them sustainable.

Download the new resources here and follow the campaign on Twitter @betterconvo