Health Coaching: Making A Positive Difference In Patient Centred Care

23rd August 2023

In this week’s blog, our Chief Executive, Dr Linda Edwards, shares her experience with health coaching and how it can positively impact patient centred care. 

My introduction to health coaching

My introduction to coaching transformed my life; and that is no exaggeration! 

After years of working as a clinician and manager in various roles in primary care, I was asked to pilot a new initiative to increase the number of young women in leadership roles across the NHS. At that time, I was Director of Primary and Community Care in NHSE South Thames and was asked if I would be a guinea pig in a national coaching pilot.

A healthy dose of scepticism 

I approached the whole thing with a healthy dose of scepticism and duly went along to my first coaching session. After a couple of sessions, I realised that I was seeing things differently and that I was able to tackle the many challenges of my role with greater ease. I was hooked and set out to train as a clinical psychologist and a coach.

Shortly thereafter, I set up my own coaching and consultancy business, working with people in clinical and non-clinical roles. I was immediately struck by the untapped potential that is inherent to most people. The great joy is that I soon found that no matter where people were in their lives and careers, coaching was a great resource that enabled them to be the best they can be. I continue this work to this day.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a holistic conversational process; it enables people to get to the nub of any issue. This is achieved by identifying the root cause. The ‘coach’ will ask ‘clean’ questions that helps the ‘coachee’ to tap into their inherent internal resources and find the most empowering solutions.

Health coaching can have a positive impact on patient care.

There is no one fit solution, everyone is different. A great coach will always get themselves out of the way, release any judgements and work with the person in front of them to help them find their own solutions.

Early on in my coaching career I was working with a senior nurse who had a bit of an epiphany, in fact it was an epiphany for both of us. She said, ‘You know I have been coming to these sessions to support me at work, but I realise that it is about me, in all aspects of my life!’ This was a life changing moment for both of us. 

What is health coaching?

Health Coaching has been recognised as a great tool to support patients in managing their health and wellbeing effectively. It sits at the very heart of patient centred care. Working with people to find solutions that work for them, in their lives, improves their health and wellbeing and is both powerful and fulfilling. 

Our coaching offer

At Education for Health, we are working with our partners at Peak Health Coaching to empower healthcare professionals to take a coaching approach. We have created a package focused on refreshing clinical skills and training in health coaching. This provides healthcare professionals with the tools to support patients by tailoring the support they need. 

To learn more about this package, and about the benefits of health coaching, visit our website. Alternatively, get in touch directly, I’d be delighted to hear from you.