Overview of Role

Health coaching is a partnership between health and care practitioners and people. It guides and prompts people to change their behaviour, so that they can make healthcare choices based on what matters to them.

Health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) will predominately use health coaching skills to support and motivate people with lower levels of patient activation over a period of sessions to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to become active participants in their care.

HWBCS will use a non-judgemental approach that supports the person to self-identify existing issues and encourages proactive prevention of new and existing illnesses. This approach recognises that people often have the solutions to manage their own conditions and is based on using strong communication and negotiation skills, supports personal choice and positive risk taking, addresses potential consequences, and ensures people understand the accountability of their own decisions based on what matters to the person.

Jo Wallis has been practising as a health & wellbeing coach within Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Foundation Trust. She explains in this video how she uses health coaching to support patients with what they need: Film 3 Health & Wellbeing Coach – YouTube

Health coaching support may be provided 1:1 or via group; HWBCs may also provide access to self-management education, peer support and social prescribing and can also play a crucial role in helping the wider PCN to understand the barriers for individuals/groups in accessing support in the community, and use this insight in developing community-based support, working as part of the wider social prescribing model.


From April 2020, this role will be reimbursed at 100% on the Additional Role Reimbursement Scheme for PCNs. Where a PCN employs or engages a HWBC under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme the PCN must ensure that the HWBC:

  1. is enrolled in, undertaking or qualified from appropriate health coaching training covering topics outlined in the NHS England and NHS Improvement Supported self-management: Summary guide with the training delivered by a training organisation listed by the Personalised Care Institute;
  2. adheres to a code of ethics and conduct in line with the NHS England and NHS Improvement Health coaching implementation and quality: Summary guide
  3. has formal individual and group coaching supervision (which should be monthly – if full time) which must come from a suitably qualified or experienced individual; and
  4. works closely in partnership with the Social Prescribing Link Worker(s) or social prescribing service provider to identify and work alongside people who may need additional support, but are not yet ready to benefit fully from social prescribing.


A PCN’s Core Network Practices must identify a first point of contact for general advice and support and (if different) a GP to provide supervision for the PCN’s Health and Wellbeing Coach(es). This could be provided by one or more named individuals within the PCN.

The Health and Wellbeing Coach must have access to regular supervision from a health coaching mentor. In addition to this (as mentioned above), formal and individual group coaching supervision must come from a suitably qualified or experienced health coaching supervisor.

A PCN will ensure the PCN’s Health and Wellbeing Coach(es) can discuss patient related concerns and be supported to follow appropriate safeguarding procedures (e.g. abuse, domestic violence and support with mental health) with a relevant GP.

A PCN must ensure that all staff working in practices that are members of the PCN are aware of the identity of the PCN’s Health & Wellbeing Coach(es).


The Summary guide stipulates where a PCN employs or engages a HWBC under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, that HWBCs “should attend an accredited health coaching skills programme (minimum 4 days) incorporating individual assessment of health coaching skills and documented practice hours”. This training and subsequent regular supervision from a health coaching mentor is to be funded by the employing PCN [the training] and should ideally be completed prior to starting to see patients.

The health coaching skills programme must be accredited by the Personalised Care Institute (PCI). In considering which course would be most appropriate for their HWBCs, PCN managers are encouraged to consult the PCI website which provides details of accredited suppliers and courses available. See Accredited training (personalisedcareinstitute.org.uk)

In addition there are 3 short mandatory online modules from the Personalised Care Institute that should be completed;

* Core Skills;

* Shared Decision Making;

* Personalised Care & Support Planning.

See Your learning options (personalisedcareinstitute.org.uk)

And Health Education England E-Learning for Health Platform’s Person Centred Approaches Programme, which is 5 hours in length, see Person-Centred Approaches – elearning for healthcare (e-lfh.org.uk)

HWBCs should also undertake training to understand the basics of social prescribing on Health Education England E-Learning for Health Platform’s Person Centred Approaches Programme, which is 6 hours in length Social Prescribing – elearning for healthcare (e-lfh.org.uk)

Once in post, a HWBC will be able to access the FutureNHS Collaboration Platform an NHS England online learning and support community – with Forums, Resources, National Webinar Series & “share and learn” sessions

Here at the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Training Hub we encourage you to join us for a New to primary care induction. We aim to support your local Practice induction by providing a consistent and comprehensive introduction to working in Primary Care. And further regular ongoing training will be listed on our site under health-and-wellbeing-coach. When you register you will be able to sign up for regular newsletter updates with relevant training for your role.

And, we are privileged to be working with Care Network to provide an Induction into the Local Voluntary Sector in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, weekly service updates & training opportunities from the local community and voluntary sector which will keep you connected to your colleagues working in personalised care across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

Further Information:

Click the link to find out more about the role of Health and Wellbeing Coach, including job descriptions, case studies and more.

David Lynch (SPLW Cambridge City PCN) interview by the Healthy You Sports team at the City Council. David talks about social prescribing as well as his work as a wellbeing walk leader and mindfulness coach.