Moorfields is piloting a health coaching programme to support staff to have empowering conversations with patients about their condition and treatment. Grounded in the NHS values of care, listening and personal responsibility, health coaching will lead to more equal conversations and encourage patients to be active in managing their own health, wellbeing and care.
In her role as a matron over the last six years across a range of sites, Karen Titmuss was inspired to take part in the health coaching programme after hearing Sam Walker from 3D Coaching, speak at last year’s nursing conference about the positive impact the programme has on patients.
I have been working at the trust for 33 years and have held the position of matron for the Moorfields north and west sites for six years; this includes Northwick Park, Ealing, Potters Bar and Watford. I have overall responsibility for outpatients, day care and theatres and directly manage the sisters and the eye clinic liaison officer. I work clinically at the larger sites two or more days each week.
I had been inspired after hearing Sam Walker present at the Moorfields annual nursing conference last year. The programme was presented as having a really positive effect on the behaviour of patients with long term conditions such as glaucoma and diabetes which we treat on a day to day basis. I could see the programme enhancing my practice so I took the opportunity to book myself on in the first instance to see if the programme would also be beneficial for the rest of my team.
I learnt a lot about my character from an interesting exercise which continues to provoke my thinking. It has improved my communication skills. I have learnt the importance of deep listening and incisive questioning to enable people to find their own solutions to their problems without me giving them the answers. Seeing the result of this has been amazing. It is important to give people the time to think without interruption in the right environment.
Not only has health coaching positively enhanced the way I interact with patients; it has hugely influenced my personal and professional life and the way I manage and conduct difficult conversations with staff. Opportunities keep arising to use what I have learnt. As a result of the programme I have also sat on the other side and am benefitting from being coached as part of the NHS Leadership Academy scheme. It is amazing the impact this has had on my thinking and behaviour and also on my work-life balance.
I feel using the STOKeRS tool and the rule of three, or indeed a combination of both, helps patients to reach their own decisions about their condition and treatment without me offering answers which in the NHS we have been trained to do, and I used to do prior to undertaking this programme. I consider this my new toolkit. I have witnessed the effect of these empowering conversations benefiting patients who are best placed to take responsibility for managing their condition.
Would you recommend the programme to colleagues?
Yes, absolutely, and I have done so. A number of my team have either completed the programme or are booked on to future dates. I intend to get as many of my team through the programme as possible and encourage them to share their experiences. The monthly follow on interactive sharing sessions have also been inspiring, it is a programme that will stay with me, the tools and knowledge gained have been invaluable.
Talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to develop this programme in your hospital