The course will be developed by the RCGP and the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB), and funded by NHS North West SHA.
Sue Summers, assistant director for quality assurance and self care at NHS North West, said the scheme would also target practice managers and nurses.
Increased self care among patients would reduce demand on general practice for minor ailments, said Ms Summers. ‘We face an increase in long term conditions in population. GPs will need the time for those patients,’ she said.
Professor Nigel Sparrow, chair of the Professional Development Board of the RCGP, said giving patients access to health information and support was vital to improving the public health.
He added: ‘Many GPs and nurses already do this, but I hope this module will provide clinicians with more opportunities to develop and enhance their consultation skills.’
GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘We need to educate GPs and practice nurses, both as undergraduates and postgraduates. We don’t do this enough.’
Pilots will run through 2011 with a final course ready by 2012.