New partnership could help more patients benefit from health coaching

Some 1,800 practices in England could benefit from a new partnership to provide a health coaching programme that helps patients with long-term health conditions to better manage their health.

The coaching will be provided by nurses on the phone and face-to-face (Photo: iStock)

Health technology company iPLATO has partnered with health coaching service Health Navigator to deliver the programme in CCGs that use the iPLATO system.

The Proactive Health Coaching programme provides patients with, on average, six months tailored one-to-one health coaching from specialist trained NHS nurses. The aim of the programme is to improve patient confidence and knowledge in managing their condition and ultimately to reduce pressure on GP appointments and A&E services.


Established in 2006, iPLATO’s solutions have proven to improve patient access to healthcare and early diagnosis, enabling powerful health promotion and support for citizens living with long-term conditions. 
Click here for more details.

This article has been funded by iPLATO for GP Connect

iPLATO currently works with 46 CCGs, and CCGs will need to commission the service in addition to their current agreement with iPLATO.

How can health coaching help?

Health coaching helps patients to increase their understanding of their condition and motivates them to make key behavioural changes such as smoking cessation, medication compliance or taking up regular exercise. It can also signpost them to other available support services when necessary, which can help to alleviate pressure on practices.

People with long-term conditions are the most frequent users of health care services, accounting for 50% of all GP appointments and 70% of all inpatient bed days.

Health coaching can have a significant impact on these unplanned hospital admissions, as well as a reduction in GP appointments and out-of-hour emergency calls.

In a trial programme this year with the NHS Vale of York CCG the intervention group supported by Proactive Health Coaching had 63% fewer non-elective admissions and 60% fewer A&E attendances than a control group.2

How will the scheme work?

Following approval by the relevant CCG to fund the health coaching programme, patients will be invited by their GP practice to enrol in tailored sessions. Holistic coaching will be delivered both face-to-face and over the phone at a time and place convenient to patients.

Mike Lewis, chairman of iPLATO Healthcare said: ‘We are delighted to announce this new and exciting partnership with Health Navigator. With their proven health coaching programme and our successful track record of introducing transformative interventions via our relationships with commissioners, CCGs and GPs, we believe we can make a real difference to those patients managing ongoing and complex health conditions.

‘Many patients suffering from long-term conditions struggle to manage their disease effectively and yo-yo in and out of hospital and GP settings. Transforming care via personalised health coaching offers obvious advantages to patients, but it also benefits commissioners and taxpayers by reducing pressure on the healthcare system.


  1. Kings Fund. Ten priorities for commissioners: Transorming our health care system. London, June 2015.
  2. NHS Confederation. Member case study: Reducing hospital admissions among high users of urgent care. June 2017.

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