Osca has been providing Coaching for Health training (led by Nick Nielsen and Dr Doug Hing) over the last six years – one of its first providers in the UK. We have trained well over a thousand participants from almost every discipline across primary and secondary care. We have also completed a recent strategic review of health coaching for Health Education England, engaging with providers, experts and commissioners around the country.
Coaching for Health applies the coaching principles, skills and frameworks to clinical settings (see Courses for more details and our theoretical approach). It recognises the importance of supporting patients to take ownership of their health, and how more directive approaches to behaviour change can be limited in their effectiveness. Coaching in these contexts brings together the expertise of a patient in the lived experienced of their condition, with the diverse expertise of the healthcare professional. It is a partnership which supports the patients to set their own goals and plans for managing their condition. It is about higher quality conversations between patients and health practitioners, particularly in the management of long-term conditions and lifestyle, with the aim of more effective self-management and independence.
The potential crisis facing health services with regards to the growing numbers of people with chronic health conditions is well known. The opportunity to bring coaching into health seems significant as a mechanism for building responsibility and action on the part of patients. And the evidence base for its effectiveness is growing (see below)
Courses – find out more about Osca’s two day and wider Coaching for health courses
Programmes – our previous and current activity in larger scale health coaching research and programme delivery
Resources – for both commissioners and practicing health professionals
Evaluation – a sample of our evaluation results compiled from all our trainings to date
- For patients:
- Greater patient satisfaction and adherence
- Improved health behaviours and outcomes in e.g.: diabetes, cardiovascular diseasepain management, and changing behaviours (weight management, diet, nutrition and smoking cessation) 
- For practitioners: improved morale, particularly with primary care workforce vulnerable to ‘burn out’ 
- For the system: decreases in healthcare consumption
 The Evidence Centre (2014) ‘Does Health Coaching Work? Summary of Key Themes from a Rapid Review of Empirical Evidence’, Bell, I. et al (2002) ‘Integrative medicine and systemic outcomes research’ Archives of Internal Medicine 162: 133-140; Lawson, K. (2009) ‘Could health coaching build a bridge to a new system of healthcare?’, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 15 (5): 16-8; Jonk, Y. et al (2015) ‘How effective is health coaching in reducing health services expenditures?’ Med Care. 53 (2): 133-40
 Melko, C. et al (2010) ‘Diabetes Health Coaching Improves Medication Adherence: A Pilot Study’ Am. J. of Lifestyle Medicine 2: 187-194; Wolever, R. Q. et al (2010) ‘Integrative health coaching for patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized clinical trial’, Diabetes Educ. 36 (4): 629-639
 Vale, M. J. et al (2003) ‘Coaching patients On Achieving Cardiovascular Health (COACH): A Multicenter Randomized Trial in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease’ Arch Intern Med. 163 (22): 2775-2783
Coaching for Health has been developed by Osca. Osca is a social impact lab, also working on innovation, organisational design and impact measurement. Please visit www.osca.co to find out more.