Reducing pressure on the NHS and empowering patients: Health Coaching and Type 2 Diabetes

Reducing pressure on the NHS and empowering patients: Health Coaching and Type 2 Diabetes

Richard Benson, Director of Planned Care at Totally plc, describes how health coaching can reduce pressure on the NHS while supporting patients to reduce the risks associated with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)

A recent report from the Daily Mail analysing data from NHS Digital over a 10-year period, has shown hospitals are overwhelmed and GP leaders are stating some T2D patients need up to 200 appointments a year to deal with their condition.

1.7 million people with T2D were admitted to hospital last year costing the NHS around £22 million a day and there has been a steady and alarming rise in the admission figures, year-on-year.

Health Coaching:

T2 Diabetes is strongly linked to weight and physical activity and, as such, is largely preventable. But it is not just as simple as telling patients to eat less and exercise more. Our Health Coaching programme offered to patients with long-term conditions enables them to be a major partner in managing their condition and this in turn helps the NHS to achieve valuable healthcare outcomes.

Health coaching helps patients to gain the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to become active participants in their care so they can reach their self-identified health goals and reduce reliance on GPs, emergency health services such as A&E and unscheduled admissions. Our experienced clinical health coaches act in a non-directive manner motivating patients to change unhelpful thinking patterns and supporting them to achieve better health outcomes.


Results from our Health Coaching Programme in Leicester for two GP Surgeries showed:

  • 50% reduction in unplanned admissions
  • 47% reduction in secondary care out-patient appointments
  • 39% reduction in contacts with all health professionals in local services
  • 30% reduction in GP/Practice Nurse appointments
  • 22% reduction in community healthcare appointments

Ensuring patients were better educated about their condition and had a greater insight into the access to specialist medical support was a key part of the work. Patient improvements from the project included 95% of patients showing an improvement in average blood glucose levels (HbA1C).


The clinical health coaches:

  • Educate the patients about their condition(s) and treatment options
  • Ensure there is a good understanding of all the information provided to the patients including medication regimes
  • Take the time to understand the patients’ concerns, misunderstandings and barriers to comply
  • Identify lifestyle changes that can impact positively on their health status
  • Act in a wellness capacity with patients who are at risk of T2D by supporting lifestyle and diet goals.
  • Encourage the patient to play an active part in the management of their health and well-being; early symptom recognition
  • Change patient behaviour to achieve self-identified, individual, realistic goals
  • Support the patient to develop the confidence to discuss their condition and treatment options with their families and healthcare providers
  • Reinforce and enhance the existing care plan of the patient

Our services result in the following significant patient and economic benefits for the NHS:

  • Empowering patients to self-manage effectively at home when appropriate
  • Better informed patients regarding their condition and treatment options
  • Increasing confidence and motivation to self-care
  • Increased medical adherence
  • Effective navigation and use of health system when necessary
  • Improvement in quality of life
  • Improved uptake of local services
  • Less reliance on health care professionals and reduced demand on the system
  • Freed up primary care and community resources to focus on other healthcare economy priorities
  • Reducing inappropriate A&E admissions and resulting in significant savings for the CCG

Link to diabetes case study:

For further information please contact


November 4, 2019 In: News Comments (None)