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Using health coaching by nursing and medical students to improve health outcomes in people with long-term conditions

Dr Sonia Kumar, Director of Undergraduate Primary Care Education at Imperial College London, has secured a grant from Health Education North West London (HENWL) to fund an innovative one year pilot teaching project. The Community Provider Network (CPN) project involves pairing thirty medical students with thirty nursing students, in primary care, to oversee the management of a group of patients with chronic conditions at high risk of emergency hospital admission. The aims are to use health coaching by nursing and medical students to improve health outcomes in these patients, optimise their management in primary care settings, and reduce the burden on acute services.

We will recruit 20 to 30 practices for this CPN pilot and practices would host a pair of students for up to 6 months. Students will be assigned 4 to 6 patients with chronic problems at high risk of complications and of using acute services. Students will visit each patient about once a week and GPs would guide students and keep them updated on patients. Practices will be paid for participating.

Students will be given health coaching skills which is new to the undergraduate curriculum at Imperial College London. We will be appointing two new educators; one from a medical background and one from a nursing background to supervise these students. If you are interested in applying, please email j.mollaney@imperial.ac.uk for a job description.

We will be studying the impact this model of learning may have on patients and students. There will also be an associated student led quality improvement project. The lessons learnt from this CPN pilot will be important for adapting to new teaching and learning environments that medical students will be placed in, as changes to patient services in the NHS continue, such as the identification of 'high-risk' patients by general practices as part of the national GP contract.


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