Health trainers work with disadvantaged groups in most parts of England to support people to make beneficial changes to their lifestyle. They are lay people who engage with communities rather than expect people to come to them and who provide a client-centred service where the individual decides when, what and how they want to change. Nurses work with health trainers to increase the support available to people with long-term conditions to self-manage and provide help to people found to be at risk following life checks or screening. Feedback from clients is positive, and health professionals are increasingly aware of how such trainers can complement their services. Managing a lay workforce presents challenges but this is an effective service for clients who struggle to change without support.
Judy White and Jane South explain how patients from disadvantaged groups can be supported to make lifestyle changes that improve their wellbeing