GM CLAHRC delivering evaluation of Bolton’s Health Trainer service

Following the successful joint work on the IGT Health Trainer project, which supported people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in making lifestyle changes to delay or even prevent the onset of the disease, GM CLAHRC is now working with NHS Bolton to provide a comprehensive evaluation of Bolton’s Health Trainer service.

Bolton’s Health Trainer service was launched in 2007 with the aim of tackling health inequalities by offering targeted and personalised support, helping people to make small but significant changes to their lifestyle. The service aims to enable people to make healthier choices, by accessing services and taking greater control over their own health and wellbeing. The service currently consists of 22 Health Trainers based at GP surgeries.

The GM CLAHRC evaluation of Bolton’s Health Trainer service will provide insights into its effectiveness and a better understanding of service users’ perspectives. It will help identify the successes already achieved and factors that were critical in achieving them. Furthermore, the evaluation will help to develop an understanding of where the service can be improved and identify future development opportunities. The results will support future commissioning intentions for this service and could inform developments for wider health and wellbeing services in Bolton. GM CLAHRC will support Bolton’s Health Trainer service in implementing any recommendations made as part of the evaluation’s outcomes.

Lesley Hardman, Health Trainer Manager in Bolton said: “The intensive support and motivation Health Trainers have provided to patients in Bolton has been well received by both the patient and their GP. The results we’ve seen so far have been very encouraging. Patients are now more aware of the risk factors for ill health, they know what to do to stay healthy and are now more focused on keeping well for the future.

“Our previous work with GM CLAHRC on the IGT project was very productive. They provided the necessary support and encouragement to facilitate the work. As a result, Health Trainers have helped patients turn their lives around. To date they have worked with more then 1000 people diagnosed with IGT. We are looking forward to the evaluation results and working with CLAHRC in improving our already successful service even more.”

Interviews with Health Trainers and GP surgery staff have been scheduled for August and September 2012 and interviews with service users will follow in October 2012. Following the analysis phase the evaluation’s results will be available in spring 2013 when we will commence our improvement work with Bolton’s Health Trainers.