Call: 0300 421 1623

The Expert Patients Programme enables patients who are living with a long term health condition learn self-management skills to improve the quality of their lives.

Statistics show that 45 per cent of participants say they feel more confident that they will not let common symptoms like pain, tiredness; depression and breathlessness interfere with their lives. Nearly four in ten (38 per cent) say such symptoms are less severe four to six months after completing the course and a third (33 per cent) feel better prepared for meetings with their own healthcare professionals.

Significant reductions in service use have been reported by people who have finished the course: Seven per cent reduction in GP visits; a 10 per cent reduction in outpatient visits; a 16 per cent reduction in admissions to Accident & Emergency Departments and a nine per cent reduction in Physiotherapy use.

The Course

The Expert Patient Programme is for anyone over the age of 18 who is living with a long-term condition. People with conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, MS, ME or chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, fibromyalgia and Parkinson’s have all benefited. This programme is for anyone taking a tablet or injection on a regular basis.

What Does the Course Offer?

The course covers the following topics:

  • Overview of Self-Management and chronic health conditions
  • Making Action Plans
  • Relaxation/Cognitive symptom Management
  • Feedback and Problem solving
  • Dealing with difficult emotions like: anger, frustration, fear and tearfulness
  • Fitness and exercise
  • Better breathing techniques
  • Pain & Fatigue
  • Nutrition
  • Living wills and community resources
  • Communication with family/friends and healthcare professionals
  • Medications
  • Making treatment decisions
  • Depression
  • Working with your healthcare professional
  • Future plans

What Does the Course Involve?

Six weekly sessions, each lasting two and a half hours (including breaks). It is varied; there are short talks, free thinks, group work, partner work. As a patient yourself there is a wealth of knowledge in the room to share with each other the things that work.

The course is led by volunteer tutors who themselves have long-term conditions. It is free, and simply requires a commitment to attend regularly. Courses run countywide.

Carers Course

‘Looking After Me’ is a free course for adults who care for someone living with a long-term health condition or disability. As its name implies, the course is about you making time to look after your own health needs. It aims to help you take more control of your situation and make a difference to your life. By taking part in a Looking after Me course, you will learn new skills to help you to cope with your caring situation,develop the confidence to take more control of your life and meet with others who share similar experiences.

The course looks at:

  • relaxation techniques
  • dealing with tiredness
  • exercise
  • healthy eating
  • coping with depression
  • communicating with family, friends and professionals
  • planning for the future 


There is a taster session that Healthcare Professionals can access to see how self management can change a patient’s perspective. We also speak at groups around the county about the Expert Patient Programme.

The Expert Patient Programme is also looking at working with other agencies to link up the programme and enhance other specialist courses.


Once you have attended a six week programme, there is an opportunity to become a volunteer for the service. This could include, after training, becoming a Volunteer Tutor and being part of a supported team delivering to other groups. Or you could go and check out venues and drop equipment off to the Tutors.

Contacts around the county

The Expert Patient Programme has access to a network of support groups and agencies around the county.  If there is something that you are interested in and can not find any details, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact information 

Denise Wood
Expert Patients Programme & Self-Management Co-ordinator

Telephone: 0300 421 1623
Mobile: 07827 882080