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Judy White, Regional Health Trainer Lead presented a workshop session at the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Public Health Conference in Doncaster on 10th November. The presentation titled “Health Trainers: evidence base and value for money” is summarized below.

The Regional Health Trainer Team delivered two workshop sessions at the 2010 Yorkshire and Humber Regional Public Health Conference.

There are now Health Trainer Services in every PCT in the region – some well-established, others very new. The delivery model varies between services with some focusing for example on supporting people with long term conditions, some being based and commissioned by General Practice and some focussed on primary prevention in ‘hard to reach’ communities. Health Trainer Service leads meet quarterly to share and learn from each other’s experience. This has encouraged innovative approaches and rich evidence is now emerging about how health trainers are supporting people to change their lifestyle and the impact they are making. The presentation/workshop will explore this emerging evidence base providing evidence of outcomes from across the region.

Services collect outcomes based monitoring data (all but one use the national Data Collection Recording System funded by the Department of Health), some local evaluations and client surveys have been carried out plus there is rich qualitative evidence in the form of case stories. The Regional Health Trainer Team is working to synthesise all this data into an evidence base for commissioners and providers. The team is also collecting information about value for money based on a model developed by an eminent health economist and early findings from value for money assessments will be shared in the presentation/workshop. This has particular urgency at a time of public sector spending reductions when tough decisions will need to be made about which services to commission in the future.

The synthesis of the evidence base will seek to answer the following questions:

  • Are the people health trainers are supporting making and sustaining lifestyle change?
  • Are health trainers reaching the hard to reach?
  • Are health trainers reducing inappropriate visits to General Practice and increasing appropriate visits?
  • Are health trainers supporting people with long term conditions to manage these better?
  • Are health trainers working effectively with volunteer community health champions to reach marginalised groups and support them to make lifestyle changes?
  • Are clients satisfied with the service they receive from health trainers?
  • Is there anything distinctive about health trainers and the way they work which enables them to successfully reach and support people?
  • Are health trainers’ good values for money?

The presentation/workshop will explore how far we are able to answer these questions and how robust the evidence base is. Examples of innovative practice will be used as illustration – for example we hope to share early learning from pilots in Sheffield and Bradford where health trainers and volunteer community health champions are working closely with general practice to identify and support people in the community with diabetes. It is also hoped that the presentation/workshop will provide an opportunity to explore the place health trainers might have in the newly configured NHS post the White Paper, and questions and discussion will be welcome.

Download the whole slide show to view here: Health Trainers: Evidence Base and Value for Money

Geof Dart, who leads the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Offender Health Trainer Project also presented at the conference. The presentation titled “Health Trainers in the Criminal Justice System”.

Since 2009 within Yorkshire & Humberside a project has been developed through Offender Health & Social Care part of Yorkshire & Humber Improvement Partnership, implementing Health Trainers within the Criminal Justice System.

This has incorporated training and accrediting ex-offenders within the Bradford area to City & guilds level three Health Trainers, (HT) working within probation settings and serving offenders in the regions prison estate to level two Health Trainer Champions, (HTC).

There are four key deliverables:

  1. Improve health awareness and support for offenders to access mainstream health and social care services.
  2. Signposting offenders to health & healthier lifestyles. Qualified HT & HTC’s breaking down barriers with other offenders.
  3. Offenders achieving an accredited C&G recognised NHS qualification on completion of the training.
  4. Forming links with external HT services giving quality aftercare to ex-offenders.

Alongside QIPP/Efficiencies:

  1. Making offenders more self-aware of services within health & social care
  2. Improved advice and guidance by health trainers to all clients. Engaging in quality personal health plans aiding to reducing health inequalities whilst in prison
  3. Increasing employment whilst in prison & possible avenues to employment upon release.
  4. Transferable data from prisons to community. Utilising the National Data collection & reporting system. Increasing public service engagement and reducing reoffending

In November we will have three health trainer trainees working within the probation settings; we will have over seven prisons within the region delivering the HTC service. In addition to this, one serving offender who will be undertaking his level 3 HT qualification under the Bradford training course.


Since the start of the project approximately 50 serving offenders in various prisons in the region have gained accredited Health Trainer Champion qualification and are currently delivering the service. This includes HMP Full Sutton, which was the first prison nationally in the high security estate to be collating data evidence.

At HMP Moorlands, during Men’s Health Week the HTC’s assisted in organising a Health & Physical Activity promotion day which gained interest from over 150 serving offenders.

Utilising the formula in the recently published ‘Value for money of Health Trainers’ by Graham Lister,  It shows that by using this service in offender settings linking through to the seven pathways in reducing reoffending and achieving 100% goals we can save well over £3k per offender.

This project has the full backing of the Ministry of Justice and works in partnership with key stakeholders within the NHS Health Trainer Service. Evidence is collated through the National Health Trainer Data Collection & Reporting System and is achieving great results.

I would like to propose to deliver a workshop/ presentation alongside the ex-offenders/serving offender giving a brief account of the project and their journey through the criminal justice system to where they are today.

Download the whole slide show to view here: Health Trainers in the Criminal Justice System By Geof Dart

If you would like more information about this work please contact: Geof Dart, Offender Health & Social Care, 07590754888

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