RSPH launched the Level 3 Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Improvement in late 2019, alongside a larger Level 3 Diploma, to support professionals such as health trainers, care navigators and social prescribing link workers. The qualification was developed with the help and support of Public Health England and has since been endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

The objective of the qualifications is to provide learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills to promote the health and wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities, so that people can make improvements and positive changes to their lives.

Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of RSPH said:

"It is very exciting for RSPH to see the first candidates complete our new Level 3 Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Improvement. As we look for solutions to the health and wellbeing challenges we are set to face in this decade, concepts such as care navigation and social prescribing have hugely important roles to play. The Bolton Health Improvement Practitioner Service is an excellent example of a community-based support service making a real difference to the lives of individuals, by empowering them to identify and carry out changes to their lifestyle".

The Bolton Health Improvement Practitioner Service supports people to live healthier lives, by working with them to make small but important changes to their lifestyle. Based in GP surgeries across Bolton, the Practitioners predominantly work with patients who are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes, supporting them with the advice and motivation required to change their behaviour. Since the candidates started their training in April 2019, they have worked with over 5000 individuals in communities across Bolton.

Joanne Street, Divisional Director of Operations, Integrated Community Services Division, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said:

"The Health Improvement Practitioner Service plays a vital role in the work of our Trust. On a daily basis, the team support individuals to make positive, long-term changes to their health and wellbeing in a primary care setting, making use of community assets, relieving pressure on other services and helping to keep the people of Bolton healthier for longer. We’re delighted to have been able to partner with RSPH in supporting our Practitioners to achieve this qualification. They have all enormously benefitted from the skills and knowledge they developed and we can already see the benefits that this is bringing to patients".

Faye Halliwell, Health Improvement Practitioner at Bolton NHS Trust said:

"The content of the qualification suited the role perfectly, as it enabled us to work out what stage of change the person was at using the models we covered in the course, along with how to use motivational interviewing in real scenarios using role play. I would absolutely recommend this qualification to others in the same role or similar. I think it opens up so many other ways to connect with the patient and gives you the skills to empower the patient to make their own changes and take ownership of their own health".  

Zubeda Harrif, Health Improvement Practitioner at Bolton NHS Trust said:

"So many of the topics covered in the qualification, ranging from motivational interview techniques to the importance of active listening, have helped me ensure that I make the best of each patient contact. I’ve been fortunate to have been involved in a number of success stories, where we have seen patients make significant improvements to their health. It gives me so much satisfaction in knowing that with the help of this course, I have provided support and motivation for patients to reach their goals".

For more information about the RSPH Level 3 Diploma in Health and Wellbeing Improvement, please click here. If you have any further questions about the qualification, please contact Aaron Mansfield at AMansfield@rsph.org.uk.