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Expert Patients Programme

The Expert Patients Programme is an NHS initiative to help people living with a long term medical condition maintain their health and improve their quality of life through self- management courses.

Does chronic disease self management work?

Research shows that people who have attended a Chronic Disease SelfSelf-Management course:

  • Have greater confidence in dealing with their illness
  • Experience less pain and fatigue, depression and anxiety
  • Are more likely to continue with exercise and relaxation techniques
  • Make fewer visits to GPs
  • Have better communication with health professionals

What makes the course so special?

The courses are run by people who have a chronic condition themselves and have been trained under the Expert Patients Programme. The tutors are supported by qualified trainers and use the skillls and techniques learnt on the course to take control of their long term health condition. You will be sharing skills and experiences with other people who have the same problems as you, whatever their condition.

What does it involve?

You would attend one session per week for six weeks: each session lasts about two and a half hours (including breaks). There are discussions, freethinking sessions and brief explanations. Participants get to know each other quite well and they share experiences and support each other. There is also a help book provided and a small amount of reading will be beneficial.

The Chronic Disease Self Management course will, perhaps, introduce you to relaxation and help you decide on an exercise programme. You will improve your communication skills and practise techniques to distract you from your symptoms. The course will help you make the most of the support you get from your health care team.

How much does it cost?

The courses are free.

What do people who have been on a course think?

"I feel it has made a huge difference to my life. I feel much more
positive and in control."

"....more positive outlook now, especially with regard to exercise and

"It gave me the confidence to do more for myself."

For more information and details of courses near you see the website - or call Freephone 0800 988 5550