NHS South West Health Guide training

A team of 7 undertook the successful training of 44 local people in south west London to become Health Guides in April 2012.

The aim was to build up community networks of local community groups, rooted in their own community (geographical or cultural), and to recruit local people from these community groups to train as Health Guides. The task of the Health Guides is to make contact with people in their community, run community sessions, promoting social networks and offer information about NHS provision. The Health Guides are lay people, not experts, so their task is not to advise people but to encourage people to have confidence in their own intelligence, making active decisions about using emergency services.

The local people who we trained were a great mix: African, Bengali, Caribbean, Chinese, English, Korean, Pakistani, Polish, Romanian, Somali, Tamil.

The training took place in 2 groups, over 3 or 4 days.

The feedback was very positive, the trainees who graduated were confident and energised, great role models in their communities.

Comments from the graduates:

useful practical course – have made new friends and contacts.

Really educational, not just about services but wider. All the facilitators were excellent. I thought they were highly skilled.

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