Expert Patients Programme is part of
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
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Expert Patients Programme

Frequently asked questions

woman sitting on chair smiling South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Here we answer the most common questions about our courses and workshops. If there’s something you are still unsure of,  just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help

Who can benefit?

Anyone with an ongoing illness or long-term health condition who wants to learn new skills for managing and improving their health can benefit from our service. People who have found our courses and workshops useful have conditions including:

  • Heart disease
  • Breathing problems caused by COPD/Asthma
  • Depression and/or Anxiety
  • Diabetes (Types 1 and 2)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain conditions such as Arthritis
  • M.S.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • and many other long-term conditions.

Come along and listen, share experiences and learn some practical skills to help improve the way you feel about managing your health and wellbeing. There is no pressure to join in with everything but the more you can participate, the more you can benefit.

What is available?


We have 3 self-management courses available

  • General Self-Management of Long Term Health Conditions (formerly known as Expert Patients Programme or EPP)
  • New Beginnings for Mental Health
  • Cancer- Thriving and Surviving


We offer 4 different, single workshops that last approximately 2 hours each. These offer an opportunity to meet and share with others who want to improve or maintain their general health and wellbeing. There are practical techniques to try and tools which you can build on to support you at home, in your daily life. The 4 workshops currently being offered are:

  • Feeling Positive, Busting Stress
  • Coping with Physical Pain
  • Boosting Self-Confidence
  • Coping with Life using Relaxation

What can I learn?

The courses are made up of weekly sessions which help give you tools, techniques and confidence to manage your condition and improve your quality of life. The main, core skills in all 3 courses include:

  • Managing symptoms and improving how you feel
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Communicating effectively with health professionals
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Problem-solving
  • Dealing with anger, fear, frustration and isolation

The 4 single workshops offer practical skills to support your health and wellbeing across 4 different topics. They offer the chance to meet and share with others whilst learning together in a relaxed, friendly setting.

All our courses and workshops focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t. What makes them so special is the sharing of skills and experience with people who are dealing with similar things to you.”

How can the courses and workshops help me?

man in conservatory sat on the sofa South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Our service is designed to put you in control of your health, helping you to become more confident in managing your own wellbeing. Using evidence-based tools and techniques, you can learn to improve the way you cope on a day-to-day basis. This can help you feel more in control of your life when managing on-going health problems.

What have others said about the self-management courses and workshops?

More than 500 people took part in our courses and workshops from April 2019 – March 2020. They said the service had helped them to:

  • Feel more confident and in control of their daily life
  • Manage their health condition and treatment together with their healthcare team to get the best result for everyone
  • Be realistic about the impact of their health condition on both themselves and their family/friends
  • Use new skills and knowledge to improve their quality of life

How has it helped other people?

People who have taken part have said it has helped them to:

  • Feel confident and more in control of their life
  • Manage their condition and treatment together with healthcare professionals
  • Be realistic about the impact of their condition on themselves and their family
  • Use their new skills and knowledge to improve their quality of life.

Take a look at our inspiring films and hear what ordinary people like you have said about our general self-management course (formerly called  the Expert Patients Programme, or EPP.

Who runs the programme?

Live Well Wakefield is part of the NHS and works together with SWYFT, Nova and Wakefield Council to provide a non-medical service known as social prescribing.

The self-management/self-help members of the team support a group of dedicated volunteer tutors who join with staff to help deliver our courses. We all have lived experience of living with at least one long-term health condition ourselves or are carers for those who do. Everyone has been a participant on a course first before going on to train to deliver them for others in their communities. We all continue to use the tools and techniques we learned on the courses in our everyday lives to support our own health and wellbeing.”

What if my worries or experiences are different from other peoples?

Whilst we are all different, we all share similar worries and concerns about our long-term health condition. What brings us together can help us to learn from each other and research has shown the courses work really well. Each course session or single workshop gives you the opportunity to put into practice the skills you’re learning with the support of others who are facing similar challenges.

Do I need to pay?

No, it is a free programme and is part of the NHS.

Do I need to be referred by my doctor?

No, you can just refer yourself. However you may choose to discuss it with your GP or another health professional, and they will be able to put you in touch with us.

Do I need to talk about my own condition?

There will be times in the programme where people will talk about how your condition affects your life and what they would like to change. However, it is up to you what you want to share and how much detail you want to give. All discussions are confidential.

Where are the courses held?

All our services are held in a community hall and public venues. If you have a disability, please phone us to discuss your individual needs so we can help you assess whether a venue is right for you. Call us on 01924 255363

Do I have to book?

Yes, places on the course are limited. To book your place on a course, please contact us.

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