Publish date: 16 November 2022

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You may not realise that all of our DHU 111 Health Advisors are trained and coached by our in-house team, most of whom were themselves Health Advisors.

It’s part of a career progression that ensures the experience gained by our dedicated 111 team is poured back into the service as part of constant efforts to improve and strengthen our growing team. As we look to expand into the West Midlands with a new Advice Centre in Oldbury that is already taking national contingency calls, we wanted to know what it takes to become a Coach, the process to follow and where you can go from there?

We spoke to Hannah Roberts who is a Coach at our Orbis Advice Centre in Derby and here’s what she told us…

“I joined DHU Healthcare in May 2019 after spending time working in retail. My Mum worked as a Trainer and I was looking for a change; I’d used 111 a few times personally for my own health so knew about it both from a work perspective and as a patient and wanted to help so thought I’d give it a try. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

“I had been a Health Advisor for three years before looking to make the step up to becoming a Coach. I would have done it sooner, but then the pandemic hit which changed things a bit. I also became a Mum myself which was incredible but it didn’t change my overall plans so when the time was right, I put myself forward as a Coach.

“In terms of my training, there is three days of classroom-based teaching to talk about competencies and policies before you are asked to do a ten-minute presentation on a subject given to you by the Trainers. All of us in the class were given a different subject, for example talking about the patient pathway or illness over injury, mine was about declared medical care and what policies to follow.

“It was a great format because not only did I have to research my subject but we were the audience, learning a lot from the other presentations and the comments that came back from the training team. A great and involving way of going over what we needed to know.

“You can then shadow a Coach in the Advice Centre, to better understand what they do, you can also ask for a Coach to shadow you if you’re still not comfortable. They’re very supportive and if at any time you’re unsure about any aspect of your work, they’re always there to ask.

“It’s an incredibly varied role and if a trainee asks you a question you have to think on your feet and I still come across questions I’ve not been asked before. You have to adapt to the person for example some are confident, some nervous, there are people who prefer to listen, observe and take their time, others are full of questions and eager to ‘do’. As the Coach need to understand that each person learns at a different pace and you have to change your style, guard against overconfidence or encourage those who maybe lack confidence in their own ability.

“It’s such a rewarding job. Seeing new Health Advisors come out of the classroom and perform the role is incredibly fulfilling, watching them grow in confidence and trust you to be someone they can approach for advice. One day some of those I’ve coached will themselves become Coaches and I’m sure that’ll make me even more proud.

“My next challenge is to become a Trainer in the classroom, teaching them all aspects of the role. It can be a 12-week process and there is also the opportunity to progress into leadership roles. There is a lot to look forward and I feel like I’m just starting my career.

“If you’re a Health Advisor in any of our Advice Centres, whether in Chesterfield, Derby, Leicester or the West Midlands, I would definitely recommend becoming a Coach. It brings so much more to the Health Advisor role, making a difference to both our patients and colleagues and the support you receive is amazing. I’m proud to be part of that and looking forward to seeing where it takes me.”

Thanks to Hannah for telling us about her role and keep your eyes peeled for DHU’s next #WhatDoYouDo.

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