Expert Patient Programme Self-Management Course

The Expert Patients Programme (EPP) is a six-week course for anyone living with one or more long term health conditions such as asthma, chronic fatigue, COPD, depression, diabetes, heart disease, MS, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, ME, on-going back pain etc. 

The course is designed to help you cope with your health condition, find solutions to common problems & feel more in control.

What can self-management offer me?

People with long-term health conditions face many similar issues such as fatigue, pain, frustration, stress and depression. The course looks at how to manage these whilst working alongside your healthcare providers.

By participating in the course you will:

  • Learn new skills to manage your health condition better.
  • Develop confidence in the daily management of your specific condition.
  • Meet others and share similar experiences.
  • Learn about developing more effective relationships with health professionals.

What do we learn?

The course focuses on what you can do, rather than what you can’t. Weekly sessions cover useful topics such as managing symptoms, dealing with pain and tiredness, coping with depression and other feelings, relaxation techniques, healthy eating, exercise, setting realistic goals and communicating effectively with health professionals.

How has it helped other people?

People who have taken part in an EPP course have reported that 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.

Do I need to pay?

No, it is free.

Do I need to be referred by my doctor?

No, the course is open to self-referrals as well as referrals from doctors and other professionals.

How is it structured?

Each course runs for two-and-a-half hours a week, for 6 weeks. There is one session a week and refreshments are provided. A maximum of 16 people attend the course. All participants have different conditions.

Do I need to talk about my own condition?

There will be times where you will be talking about how your condition affects your life and what you 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.

Who are the tutors?

The course is run by Julie Atkins, NELFT self-care facilitator alongside another trained tutor who themselves have long-term conditions.

Where are the courses held?

The courses are held at local venues, with facilities such as toilets and disabled access, as well as comfortable chairs and good access to public transport. You are free to stretch your legs, get up and walk around if you need to. It is not a hospital setting.

Do I have to attend every week?

Yes, it is advised that you do in order to get the most out of the course. We do understand that there may be sessions you will miss due to appointments or feeling unwell.

What do participants say?

“I’ve started swimming again which I never thought I would. It’s given me a new lease of life!” 

“Meeting people has helped me understand more about myself and ways of managing things… It has been a well run course and everyone has been very helpful and caring.”

“It has helped me become more aware of my condition and how it affects me, and to feel that I can manage it to some extent through pacing, diet and relaxation techniques.”

“There’s a mix of people with different conditions on the course so it’s a good leveller.”

“It gave me more information and confidence to do normal things in life.”

Contact the team

To book a place please email

Phone 0300 3001867 or text 07827280219.