The Expert Patients Programme was established by the Government as a Community Interest Company (EPP CIC) on 1 April 2007 following the huge success of the NHS Expert Patients Programme pilot, which has provided lay led self-management training courses within the NHS across England since 2002.
The name derives from the concept that the ‘expert’ in the management of any given condition is actually the individual who experiences the day-to-day effects it has on their life. This ‘expertise’ can help individuals take better care of themselves on a daily basis and work with the health professional to provide the most appropriate and effective treatment options.
EPP courses offer a tool-kit of fundamental techniques that support people living with all kinds of long-term health conditions, improving their qualify of life, helping them to manage their condition better on a daily basis, increasing their confidence and making them less dependent on health and social care programmes.
Trained lay tutors deliver Expert Patients Programme courses within their local community. The programme is based on a well-developed and researched six-week course (over two and a half hours each week) and volunteer tutors, who live with or care for someone with a long-term condition (and have themselves already participated in the self-management EPP course), are trained to deliver the course material by undergoing a four-day training event.