The Expert Patient Programme

If you are living with a long-term health condition or caring for someone with a long term health condition, the Expert Patient Programme (EPP) is a free course that can help you find ways to manage your illness more positively in order to improve your quality of life. The course aims to help you improve your health and wellbeing and build your knowledge and confidence.

The programme is open to Harrow residents and Harrow council employees aged 18 and over who are living with one or more long-term health conditions.  They can be either a physical health condition or mild to moderate mental health condition.  The programme is also available to carers of people with long-term conditions.

Our trainers have previously attended the Expert Patient Programme and regularly use the tools that they learnt to help them manage their own long-term health conditions.  Our trainers can relate to your experiences.

People with many different conditions have all benefited from EPP, such as:

  • Long covid
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Back pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Depression
  • Respiratory conditions (e.g. COPD, asthma, emphysema)

What does the EPP course involve?

The course involves learning a self-management tool kit of skills and techniques to help you manage your long-term condition.

Some of the subjects covered in the programme include:

  • dealing with pain and fatigue
  • dealing with difficult emotions
  • the symptom cycle and managing common symptoms
  • communication with family, friends and medical professionals
  • healthy lifestyle
  • managing your medicine(s)
  • making decisions about treatment and care
  • planning and setting goals

For more information take a look at our EPP leaflet.

Programme overview

You will attend a group session once a week for six weeks. Each session is 2.5 hours long, with a 20-minute break.

The course is attended by people of all ages, with many different health conditions and life experiences. Every person attending though has the same goal - they want to be able to better manage their long-term health condition and improve their quality of life. With that in mind, you will be surprised by how many people find that they share similar experiences. Some people find that they make new friends and become each other's support network once the course has finished.

You can participate and share in the group as much or as little as you wish. If it helps with your condition to sit / stand / move around during the session then you are free to do so. The tutors understand that everybody has different needs and want you to be as comfortable as you can be.

The course is run throughout the year. It is led by trained tutors who have a long-term health condition themselves or are carers.

Please note that the course is not about the individual health conditions but the issues that living with a long-term condition can bring.

Upcoming courses

Face-to-face courses

Our in-person courses are currently suspended due to covid-19.  We recognise that many of our participants are worried about catching covid-19 when they already have a long-term health condition.  For this reason we will be offering online courses so that you can participate in the comfort of your home.  When our in-person courses resume, we will add the dates here.

Virtual courses

Our virtual courses are exactly the same as our in-person courses, except that take place via a group video call.  We have kept the group size smaller (7-10 people) and have more frequent breaks, as we know that large group video calls can be tiring.  You do not need any special equipment or apps, and you do not need to be good at using computers to take part.  You just need a laptop, computer or tablet with internet access and a working camera and microphone. We do not recommend using a mobile phone to access the course, as you will not be able to see everyone's faces and the slides, so you will not be able to participate fully.  We have added an introduction session to our virtual courses to make sure that everyone can get online and access the video call ok, and to explain how the online sessions work.

  Date Start time Finish time Comments
Introduction Friday 11th March 2022 13:00 14:00  
Week 1 Friday 18th March 2022 13:00 15:30 Core week
Week 2 Friday 25th March 2022 13:00 15:30 Core week
Week 3 Friday 1st April 2022 13:00 15:30 Core week
Week 4 Friday 8th April 2022 13:00 15:30 Core week
Week 5 Thursday 14th March 2022 13:00 15:30

Core week

Please note that this is a different day to the other weeks

Week 6 Friday 22nd April 2022 13:00 15:30 Core week

How to book onto the course

If you would like to book a free place on one of these courses, contact the EPP coordinator via email or by calling 0208 736 6923.

Participants must be able to attend at least five of the six core weeks to ensure that they receive the most from the course, and to prevent disruption to the group.  You must also be able to attend week 1 so that you understand the foundations of the course.

If you would like to be notified when new dates are available, please contact us via the email address one the right.