Society Hand in Health Trainers

The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, May 2005 | Go to article overview

Society Hand in Health Trainers


In a year's time the first 'health trainers' will hit the streets in some of the most deprived areas of England. They will deal with people on a one-to-one basis and help them make healthier choices in their own lifestyles.

The Society advocated a health trainer programme in its submission to the 2004 'Choosing Health' consultation, so we have been very pleased to see this included in the published delivery plan. We are also very pleased to be working with the Department of Health on the national project group which is working to deliver the health trainers on time. Our contribution is supported by an electronic network of members who are supporting us with ideas, suggestions and reflections.

Health trainers remain controversial in many ways. There is as yet no clear definition of exactly what they will do, what training they will need, or how they will relate to other health and community workers. There are objections to the whole idea of health trainers from some quarters in the public health world. Some proponents of community development approaches to health improvement have an ideological objection to a programme which focuses on the individual; at the other end of the spectrum, some professionals have expressed the view that health is about to be Overrun by amateurs'. …

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