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National training 

Health Scotland has updated their training and free offer courses on:

  • Healthy behaviours - how to raise the issue of risky health behaviours such as alcohol, smoking and being overweight and supporting positive change.
  • Health inequalities - Health Inequalities Awareness explores causes and prevention and Tackling Health Inequalities in the health and social care sector provides more in-depth information for staff working in health and social care. Both are aimed at helping staff to reduce health inequalities.  
  • Health in the workforce - how to create a mentally healthy workforce, dealing with health risks at work and violence and aggression.   
  • Suicide prevention
  • Scotland's mental first aiders

All courses can be accessed via Health Scotland's Virtual Learning Environment. 

NHS Borders training 

The recently released NHS Borders 2015-2016 staff training programme covers three topics; Health Behaviour Change, The Right to Health – Tackling Inequalities and Health Literacy.

These courses are open to all NHS, local authority and voluntary sector staff. More details are provided below. You can also get more information from Nichola Sewell or by using the online registration and enquiry form. 

If you are interested in learning more about brief interventions and motivational interviewing to support you to deliver effective person-centred consultations, refer to our guide on how to have health promoting conversations with your patients.

You can also register an interest for future training by emailing the Small Changes, Big Difference team at Please request, ‘keep me informed of future training events’ and we’ll add you to the mailing list.

2015/16 Training Programme

Health Behaviour Change level 1: a foundation e-learning course to support you to ‘raise a health issue’ in a constructive manner and refer on to other support services.

Health Behaviour Change level 2: an e-learning course which equips you to carry out a brief intervention with your patient or client. This type of consultation will enable you to discuss health behaviour changes with your patients and support them to make small sustainable changes through an action plan.

Both courses are run by Health Scotland through their virtual learning environment (VLE). Sign up for online versions of these courses at Health Scotland. When e-learning has been completed, staff can engage in face to face tailored sessions led by NHS Borders which condense the theory and support practice development. These typically require up to 4 hours of study. Students can spend more time if they wish to research topics in more detail.  

The Right to Health – Tackling Inequalities: this 3 hour course will provide you with an understanding of:

  • Health inequalities in the Scottish Borders.
  • Health Inequalities from a rights perspective
  • What affects our health
  • The fundamental causes of health inequalities
  • Action planning to tackle health inequalities using Health Scotland’s framework of Undo, Prevent and Mitigate.

Health Literacy: this 2 hour face to face course aims to increase your knowledge of the difficulties people face in understanding health information and acting on it, the positive impact of improved health literacy on your service/ organisation and explores what you can do to help the people using your service.

Based on NHS Health Scotland’s 2014 publication, ‘Making it Easy A Health Literacy Action Plan’, this training course aims to equip health and social care practitioners to address health literacy as a priority action to reduce health inequalities. Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain process and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate decisions.

Visit the Health Literacy Place to find out more about this subject.  There's also a guide for the public from the Australian commission on safety and quality in healthcare.

For further information and for discussions about tailoring your course to your needs, please email Health Improvement  or contact Nichola Sewell, Health Improvement Lead at the following address:

Joint Health Improvement Team
Old School Building
Scottish Borders Council HQ
Newtown St Boswells

Tel: 01835 825970