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Japanese visitors learn about Herefordshire’s Expert Patient Programme

Press release – 10 August 2018

Japanese visitors learn about Herefordshire’s Expert Patient Programme

Wye Valley NHS Trust welcomed a group of visitors from Japan this week, who travelled nearly 6,000 miles to learn about Herefordshire’s Expert Patient Programme (EPP), which helps transform the lives of people living with long term health conditions.  

The group of three Japanese delegates who are conducting research on the development of a similar programme for patients in Japan, spent time meeting local patients with long term health conditions, who have been empowered by the programme, and observing the volunteer tutors in action who deliver the EPP courses for Wye Valley NHS Trust in Herefordshire.  

Helen Byard, director of nursing at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to be chosen as an exemplar provider of the Expert Patient Programme in the UK and very pleased to welcome our Japanese healthcare visitors.  It’s also a great opportunity for us to understand how healthcare is provided abroad and how we can learn from each other”. 

Sue Tobey, EPP co-ordinator at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “It’s been a pleasure to share learning and the benefits of our Expert Patient Programme, which we have been running in Herefordshire for almost 14 years and have in this time together with our volunteer tutors (who themselves live with long term health conditions) helped to improve the lives of thousands of people. 

“This visit has helped to put the EPP programme on the global map, which is a preventative approach that helps to empower people to self-manage their long term health condition, by learning new skills and techniques and sharing experiences, helping to reduce visits to GPs and other health care professionals, and to prevent avoidable hospital admissions.” 


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Front row left to right:  EPP volunteer tutor, three Japanese delegates

Back row, left to right, Trust staff: Helen Byard - deputy director of nursing, Steph Cholmondeley – patient experience manager, Sue Tobey – EPP co-ordinator, and Frank Myers – non executive director




Note to editors:

Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond.

The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.

By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.

With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

Wye valley NHS Trust communications team 01432 372928 or 01432 355444 ext 5105.


Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 355444 Ext: 5105

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 355444 Ext: 5105


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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