Fibromyalgia Action UK

The Expert Patient Programme

The Expert Patient Programme

The Expert Patients Programme (EPP)

The Expert Patients Programme (EPP) is a self-management programme for people living with a chronic (long-term) condition. The aim is to support people by:

increasing their confidence

improving their quality of life

helping them manage their condition more effectively

About EPP courses

The EPP course is open to anyone with a long-term condition. You don't need to be sent by your GP or hospital doctor, though it is helpful to let them know you're going on the course. The initial EPP course covers the following topics:

dealing with pain and extreme tiredness

coping with feelings of depression

relaxation techniques and exercises

healthy eating

communicating with family, friends and healthcare professionals

planning for the future

The course is free and consists of six consecutive weekly sessions, with each session lasting around two-and-a-half hours. The sessions are run by two tutors who both have a chronic condition. You can participate as much or as little as you wish. (NHS Choices)


1. Anyone been referred by GP to these types of sessions 1a) Were you referred and NHS funded?

2. Anyone been to this particular one? 2a) Any feedback at all?

3. How did you find the sessions in general ?

Do let us know if you have courses in you area - as maybe we should post a list of courses available for people with Fibro/Chronic Illness here in the community as useful information.

Don't forget we have a series called 'Expert Patient' about Fibro yu may like to read too;


Thank You for the feedback

Best Wishes

Emma :)

FibroAction Administrator

10 Replies

Hi, I have just finished an EPP course here I. South Wales, they do lots of them all over Wales Isaw it on,line some people there were referred. by their GP, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it quite positive, it is for anyone with a long term chronic illness and there were all sorts there though some didn't last the whole six weeks. They didn't really tell me anything I didn't know, but they encourage you to talk and give you tips on how to deal with pain mentally, each week you have an Action plan where we had to say something we would try and do and report back the following week as to how we got on with the task. We were given a relaxation tape one week and lots of paperwork on how to cope, exercise, proper diet etc. and how to cope when visiting Drs etc what questions to ask, one thing I learned was that you can book a double appointment with your GP to get 20mins instead of the usual 10!!!!

As said I found it gave me more confidence to speak out about how you are dealing with your illness as I normally hate that sort of thing, I can go to another one I. Two years if I want, Though I must admit I could have gone on for longer and I miss going there every week now.

It does open your eyes to see that there are others going through the same thing as you, and as said the tutors have also been through a chronic illness, one of ours had suffered from severe depression, the other a former solder had PTD as well as severe arthritis so they had plenty of sympathy and seemed to really understand what we were going through. At the end they gave us their e. Mail in case we wanted to get in touch for any reason.

i would recommend it to anyone, but if you do go and don't like it there's no problem you can drop out at anytime.

1 like

What is an expert patient?


Hi M thanks for this :)

Just to add that the 'Hibernation Club and Springtime Society' posts have been following and discussing elements of the Expert Patient series that is on and they can be found in the category 'Community Blog'.

Fluffies and smiles for everyone :)

xxx sian :)

1 like

This is wonderful.

Thank you

Ken x x


I was referred last year and am due to start the programme in May. I picked up the leaflet initially at the hospital, but there were also leaflets at the Doctors practice . I have already met someone who has been on it and she said it was good. I live in the West Midlands.

1 like

I've read the FM articles and talked informally to the doc about this. There don't seem to be "courses" locally, nor are practice nurses up to speed. Postcode lottery again? Even so I find it helps a lot to be engaged in one's own illness and treatment. My doc talks in a lot of detail to me that I know he doesn't use with other patients - and shares consultants reports in a different way which others just gloss over. he's very good at targeting his talk to the patient's level of understanding.

1 like

Lucky you to have such a good Dr 😃


Yeah. I appreciate him and hope I make it clear. he's one of the good ones we're liable to lose over the next few years.

1 like

Hi all, I have attended one of these at my local hospital, I was referred by my doctor, I was looking forward to attending this in the hope that it would give me some positive information to help with my condition. Unfortunately this was not to be, the group of about 35 people who attended were shoved into what could loosely be termed as a gym, even the support staff acknowledged that this was far from ideal but the only room they had available. The information gained was no more than I had been able to gather from the internet, with the exception of the exercise routine, I attended all six dates and have to admit I was greatly disappointed in the whole course as was everybody who attended, by the sixth week there was about 8 of us left in the group, and to be told that was it there is nothing else available after the course unless we felt we needed to come back and do the same course again. in other words just get on with it oneself, so all in all in my humble opinion these sessions are not worth attending, and of course as we are all aware the only support available to us are the ones like this and fibropool which I am also a member of, and the only support we get is that from our fellow sufferers. HTH Cheers all


That sounds unhelpful but may be a measure of how well engaged you are. There's always a falling off and rarely full attendance due to "other commitments". You were probably well rid of the leavers.


You may also like...