Let's answer your frequently asked questions


What is LiveWell Dorset?

LiveWell Dorset is a health improvement service that supports adults in Dorset to lead healthier lifestyles. We help people to stop smoking, cut down on alcohol, get more active and achieve a healthy weight. We do this in a few ways:

  • Healthy lifestyle assessment and advice
  • 1:1 LiveWell Coaching over the telephone
  • Connecting people with local opportunities such as weight loss services, stop smoking services and physical activity groups
  • Helping health professionals to support people to take the next step to improving their health, through delivering behaviour change skills training

LiveWell Dorset is run by Public Health Dorset, who work across BCP Council and Dorset Council to improve and protect the health of the whole Dorset population.

We use the COM-B model of behaviour change to provide tailored support that helps our clients find the right ways to overcome their obstacles to healthy change. Our support is delivered both through a telephone service and online via the Habit Hacker, Activity Finder and My LiveWell. 

ow are you funded? Are there any costs for my patient?

Funded by Public Health Dorset, the service is free at the point of the delivery.

We frequently refer clients to our commissioned services for weight loss. For those who meet the eligibility criteria, we can fund a 12-week kick-start programme: this is a one-time offer and clients should consider when joining whether they would want to continue to attend and be willing to self-fund after completing the funded programme.

We also signpost to our commissioned smoking cessation services in the community, which provide a combination of pharmaceutical and behavioural support. Clients using this service will need to pay for their prescriptions unless they are exempt from this.

When appropriate, we signpost clients to a variety of services and activities available in their local area, including gyms and leisure centres. Our Activity Finder lists different groups and activities clients can get involved with, some of which are free and others which are not. We support the client to make an informed action plan that is right for them. All clients are welcome to take up our Wellness Coaching offer, which provides free 1:1 support to help them take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

How can I refer my patient?

The most important thing is to have a good quality conversation with your patient before signposting them to LiveWell Dorset. Evidence shows that the quality of the brief intervention delivered by clinicians is one of the biggest predictors of successful behaviour change.

Once you have briefly talked with the client about the service, you can either hand them a LiveWell Dorset card or complete the Contact My Patient form. This will generate a text message and/or email inviting them to find out more and register.

Who can I refer?

Any adult (18+) in Dorset is eligible for LiveWell Dorset's services. This means anyone living at a Dorset postcode or registered with a Dorset GP.

Exercise on referral

Active Dorset have put together a handy guide for health care professionals looking to supporting adult patients to increase  their physical activity: Exercise on referral

How can I deliver good Brief Interventions?

LiveWell Dorset offers local healthcare professionals brief training in Healthy Conversations and Motivational Interviewing to support this. See our training page for more information.

What happens to my patient once I refer them to LiveWell?

When a client registers over the phone or on our website, we complete an initial assessment that evaluates their lifestyle across the four pathways (weight, physical activity, smoking and alcohol). Our Wellness Advisors discuss the results with the client, delivering brief interventions and exploring which of our support offers would be most appropriate to move forward with. This could include a commissioned service, LiveWell Coaching or signposting to services available in the community.

Regardless of which path the client takes, we will contact them again at 3, 6 and 12 months to see how they have been getting on. At each of these times, we complete another lifestyle assessment to see what changes have been made, and offer feedback and further support as relevant.

Even at the end of this 12-month period, our door is always open to provide further support to those who need it. For example, we could offer coaching to a client who is looking for support to maintain the healthy changes they have made through their slimming club kick-start, or a client who has successfully given up smoking may later want to re-engage with the service to address another health behaviour. 

What does LiveWell Coaching involve?

This is a 1:1 telephone service aimed at supporting people to make a sustainable lifestyle change. Our Coaches take the time to listen, understand the client and help them to set and achieve a healthy lifestyle goal. There is a focus on overcoming barriers to change, using the COM-B framework to deliver evidence-based strategies. We offer up to 6 20-minute sessions, though often a client will need fewer than this to be set on the road to healthier living.

We are currently exploring the possibilities of delivering coaching digitally.

What credentials/qualifications do your Coaches have?

LiveWell Dorset is a member of the Coaching Association and all coaches are qualified in Motivational Interviewing for health and wellbeing. LiveWell coaches receive extensive bespoke behaviour change training and have various qualifications across our four health pathways; for example, there is a requirement for coaches to be NCSCT-certified stop smoking practitioners.

Do your Coaches offer face-to-face support or home visits?

Our service is delivered via telephone and online communication. We aim to deliver brief support to many, and are therefore unable to offer face-to-face coaching. For patients suffering with long-term conditions, our colleagues at Help and Care may be able to offer face-to-face health coaching to support self-management.

Does LiveWell Dorset provide support for all ages?

We only provide support to those aged 18+. However, the positive changes clients make as an individual may positively impact their family to live a healthier lifestyle!

Do you provide support for mental health?

LiveWell Dorset does not specifically offer mental health support. However, evidence shows that engagement in healthy lifestyle behaviours positively impacts mental wellbeing. We champion The Five Ways to Wellbeing throughout our service as appropriate.

Can we have a refresher presentation on the services LiveWell Dorset offer?

Of course! Watch this short video that will answer some of your questions. You can contact us and a member of our Engagement Team will be in touch to discuss this with you.

Will I find out how my patient is doing?

We take data protection very seriously and do not share any individual-level information without direct consent. However, we can provide you with aggregate data showing your surgery or department’s referral numbers and how well your patients are doing as a whole. 

We already have alcohol services to support patients; how is LiveWell Dorset different?

We recognise that there are many people who do not need specialist alcohol services, but who would benefit from reducing their alcohol intake. We are here to support those people to make positive changes and take better control of their health. Individuals are assessed using the AUDIT-C screening tool, and those who need more specialist support for alcohol are directed to the appropriate services. As per the other pathways, individuals are able to benefit from the support of our advisors and coaches to achieve their goal in reducing alcohol intake.

We already have smoking cessation clinics at our surgery or local pharmacy; why should I refer my patient to LiveWell Dorset?

The benefit of sending your patients to LiveWell Dorset for quitting smoking is the additional one-on-one behaviour change support your patient can receive from our coaches, alongside the community-based smoking cessation treatment. We follow-up with clients over a 12-month period, continuing to support them and explore how we can help. 

We'll also assess your patient's weight, alcohol consumption and physical activity, offering more holistic healthy lifestyle brief interventions, advice and support.

A different question?

If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact us below.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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Is this the first time that you've used our services, or have you already registered with us? To allow us to best serve you, please confirm whether you're new to LiveWell Dorset, or if you've spoken to us before and may have an existing account.

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To speak to one of our dedicated team and get the help you require please request a call back. All call backs from this service are free of charge to both landlines and mobile.

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Do you provide your consent to share your information with the LiveWell Dorset team – part of Public Health Dorset ?

When you register with LiveWell Dorset, we ask you some questions about you and your health (how much you smoke, how active you are, how much you drink and how much you weigh). We store that information and use it to shape our service offer to you – such as the advice we give or the extra services we connect you to. The only people who will see this information will be those involved in the delivery of the service and management of the data. If you would like to use extra services (such as slimming clubs and pharmacies) we have to share this information with them. For us to be able to put you in touch with these services, we must have your consent to share that information with the service (we’ll ask for that later, when if you sign up for extra services).

Before we can sign you up any further, we need to know:

  • You're happy for your personal information to be shared with LiveWell Dorset.
  • You understand what information may be shared and why, and that at times, our contact to you may be supported by technology partners, who have the same data protection standards and safeguards as we do
  • You acknowledge that you can withdraw your consent at any time by informing LiveWell Dorset.
  • You understand that if you do not give consent or withdraw consent then it could be difficult for us to connect you some of the services we offer.

If you require any more information to help you make your choice then please contact the LiveWell Dorset team on 0800 840 1628. All telephone conversations at LiveWell Dorset are recorded for quality and training purposes, and stored whilst you are registered as active within the service.

Yes I consent

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Unfortunately we need your permission to store your personal information to help us to assess the best support we could provide or signpost you to. If at any stage you change your mind and are happy to provide your personal information please come back and visit us again.