Why we are doing Group Consultations
People in our practice tell us they want to spend more time with the clinician. In the group consultation you receive the personal attention of your practice team in a calm, relaxed, well organised group setting. Imagine you get not just an unhurried appointment, but in fact a whole 60-90 minutes with your healthcare team, with 45 minutes of this spent with the Doctor.
This means you have an opportunity to learn about how best to manage your condition, how to stay well, how to prevent illness or slow its progression. You will also help other patients in the group to learn from your experience, in turn, you will learn from the experience of your fellow patients, and everyone has a chance to gain the support of others who are dealing with similar issues.
Summary of things that can be covered in a Group Consultation
- 60-90 minutes with your practice team (half of that with the doctor or nurse)
- Answers to your medical questions
- Discussion of test results and arrangements for tests/procedures
- Discussion of treatment options in depth
- Prescription changes or renewals/discussion of medication side effects
- Receive preventative tests, examinations and vaccines
- Friendly discussion with others, sharing experiences and tips on how to manage your condition.
What you can expect
You must complete a confidentiality form which we would ask you to sign and bring along with you. By doing so you promise not to tell others outside the group anything that fellow patients share, and you agree to discuss your medical issues/results in front of others. You can let us know in advance if there are any particular issues we are not to discuss in front of other patients. You will also be offered an opportunity to discuss personal and sensitive matters privately, away from the group, if you need to do so.
At your appointment you will have an opportunity to identify the issues you would like to discuss with the clinician. You and the other patients will be in the capable hands of our group consultation facilitator who will help you to identify your medical issues and create an informal, friendly atmosphere ready for the clinician to take over for a productive session.
New Virtual Group Consultations
From March 2021 we will offer Virtual Group Consultations rather than traditional face-to-face to work in line with Covid-19 restrictions. This will work in the same format as a face-to-face consultation, but will obviously be on-line. The group consultation feedback sessions that have been running prior to the pandemic have received good positive feedback.
What do Virtual Group Consultations involve?
Virtual Group Consultations deliver routine care in groups online, consulting with patients who have the same or similar health condition and challenges.
Sessions typically last 60-90 minutes, with 6-15 patients joining the virtual session at the same time. It is supported by a trained Group Consultations facilitator, who remains with the patients for the duration of the session.
A clinician (doctor, nurse, pharmacist or any other healthcare professional), then joins the Virtual Group Consultation to deliver 1-2-1 consultations & advise to the group for part of the session.
Virtual Group Consultations will demonstrate most of the benefits of our face-to-face Group Consultation model:
- Support clinicians to support and deliver 1:1 routine care more efficiently for groups of patients using video technology.
- Deliver an adapted version of face-to-face Group Consultations, which still enables the delivery of routine care including clinical, lifestyle advice, prescription changes and reassurance throughout this period of social isolation.
- Led by what patients need to know about keeping well in these unsettling times, whilst getting to spend quality time virtually with their healthcare team and other patients.
- Enable patients to receive clinical and educational advice and guidance from their clinician, whilst also getting advice, input and support from other patients in the group.