What are Group Consultations?
A Group consultation usually lasts 60-90 minutes compared to usual 10 minute appointment. Up to 10 patients with the same medical condition are invited to the group by a clinician (GPs, nurses or clinical pharmacists).
This allow you to spend longer with clinicians to discuss things that matter to you. It has been found that group discussions help participants understand their condition better through the process of sharing experiences, concerns and hearing from others’ successes!
- More time with the clinician
- Meet other people locally in similar situations which builds confidence and gives hope
- Peer to peer support at the same time as your one-to-one consultation
- Confidence to take control in managing condition
- Improve care experience
Can my carer/partner/friend join me in my Group consultation?
Yes, with your agreement. However they will also need to agree to confidentiality and confirm their identity at the beginning of the session, just like other participants.
How do they work?
Prior to the group consultation, you may be required to have relevant blood test or check-ups so that results will be available on the day of the group session for discussion.
Please ensure that you arrive promptly. Group consultations are designed to be an open discussion forum therefore you will be turned away if you arrive late to the session to avoid interruptions.
At the beginning, you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire relating to your medical condition. The session will start with a brief introduction, which may involve sharing your questionnaire responses or experiences in health. The facilitator/clinician may also present each participant’s test results (if relevant) on a flip chart to guide discussions.
In the second half of the session, the clinician will hold brief individual consultations with each of the participants in the group in turn. Everyone listens and learns from the 10 consultation conversations and advice given. Quite often, you will find that your questions are answered before it is your turn which avoids repetition!
You will be guided in goal setting, building on what the clinician agreed with each person as the session draws to a close.
Is it confidential?
All participants are requested to adhere to confidentiality by signing a confidentiality agreement before they enter a group consultation. This states that you agree not to share any information discussed within the group. Your consent to take part will be recorded in your patient records.
By agreeing to participate in a group, you also give consent to share limited information about your condition that relates to the consultation topic with your group – this will be in the form of relevant test results or your medication regime relating to the condition discussed.
If you change your mind when you are in a Group Consultation, just let the facilitator know and you can leave the session at any time.
Can I record my Group consultation?
No, to ensure all information shared in the session is kept confidential and your privacy respected, any voice/video recording is prohibited. It is in everyone’s interest to respect this.