Imagine a service in which it’s easier to get to see your doctor or nurse and you get to spend around 45 mins with them in an informal setting.
In this service, you receive the personal attention of your medical team and others, in a calm, relaxed, well-organised setting. Imagine you get not just an unhurried appointment, but in fact a whole 90 -120 minutes with your healthcare team. This is enough time to attend not just to your medical condition but also to feel really listened to regarding the issues that surround it.
This means you can explore what those issues mean to you and their effect on your life. Also, 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. And you have an opportunity to learn from other patients within the group with similar experiences and conditions, and to provide them with your own learning and experience. You are therefore able to give support to others and you also receive support from them.
Ok, I get it, it means going private.
No it doesn’t. It’s part of our service redesign, and we’ve made it happen. It’s for NHS patients and we’re proud and excited to bring it to you.
Tell me more.
Well, there are two situations where getting access to a prompt appointment can be hard work for everybody.
- Getting an appointment to be seen for a new condition requiring assessment.
- Getting a routine follow-up appointment afterwards.
The key advantages to this great new way of delivering care to our patients.
- When we see people individually, we often say the same things many times over to people with similar conditions. With this new approach we get to say it once and it’s this that releases time to do much more for you.
- We know from patients in their private consultations with us, that for many reasons, they don’t always ask the questions they could ask, or they simply don’t know the questions that they should ask. With this new approach, it’s likely that someone in the group will ask those questions and you will get to hear the answers.
- By really thinking through how we can provide you with your care, we’re going to be able to make your visit to the surgery a much more efficient ‘one stop shop’
I hope you’re not saying I’ve got to deal with the most private matters in front of other patients.
No any investigation requiring you to undress would take place in a private examination room. Any sensitive issues would also be discussed privately. Most patients would not object however to having their pulse or blood pressure taken in front of others, or discussing the side effects of their medicines.
Is this the only way you’re going to provide appointments now?
No, these appointments can only be taken up with your consent. You can opt in to be part of a specific group, which would generally meet around 3 times over the course of a few months. If you find that it isn’t working for you, then you have the choice to opt out.
How will you handle confidentiality?
That is an important question. We would ask patients to hold themselves to the same high standard of confidentiality as the professionals. A condition of attending is that every patient signs a statement of confidentiality in which they promise not to reveal other patients’ information.
Can you summarise what kinds of things happen at one of these shared clinical appointments?
- 90 -120 minutes with your own healthcare team (half of that with your doctor or nurse)
- Prescription changes or renewals
- Arrangements for tests and procedures
- Discussion of test results
- Answers to your medical questions
- Discussion of medication side effects
- Discussion of treatment options in depth
- Receive preventative tests, examinations, and vaccines
- Share helpful hints with others to live life more fully
- Lively discussion and support to help manage your condition
If this is something you may be interested in and have any of the following conditions Asthma, COPD or Diabetes. Please would you print off the leaflet and complete the contact details. Hand this in to reception and I will contact you about upcoming sessions.
Kerry Conroy, Assistant Practitioner
Group Consultations Leaflet