Group clinics are a tried and tested process for consulting with a group of people with similar conditions. People attending groups say that they benefit from more time with a doctor and learning with those who have similar health concerns
Our video group clinics are online sessions lasting one and a half hours, where up to 8 people meet to discuss treatment goals, share experiences and decide on questions they’d like to discuss with a GP. Hazel Walsh our trained facilitator will welcome the group.
Before you join the group you’ll be asked to fill an on-line consent form so we can check that you understand what a group clinic is and that you are happy to join in. We also confirm that you agree to keep information learned in a session confidential. We will ask your consent for the group clinic GP to have access to the short summary of your medical record (this will have your medical diagnoses, most recent test results and current medication list). This information will be kept confidential, only accessed by the clinician consulting with you and not shared in the group. Access to this information ensures that our clinicians can safely consult with you and follow-up with specific advice if needed.
Just before the group you will be asked to fill in a health quiz. This will cover key areas of our lives that affect health such as sleep, stress, relationships, alcohol, smoking, diet and activity as well as what your health goals are. You’ll be asked to prioritise each of these areas and with your prior consent this prioritisation will be shared on a discussion board to start off the clinic. This means that Hazel and your clinician can see how many people in the group for example feel that issues around sleep are important to them whereas perhaps issues around being active are less important and so on.
After a short break, Dr Fallows or another health care professional, joins the meeting. There will be lots of questions for them and they will have time to individually consult with each person to go through questions and issues. This 40 minute section allows you to ask your own questions but also listen and reflect on other people’s; often one of the most helpful parts.
When the GP leaves the meeting there is time to discuss the session and to make personal goals. Hazel will let you know what else is available locally to support you with your health goals. Some people may be advised to arrange a one to one follow-up appointment with their own GP surgery if complicated issues or sensitive matters have been brought up that need further attention.
The GP or clinician will write to your own surgery with a record of the general themes discussion in the group and your personal health goal as well as any specific action that might be recommended.
Following the group we will ask for some feedback. This is voluntary but helps us to keep the process focused on what you want us to provide to support you to keep well.
You are then welcome to sign up for another group if you found it useful.