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Sharing medical appointments with others.

(84 Posts)
M0nica Sat 06-Oct-18 20:23:21

In the north east they are experimenting with seeing some patients with problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis in groups of up to 15 in sessions that last up to 2 hours. Everyone signs a confidentiality agreement and it is believed it helps people get more information about their condition and has the reassurance that others have the problems they have. They seem to be quite popular.

As I said currently the sessions are up to 2 hours long. Perhaps I am over cynical but I am willing to bet that once the system is established, they will start to chip away at the length of the sessions and eventually they will reduce the sessions to little more than half an hour and all they have time for is a few tests and a quick 'OK everybody?' Cannot take questions today we are running out of time. Why not go over the road to Tesco and discuss your problems over a cup of coffee.'

sodapop Sat 06-Oct-18 20:30:03

A bit cynical MOnica but yes I could see that happening. I do think it helps with chronic physical and mental health problems to have a support group to talk things through with. It may reduce time spent with a GP but shouldn't be a replacement.

M0nica Sat 06-Oct-18 20:35:38

These groups are instead of individual GP appointments, with a nurse present to do all the tests and the doctor there part of the time to answer any questions anyone has, with an element of mutual help discussions included.

Anniebach Sat 06-Oct-18 20:38:28

For me a definite no for mental health problems , who would open up in a group

MissAdventure Sat 06-Oct-18 20:47:44

I think they could have some merit.
Threads which are started here almost always have a good response, with helpful suggestions.

Doodle Sat 06-Oct-18 20:49:07

I can see how it would work for certain conditions where it was a way of passing on general information I,e like diabetes but certainly not for mental health unless it was something like group therapy.

Chewbacca Sat 06-Oct-18 21:00:59

The report went to great lengths to assure everyone that they would all be bound by an agreement not discuss anything said in a session, outside of the group. But I'm not sure that that would be enough for me. I don't think I'd be 100% at ease discussing my health issues in front of, and with, people that could potentially breach that trust. I'd find it deeply upsetting to be the subject of gossip and tittle tattle in our small community.

annsixty Sat 06-Oct-18 21:50:16

Not sure I would be happy with this.
The report I read said it would be run by nurses and administrative staff.
I know people who work for surgeries, I would not be happy with any of them sitting in to a group meeting I would be attending.

Sparklefizz Sun 07-Oct-18 09:01:55

In my opinion it would be much better to put patients in touch with support groups, either face-to-face or online, for their particular ailments. When I collapsed with ME back in 1989 and no one knew anything about it, I found details of the ME Association in the back of a book on ME that a friend gave me, who in turn put me in touch with a local support group. It saved me, no other way to put it! We all helped each other, and instead of feeling a freak with a weird freak illness, I could share with others who understood.

Liz46 Sun 07-Oct-18 09:26:47

I have bronchiectasis and NTM and find support groups on Facebook very helpful. I think group meetings for a limited amount of problems may be good.

Jalima1108 Sun 07-Oct-18 10:04:22

It depends what the problem is - here I have attended a 'knee clinic' which was run by a physiotherapist for about 20 people and it was quite helpful. However, it was a one-off and then different approaches were recommended.

I am not sure that other medical problems should be discussed in an open meeting, and, in the case of mental health, most definitely not.
However, I suppose this is how other organisations are run, such as AA.
Some people find support groups helpful, others do not.

Teetime Sun 07-Oct-18 10:10:42

I used to manage a large specialist Long Term conditions nursing team who had been advocating these kinds of groups for years. I went to the USA to look at an IT based LTC Management system which worked like a charm for patients whose LTC had been diagnosed and had a management plan. I can see my routine rheumatology appointment going this way- fine by me.

MillieBear Sun 07-Oct-18 10:14:57

The other new initiative being tried out is where you describe your ailment to a 'trained' doctors' receptionist who then points you in the right direction, physio, dentist etc. I have extreme difficulty getting to see my GP as it is (not managed it at all this year, only seen nurses), so putting another obstacle in the way won't help.

Anniebach Sun 07-Oct-18 10:16:52

This isn’t support groups it’s sharing your GP appointment with a group .

Liz46 Sun 07-Oct-18 10:29:35

Along similar lines, the physiotherapists at our local hospital hold pulmonary rehabilitation sessions. About ten of us attended and did exercises and had talks by various experts. It was very good.

dragonfly46 Sun 07-Oct-18 10:48:26

My OH went to a group appointment at the physio for his arthritic knee and that went well so depends what it is for. I wouldn't fancy showing off my bits to all and sundry!!

Harris27 Sun 07-Oct-18 10:52:38

I was ill on Friday and had home care team fantastic better than any doctors out quickly and no fuss treat me like royalty got job done bye bye doctor!

knspol Sun 07-Oct-18 10:58:25

Any kind of support group is great for some people especially if a doctor is present as opposed to a nurse who's been on a week long course and is suddenly expected to be an expert. These events do not replace a 1 on 1 apt with a doctor. My DH for one would not go to one of these group apts and if a private docs apt is not available then he, I suspect like many others, would just not attend and their conditions may worsen. Apart from anything else how would you trust others in the group to respect your privacy?

Abbeygran Sun 07-Oct-18 11:00:34

It’s an emphatic no from me. Support groups are ok for those that freely choose them, but not suitable for my particular ailments.

EEJit Sun 07-Oct-18 11:04:02

Not a cat in hells chance of me attending one. I'm not interested in anyone else's health.

GrannyHaggis Sun 07-Oct-18 11:06:01

Anniebach, that's how I read it too. Not a support group, but sharing your appointment with a group of others with same illness. I had to smile when one of the conditions the article said might be covered was erectile dysfunction. I had visions of 15 or so men all showing and telling ( I'm being flippant!)?
If the appointments are to last 2 hours then surely the GP can see 12 individuals in that time( our surgery gives 10 minute appointments) and at least you can be assured your problems are likely to remain confidential.
Support groups, yes. Joint

hulahoop Sun 07-Oct-18 11:08:07

Think it depends what ailment but I think it could work regarding confidentiality I see people I looked after when working and would never consider telling anyone about their medical conditions but of course it's all about trust don't think my oh would go though .

tessagee Sun 07-Oct-18 11:48:07

Hideous idea. I'd rather die than share my ailment details with a room full of strangers (or even friends for that matter).

winterwhite Sun 07-Oct-18 11:50:57

Sounds rather like ante-natal classes grin. Sounds as though once such groups start up patients will not have much choice.

There will always be someone who knows all about everything, wh is a great turn-off for others.

In towns same economy of scale cld prob be obtained by groups of practices combining to run mini clinics with individual appointments.

Gma29 Sun 07-Oct-18 11:51:06

I can’t see that a confidentiality agreement will necessarily prevent discussion away from the group, and why would you want to discuss your health concerns in a large group anyway.
Support groups are a different matter, I think, and do have value. I would go to one of those, but not a shared appointment. A 2 hour clinic, dedicated to a particular condition, with separate appointments and a nurse to do tests would be better.