What are video group clinics?
Video group clinics are a different way to consult with people remotely. They last around 90 minutes and the clinician is only present for half the time. A ‘technical facilitator’ sets up the VGC; checks patients can see and hear so they can join in fully; consents them and contracts with a group of 6-8 people to work constructively together and respect confidentiality. They are often used for planned reviews e.g. diabetes, COPD and asthma. A Results Board sets our key biometrics and other lifestyle issues e.g. exercise, diet, smoking status and sleep and this prompts discussion and triggers questions in patients’ minds. When the clinician arrives, he or she answers any questions common to the group – thus cutting out the repetition clinicians experience in planned reviews. There is also time for one to one discussions. These happen in the group, with other participants listening in and able to advise and share their experiences. The clinician then leaves and the patients work with the facilitator to reflect and set some actions to help them keep well. VGCs have been shown to deliver a positive patient experience and in diabetes, they have been shown to support improved HBA1c compared to one to one care. There are several platforms available that accommodate VGCs, including Microsoft Teams, which most GP practices have access to.
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