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Process and systems: a systems approach to embedding group consultations in the NHS


Future Healthcare Journal


Management Science and Operations

Authors / Editors

Jones T;Darzi A;Egger G;Ickovics J;Noffsinger E;Ramdas K;Stevens J;Sumego M;Birrell F


Publication Year



Group consultations are an important care option that is ­starting to gain traction in the USA and Australia. This review summarises the likely benefits accruing from a systems ­approach to implementing group consultations widely in the NHS and other socialised healthcare systems. Existing evidence is mapped to five distinct systems approaches: (1) development; (2) different age groups; (3) patient-centred pathway of care; (4) NHS system changes; and (5) education. Implications are discussed for patients and staff, who both benefit from group consultations once embedded; ranging from improved access and efficiency to more enjoyable multidisciplinary team working, improved resource management, and maintained/better outcomes. Moreover, even patients who don't attend group consultations can benefit from system effects of long-term implementation. Changing behaviour and health systems is challenging, but change requires systematic experimentation and documentation of evidence. We conclude that group consultations have unique potential for delivering system-wide benefits across the NHS.


Group consultation; Shared medical appointment; Group clinic

Available on ECCH


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