Face to Face Group Clinics

Welcome to our flagship face to face group clinic practice development programme, which is already transforming patients’ and clinicians’ lives.  

How We Can Help With Face to Face (F2F) Group Clinics?

The ELC Programme has been championing F2F group clinic practice (sometimes called group consultations or shared medical appointments) in the United Kingdom since 2015. Over this time, we have gathered an extensive archive of best practice and insights into how to simplify this complex change. From 2023, all our training and practice development programmes support you to introduce both F2F and video group clinics.

Listen to clinician participants talk about the benefits of attending ELC group clinic learning away days:

We take a whole team approach to practice development. Our training supports: clinicians and managers, leading the change and clinic administrators, practice admin teams, the clinicians who will be consulting with groups and trainee facilitators to understand their unique contributions and to gain the skills they need to succeed. Overtime, we have developed an easy to follow, step by step process, which ensures this change sticks, and builds confidence through knowledge and skills training, whole team coaching and practice development support.

Our programmes are always designed to build on local networks and existing skills and capabilities.

Ongoing evaluation has identified a number of critical success factors that ensure attending group clinic training converts to a change in practice back at the front line.

ELC audits conversion rates annually. Audit has found that following ELC learning programmes, over 60% of teams progress to running group clinics regularly within eight months. This is an extremely high conversion compared to similarly complex practice development programmes that generally enjoy conversion rates of less than 20%. We are continually improving our programmes and anticipate the conversion rate rising even higher over the coming years as we learn more and simplify the change process even further.

Getting started with group clinics in primary care

With the right clinical leadership, newbie primary care teams can be realising the benefits of this change within eight weeks. ELC offers a comprehensive package of learning support for primary care teams new to group clinics who want to switch to this way of delivering planned care. ELC has experience, working with practices of all sizes from ‘super practices’ with 25,000 plus patients to single handed GP practices. We specialise in working with primary care networks (PCNs) and GP federations to support practices to make this change. We help individual teams and collectives prepare for group clinics and continue their learning through peer-led action learning overtime. If you are looking to develop group clinics in primary care, we are the experts you need.

Getting started with group clinics in specialist care

With the right clinical leadership, organisations and clinic teams can spread this way of working in 3 months. ELC offers a comprehensive package of learning support for newbie specialist and outpatient clinical teams who want to realise the benefits of this alternative way of delivering planned community or outpatient care. ELC has experience, working with maternity and early years teams and those delivering Welsh Government and The NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to reduce outpatient appointments by 50% using group clinics. We are also helping specialist teams to cascade their expertise out of hospital through group clinic models. ELC can also help service managers and clinical leads, tasked with scaling up this change in practice across whole organisations, including guiding the development quality assurance frameworks for group clinic practice. If you are looking to develop group clinics in outpatient settings, early years, maternity, community and specialist care, we are the experts you need.

Workforce and spread strategy development

There is mounting evidence that group clinics realise significant workforce benefits. We are seeing a very clear pattern in evaluation of impact. Evaluation shows that group clinics:

  • Increase clinician efficiency: clinician time efficiencies consistently increase by 50-70%. In other words, clinicians see twice or three times as many patients in the same hour of clinic time
  • Reduce ‘Do Not Attend’ (DNA) rates: DNAs fall by between 30-50% compared to equivalent one to one clinics. Furthermore, in specialist care in particular, group clinics eradicate clinician waiting time when people DNA because everyone arrives together
  • Support integrated working: clinicians who deliver group clinics together learn from observing each other consult, build relationships and gain respect that fosters closer integrated working
  • Support skills acceleration and personal development: group clinics offer a rich learning environment for clinicians and their support teams alike. Whether it is a GP, general practice nurse (GPN) or health care assistant or who wants to build their existing consultation or leadership skills; a trainee clinician; a clinician returning to practice or someone undertaking one of the new additional roles in primary care (social prescribing link worker, physicians associate, clinical pharmacist or first contact physiotherapist), group clinics accelerate consultation skills. Starting out as a facilitator provides clinicians with new skills and builds confidence in their consultation know-how
  • Support delegation: because clinicians have the additional support that comes from working together with peers and being involved builds clinical knowledge and confidence, group clinics support delegation of routine assessments and reviews. For instance, in Hertfordshire, community nursery nurses now undertake Group Two and a Half Year Child Development Reviews instead of health visitors. Working together in pairs and with Early Years Support Centre team in a more child friendly, relaxed group environment helps nursery nurses step up and take on this new assessment work that was once the domain of health visitors alone
  • Make the most of scarce specialist skills: the more scarce and specialised the clinician resource is, the greater the benefit of switching to group clinics because this care model makes clinician time go further
  • Support retention: clinicians who switch to group clinics report this being a key factor in their decision to stay in their role when they were considering leaving or retiring because group clinics have restored a sense of joy to their clinical practice
  • Flexible working: video group clinics in particular support flexible and home working
  • Leadership development: nurses in particular report that leading this change provides the opportunity for them to develop their leadership skills and provides a sense of autonomy over their clinical practice

The ELC Programme is expert in supporting health and care systems to develop strategies that make the most of group clinics as an enabler of workforce development. Whether you are integrating primary, community or specialist care pathways, we can help you maximise impact. We are working on behalf of NHS England at ICB level to support workforce strategy development.

Spreading group clinics

ELC knows how to help localities and organisations scale up this change. We have already helped spread group clinics to hundreds of clinical teams across the country. Once a health economy or NHS Trust has a significant community of practice and clinical teams with lots of experience of group clinics, ELC works with you to sustain and spread the change beyond our support. There are a number of approaches to sustainable spread. ELC will work with you to build on best practice and co-design the most sustainable solution for your organisation or locality.

Interested in working with ELC? We would love to hear from you