Group consultations have benefits but no patient will ever be forced to attend, says RCGP

Responding to a recent Daily Mail article about GPs offering group consultations.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Group consultations are a specific type of consultation for patients with certain types of long-term conditions, such as diabetes. They are not a replacement for individual appointments and no patient will ever be forced to join a group consultation if they don’t feel comfortable doing so – but many patients have reported finding them beneficial.

"Some advantages for patients is that this type of consultation offers longer sessions with a range of multi-disciplinary clinicians, alongside peer support from people with similar conditions. The outcomes for patients can include a greater ability for self-management, increased health literacy and more attention to the psychological issues that can arise from their condition.

"During the pandemic, some group consultations will have been offered online to ensure they could continue. Some people may have preferred this, or found they were more comfortable joining online and in the future, we would expect practices that offer this service to provide a blended approach of face-to-face and remote sessions, based on the capacity of practices and the needs and preferences of the patients."

Further information

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RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575

Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.