Group consultations to address health and wellbeing needs of patients are recognised as being effective and an efficient use of clinicians’ time. They also provide a safe environment where patients can gain mutual support from others with a shared health condition as part of their self-management.
Group Consultations using Near Me
Group consultations are now available using Near Me. Group Waiting Areas can be easily created so clients can attend group sessions using the same process as one to one calls.
Callers enter their full name in the usual caller entry screen, but to protect their privacy, only their initials are seen by other callers. The service provider still sees the full name.
Up to 30 callers can be viewed at the same time on screen. The recommended maximum number of participants is 60.
Providers can select who to admit, share their screen, mute participants and, if necessary, remove people from the call.
A chat function is available which can be turned on or off. Providers can display the full names of callers with their consent. Breakout rooms can be created in the Group.
Groups can run for up to 4 hours. If you anticipate a group running for longer than this, schedule a comfort break during which your callers leave and then re-join. Please bear in mind people often arrive early for sessions, so schedule a break after 3 hours or so.
Here is a leaflet you can download and share with colleagues about Near Me Groups.
Groups Set Up
Information on how to set up a Group Waiting Area can be found here.
How to run a group consultation
To help with scheduling and running Near Me Groups we have produced Guidance for Near Me Video Groups to help get you started.
We have also produced a Readiness Guide to help you prepare for a group you may have previously delivered in person.
In addition, there is a “Test Call Checklist” to help with getting group participants connected prior to the group starting.
Once you have your waiting area, please refer to the simple guides for both Service Providers and Callers found here.
Webinars and Videos
You can view webinars featuring clinicians from Mental Health and Allied Health Professions speaking about their use of Near Me Group in their services. Short videos of clinicians from Dietetics, Midwifery and Neuropsychology describing how they use Near Me Groups can also be viewed along with others on our You Tube Channel