Group video consultation allows clients to come together in a shared space to receive services such as group therapy, treatment for chronic pain, advice on dietetics as well as a wide range of other services and educational programmes.
No perfect solution
However, business video conferencing solutions do not yet provide the ideal solution for group consultations. Each system has its own limitations and issues such as capacity, ease of use, information governance or security. While we work on offering a better product, there is still a need to provide group services. Possible solutions include the video conferencing bridge provided by the National VC Team (often referred to as the CMS Bridge), Near Me for small groups (max 4–6 participants), Microsoft Teams, WebEx or Zoom.
How to run a group consultation
It is recognised that the risk of not providing a group video consultation will in most cases outweigh the risk of using a less than perfect solution. We therefore recommend that a local risk assessment is undertaken to determine the most appropriate solution for your needs.
To help, we have developed platform agnostic guidance on how to provide group consultation (available below). The first of these supports the use of video consulting in group settings for Mental Health.
What we are doing to fix it
Work is underway in a number of areas to provide a more appropriate group consulting platform:
- We are working with Attend Anywhere to develop a group consulting Waiting Area. This would be freely available as part of the Near Me service. Testing of the group waiting area is due to start in Summer 2021.
- We are working with Microsoft to help them improve the user interface and information governance issues associated with Teams.
- The National VC Team are upgrading the CMS bridge to provide additional capacity as an interim solution.