PATIENTS are to be asked to share GP appointments with up to 14 other people.
Already undergoing a trial at dozens of surgeries, the NHS scheme is aimed at saving cash and doctors’ time reports the Daily Mail.
Sufferers of long-term conditions – such as diabetes, asthma and arthritis – will be invited to the group sessions to discuss their care.
The two-hour appointments will typically be led by admin staff or healthcare assistants.
Doctors will attend for around an hour to discuss tests and treatments.
Patients will have to sign confidentiality waivers to ensure they do not discuss details of other people’s ailments afterwards.
The conference of the Royal College of GPs was told yesterday the group sessions will be rolled out nationally later this year as part of a new ten-year plan for the NHS.
Doctors admit the plans require ‘a leap of faith’ but say trials have shown that sessions involving up to 15 people are good for patients, save money and spare GPs from having to repeat the same advice over and over.