Like all of our patient engagement projects, the Barts MS Advisory Group were key in helping us develop the format and content for the session. At the start of April the group met with the clinical team to help them focus on exactly they wanted to achieve through the group clinic format (Image below of the clinic plan). Then in June the Advisory Group and the clinical team went through a full rehearsal of the clinic to ensure that the patient experience would be informative, effective and enjoyable.
Below is a reflection from one of the Advisory Group members on taking part in the Clinic development and rehearsal:
"The advisory group met on 21st June for a first run through regarding the proposed MS Falls Clinic, a clinic designed to minimise the number of falls that pwMS regularly experience. As detailed previously, this is exactly what the user group is for, working with clinicians to ensure our voices are heard and our ideas taken forward. As I think we all expected it was a lively session with 4 pwMS and 6 or so clinicians, each with a different background and skill set, all working together to make it relevant for pwMS.
A number of proposals were discussed and agreed and we are now well on the way for the first clinic to be held in July. It is designed to discuss the prevention of falls in a group environment, together with a brief one to one session with a clinician to address your own concerns. We hope that you get the opportunity to attend and if so please ensure you feedback your comments so that the clinic evolves and remains relevant. In addition, all of us at the session agreed that whilst so often our symptoms and resulting problems are addressed, this is an opportunity to prevent issues occurring in the first place as whilst we all know that falls are sadly too commonplace, the real problem is often the repair of fractures, sprains etc which may take longer for us due to our reduced mobility."
The clinic involves practical exercises, case studies and 10 minute one-to-ones with the clinical team. To help with some of the behavioural changes that we’re trying to promote through attending the clinic to reduce falls, we are testing using a Google+ page to support further conversations that start in the clinic. This is an open site that we hope can host fall specific information. We are delighted to be involving the MS Trust in helping us keep this page updated with the latest in Falls advice and research.
At the moment we have a funding application that if successful, means we can run a further 8 group clinics over the next 10 months for falls, bladder and lifestyle issues.
It would be great to hear about other peoples experiences of either attending or running group clinics...