Planning a workshop for participants to reflect on challenges in relation to communication and consent.
The aim of the workshop was to explore the issues around communication and consent. The workshop was presented by Edinburgh Osteopaths, a CPD and support resource hub, primarily for colleagues in Edinburgh and the Lothians, but who do extend a warm welcome to colleagues from further afield.
The planning comprised a number of elements, including awareness raising of the event with colleagues and chasing up colleagues who had previously shown an interest in this sort of event. I also contacted GOsC for information regarding useful resources. Fiona Browne, kindly provided me with an overview of consent and communication resources, together with a presentation which Tim Walker had put together for a presentation to final year students. These resources formed the framework of the workshop.
What we did
The workshop itself was based on Tim’s presentation which explored the subject of communication in its various forms, barriers to communication, including our own cultural and contextual environment. We also discussed issues around touch and consent, and ended up discussing a case study to explore the issues and how we might have responded to the situation. The format of the presentation included frequent questions to initiate discussion; e.g. at the beginning of the module on Communication, the discussion question which opened the module was along the lines of “what is communication?”. There were similar questions at the beginning of and during each topic in order to make the learning as interactive as possible. We also referenced particular elements to the Osteopathic Practice Standards in order that colleagues could map back their learning to these.
What we learnt
The take home messages for each of us were probably slightly different, however generally speaking we were reminded of the importance of reflective listening, the impact of context on a patient’s understanding, the interpretation of touch, the fact that consent is a continuous conversation, the issues of determining whether an individual has the capacity to consent, and finally, the key to a meaningful dialogue is to put yourself in the patient’s shoes.
Concerns, barriers and how these were overcome
Prior to this workshop many concerns were voiced when we previously held a CPD Consultation workshop back in the Spring of 2015 .These tended to be around what expectation GOsC would have of registrants in terms of evidencing the communication and consent element and how we would go about finding CPD to support this activity, rather than the benefit this would bring to patient care. Our (Edinburgh Osteopaths) approach to addressing these concerns was to provide an opportunity to open up the discussion and explore concerns, hence the workshop on exploring communication and consent. By the time we worked through the event, colleagues were more confident in terms of their own skills in this area, which will bring dividends for patient care, and equally in how they feel they will be able to evidence their knowledge to GOsC.
How long did it take?
The workshop itself lasted around 2 hours. The preparation probably took about 8 hours, as although I had Tim’s presentation to work from, he quite rightly wanted to talk it through with me, and to give me “presentation notes” to ensure that the right emphasis was placed appropriately. I also accessed the resources in the consent and communication document, such as the GMC vignettes and the NCOR research, all of which took considerable time, but time well spent as it is important to be in a position to signpost colleagues to available resources.
Would you do it again?
Yes, we are hoping to develop an early adopters’ hub here in Edinburgh and aim to refresh and hold another workshop on communication and consent. It may be useful to note that as a spin off, we presented a workshop recently as a sequel which focused on explaining benefit and risk to patients which included elements of the previous workshop.