What are the benefits of setting up a local group?
There are many benefits for local health professionals, yourself, and of course, patients.
A local group provides opportunities to update knowledge and skills, exchange and share ideas and provide support, especially for newcomers to primary care or respiratory medicine. Networking and exchange of ideas is an essential part of a local meeting, as working in primary care can feel quite lonely at times. And, by providing news and updates of developments in the respiratory field, patients will be cared for by well-informed clinicians.
I’m interested in setting up a group in my locality, but where do I start?
A good starting point is to contact the Primary Care Respiratory Society UK Operations Team, who can put you in touch with a member who has already set up a group and would be willing to advise you - firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01675 477600. You may also wish to speak to your local pharmaceutical representatives, who are usually very helpful with knowing who to invite, finding suitable speakers or venues. They may be able to help sponsor and are also experienced in setting up meetings.
Finally, talk to colleagues, who may also be interested in setting up a group and enlist their support, even if it is only to bounce ideas off.
When is the best time to hold an initial meeting?
This tends to vary from one area to another, according to local need. Your local pharmaceutical industry representatives should be able to advise you. It is very important to give as much advance notice as possible regarding date and time, even if the final details of the agenda and venue have not yet been finalised. The best time to hold meetings in your area will be apparent in due course. You may wish to use the questionnaire included in the resource pack to assist in establishing the best day and time for your local meeting.
How do I contact people to attend?
The CCG, LHB or commissioning consortium may be able to advertise the meeting in a newsletter, which may have wide circulation. Over time, word of mouth can be a very powerful way of others hearing about your meetings. Again, your local pharmaceutical representatives may be able to help you, as they often have contact details of local clinicians and nurses and may be willing to promote the meeting for you. Establish a record of attendees and request an email address. For future meetings email is a very quick, cost effective and efficient way of communicating with the group members. Please note however, that you must comply with the requirements for data protection and if you plan to maintain a database you should consult the Information Commissioner regarding the rules around data protection - please click here for more information . In all events you should never disclose the details of your contacts to others without their express prior permission.
How much time will it take to arrange a local group?
This will depend on how much help and support you receive, for example, from your colleagues, local pharmaceutical representative or PCRS-UK. Engage help wherever possible and keep things simple.
An initial meeting of an hour with a pharmaceutical representative should be sufficient to plan a meeting. You need to work with them to determine what aspects they can help you with and what you need to do for yourselves. Be very clear about who is doing what and agree to meet nearer the time to confirm the numbers of attendees, speakers and any audio-visual needs. You may also wish to negotiate an honorarium for yourself, especially if you are chairing the meeting.
How do I plan an agenda?
From experience, keep it simple. Some of the most successful meetings have been sessions such as updates on asthma or COPD, inhaler devices, spirometry or allergic rhinitis. At your first meeting it will also be important to have a discussion as to whether the group would like to meet again, the opportunities to affiliate to PCRS-UK, and who will organise the future meetings.
For future meetings, be guided by comments on the evaluation forms. At the first meeting, it is a good opportunity to discuss and plan future topics with the group. At this stage you may also be able to encourage others to help you with organising future meetings. Group meetings provide an excellent opportunity for exchange of ideas on working practice and peer support and is time well spent. Allow adequate time over lunch and tea/coffee breaks for networking.
You may wish to ask attendees to do some preparation for the meeting to avoid long silences/encourage questions. Again, keep it simple – what are they expecting from the meeting/group?, what future agenda items would they like to see? What do they need to know on a particular agenda topic. If gleaned far enough in advance, some of these thoughts can be fed to the speakers in the speaker’s brief.
What about speakers?
Local Respiratory Nurse Specialists and chest physicians are ideal speakers; they are often good at delivering knowledge at the right level for your audience. It is usual to pay travel expenses and an honorarium for speakers. This should be agreed when inviting a speaker to make a presentation. Again, your pharmaceutical representatives are likely to be able to suggest recommended speakers.
Why should the group become affiliated to Primary Care Respiratory Society UK?
Affiliating to the Primary Care Respiratory Society UK provides an opportunity for local groups to enhance their credibility and reputation by being part of a national organisation, whilst continuing to operate as an independent group. Specific benefits include:
- FREE membership for local nurse group leads, giving access to a wealth of resources to help you in running the group
- Opportunity to benefit from advice from a Primary Care Respiratory Society UK ‘expert’ on how to set up a group, as well administrative support in helping to run the group. EMAIL us or call 01675 477600 for more information
- The use of the Primary Care Respiratory Society UK logo and promotion of the affiliation status may enable nurses to be successful in requesting study leave to attend local group meetings, thereby increasing attendance numbers.
- Opportunity for the local group lead to attend an annual meeting of group leaders providing an opportunity to share ideas and ‘problem solve’ with like-minded colleagues. CLICK HERE for more information on our next event
If you have any further questions please contact Myf at: Primary Care Respiratory Society UK Secretariat Telephone: 01675 477600 or email: email@example.com
The PCRS-UK is grateful to Napp Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer for the provision of sponsorship through funding to support the activities of the Affiliated Group Leaders programme. The programme has been solely organised by PCRS-UK