GP Receptionist Communication Skills Workshop

Give your front-line reception staff the best skills and strategies to improve the patient experience.
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With increasing pressure on GP surgeries to use resources more efficiently, there is an increasing need for front-line reception staff to help patients direct themselves to the most appropriate help available. Theis added pressure can cause difficulties for staff and misunderstandings by patients. A study by Cancer Research UK has shown that some patients don’t understand why a receptionist might ask them details about their reason for booking an appointment.

When asked, 40% of patients said they disliked having to discuss their ills with office staff in order to get an appointment.

Health care professionals receive communication skills training, including patient-simulation and role-play from their first weeks in medical school, so why should the front-line staff in your practice have the same opportunity? This workshop has been developed to target the learning needs of reception staff in an interactive and hands-on way while providing a safe learning environment. Training can be tailored to the exact needs of the team with different elements added as needed.

Staff perception of how they would enjoy role-playing before the workshop.

While many in the NHS have taken part in role-play based training extensively, it is rare that reception staff have to the same degree, if at all. It is therefore natural for these members of the team to be anxious about the prospect of putting themselves in what they may perceive as a vulnerable position.

It is understandable that participants might feel nervous about looking foolish if they feel they don’t do well during a role-play. There is often a worry that the scenarios are set up to make them fail but this could not be further from the truth.

It is important that after the workshop people feel more confident, not less. Through expert facilitation and frequent “time-outs” during the exercise, the participant and the group will have a discussion of the positive skills and the opportunities to improve which will draw out best practice and foster learning that will stay with your staff for the rest of their careers.

The trainers who lead the workshop are very experienced at putting people at ease and creating a safe learning environment. By introducing the session and emphasising that we are here to share the skills each participant has with the rest of the team and that there are no right or wrong approaches, just strategies to experiment with, your staff will soon relax and find the workshop very enjoyable.

To aid in this, an interactive demonstration can be used where the trainers play both sides of a role-play while the participants have a discussion of what they have watched and different ways to tackle the communication issue highlighted. This way they can see that there is nothing to fear and that they will be supported by the trainers and their co-workers throughout.

Staff feelings toward role-playing after the workshop.

Previous participants were invited to fill out a post-workshop questionnaire asking what effect the training had had on their day to day work. They reported feeling purely positive results showing that the workshop has a 100% success rate and will be invaluable to your practice staff.

Participants saif they felt the training had made them…

  • More confident 75%
  • Better equipped to deal with angry patients 100%
  • Know how to ask tricky questions 75%
  • Can better see the patients perspective 50%
  • Better equipped to deal with demanding patients 75%
  • Feel I can do my job better 50%
  • Less confident 0%
  • Worry I’m doing things wrong 0%
  • No effect 0%

%

Staff response to being asked if they learned valuable skills from the workshop.

This company was booked for the afternoon of July 5th, 2017 to provide our receptionists with strategies and solutions to deal with difficult patient/receptionist situations via role play, case-based scenarios and forum theatre. I met with Ed twice prior to our afternoon so that we could devise the best training package for our staff needs. On the day,  Ed and colleague Rhiannon delivered an extremely useful and insightful training programme that all staff members found beneficial. Their non-judgemental, friendly approach ensured that even the staff members who were initially nervous or apprehensive relaxed and joined in with the sessions. I can genuinely say that everyone gained from the experience and I have no hesitation in recommending this company to you, whether your receptionists are in need of refreshing their skills, or they are relatively inexperienced in their roles.

Mrs Kim Crossley

Asst. Practice Manager, Vernon St and The Lanes Medical Centres

Price Guide

There are three workshop packages, detailed below, but fully bespoke training workshops can be created to cater to the exact needs of your practice. The prices below are just a guide, so please get in touch to discuss your requirements and request a personalised quote.

*Quoted prices include VAT but may not include travel expences. Please request a personalised quote.

Book a Communication Skills Workshop for your Reception Staff

If you have questions about the possibilities of a workshop or have special requirements that need to be taken into account then Please get in touch to discuss your needs and request a personalised quote.

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