FAQs when setting up a local respiratory group
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There are many benefits for local health professionals, yourself, and of course, patients. A local respiratory 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.
A good starting point is to contact the PCRS Operations Team, who can put you in touch with a member who has already set up a respiratory group and would be willing to advise you:
- 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 respiratory group and enlist their support, even if it is only to bounce ideas off.
This will depend on how much help and support you receive, for example, from your colleagues, local pharmaceutical representative or PCRS. 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.
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, 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.
- 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.
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. Pharmaceutical representatives are likely to be able to suggest recommended speakers.
Affiliation provides an opportunity for local respiratory groups to enhance their credibility and reputation by being part of a national organisation, while continuing to operate as an independent group. Specific benefits include:
- free PCRS membership for local nurse group leads
- advice from PCRS experts on how to set up a group, as well administrative support in helping to run the group
- use of the PCRS logo. Promotion of affiliation may enable nurses to be successful in requesting study leave to attend local group meetings
- the 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