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Free training to make GP consultations more efficient and ‘enjoyable’

by Emily Roberts
25 September 2023

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A team of GP educators is hoping to reduce stress and burnout for GPs through the launch of training resources to help them improve consultation skills.  

Teaching and Learning Consultation Skills (TALC) has released a set of free online, video and podcast training resources designed to help GPs use time more effectively and promote ‘calm, enjoyable consultations’, so they can go home with ‘energy to spare’.  

The toolkit covers all aspects of the consultation and can be used independently by both trainee and experienced GPs, as well as other healthcare professionals, who want to learn, refine, or improve their consultation skills.  

Resources, which are authored by GPs, cover everything from starting effectively to listening better; how to provide skilful explanations for delivering bad news; and how to say no nicely.  

The nine structured modules are based on decades of best practice in GP training and real-life experience, exploring topics such as advanced planning of personalised care and ‘how can you go home with energy to spare?’ 

All modules include advice for remote consulting. And the toolkit gives learners certification as they complete individual modules, allowing supervisors to monitor, encourage, and direct their learners, where appropriate.  

TALC, which won the 2021 Royal College of GPs Paul Freeling award for innovative work in the field of GP training, was founded by Manchester-based GP and medical educator Dr Avril Danczak.  

Dr Danczak authors most of the resources and presents the podcasts, supported by a five-strong team including Wigan GP Dr Mohan Kumar, Associate Dean of Primary Care at Health Education England.  

Dr Danczak said: ‘Our aim is to help GPs and other health care professionals to enjoy a more satisfying working life, which is more important than ever given the current pressures on the NHS.   

‘The evidence is very clear that advanced consultation skills make care safer and more accurate, with increased patient and clinician satisfaction. The good news is that these practical skills, which are vital for making the best use of clinical knowledge, can be learned.’ 

New modules to add to the resources are being developed, including advanced skills for complex situations, covering scenarios such as domestic abuse and triadic consultations and a module to teach skills needed to enjoy work under pressure.  

The online resources are now available through a new website .

Access is free of charge to NHS people and organisations.