Leicester

Patients to stand up at GP appointments in Loughborough University trials

Doctor and patient sitting down Image copyright Getty Images/BSIP
Image caption GPs spend a long time sitting down, which can affect their health, the university says

Patients will stand up at their GP surgery appointments as part of a university research trial.

Doctors will stand at desks and wear trackers to monitor activity as part of the Loughborough University study.

The idea is to shorten consultations and see GPs act as "role models" to be more active.

Standing appointments would be for adults only, and exceptions would be made for pregnant women, elderly and disabled patients.

Those being given bad news would also be exempt.

Doctors consulted

From spring next year 500 GPs in the Midlands will test the method, and patients will be questioned about their experiences.

Researchers have consulted with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

RCGP chairman Helen Stokes-Lampard said it was important that patients never felt uncomfortable.

'Face-to-face'

She said: "Standing consultations could be an effective way of having productive and beneficial conversations with some of our patients, particularly around 'lifestyle' issues.

"However, we need to be mindful the GP-patient consultation relies on high quality face-to-face communication, and in some cases this will not be achieved if the GP is standing while their patient is sitting down."

Patient Mary Pepper, 86, from Markfield, Leicester, said the thought of a doctor standing could be "quite intimidating".

"I would find it odd or even a bit rude," she said.

She said she did not like the thought of patients and doctors being at different eye levels.

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