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Hand symbolising 5 tasks from Neighbour model. Thumb: House keeping, Index finger:Connecting, Middle finger: Summarising, Ring finger: Handing over, Little finger: Safety netting

Closing the consultation

In this section, we are going to discuss what comes towards the end of the remote consultation, sometimes referred to as ‘closing’.

Firstly, we would like you to think back to the learning from week one. At the beginning of the course, we introduced a number of consultation models and hopefully you have had a chance to think about which one you would prefer to use in a remote setting.

We are going to revisit the Neighbour model, as a framework for closing the session. To recap, the Neighbour model has 5 ‘tasks’ (see image at the top of screen).

Task 3 (the ring finger!) is known as the ‘handover’. The success of this task will often depend on the tasks preceding it and requires involvement from the patient and clinician. Handover may involve giving the patient a number of options, checking understanding and there is the potential for some negotiation[1]. This task requires good communication and rapport, which may be impeded through a remote medium such as telephone or video call. It is important that you come to a clear agreement with the patient to avoid any confusion in the future.

You may find that at this stage the patient makes their agenda more explicit, for example they may be expecting a prescription or a referral. It is important to try and temper such expectation early within the clinical encounter.


[1] Denness, C., 2013. What are consultation models for?. InnovAit, 6(9), pp.592-599.

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This article is from the free online course:

Conducting Remote Consultations and Triage

UCL (University College London)