Relationships and asking for the help you need

4) Health and social care teams

preview Description: A mature woman patient consulting a GP in the surgery consulting room.

© Crown Copyright 2009

The amount of time you spend face to face with individual health and social care professionals is very limited. A GP appointment lasts on average between 6 and 10 minutes.

So when you do see a health and social care professional go prepared to make the most of your time to explain your concerns and get your questions answered. This helps to build a relationship with your health and social care team. They have knowledge or your condition but you are the one who can tell them how asthma is affecting you and your daily life.

Every appointment should involve communication both ways. Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for more explanation if you are not sure. Take a note book or list so you can write down important instructions or names of new medicines. Sometimes a diagram or leaflet from your health or social care professional can help you to understand clearly. If you have an hearing, eye sight or memory problems you can ask someone to accompany you to your appointment.

For more information on health and social care teams see:

Moving on Together (MoT): A self-management workbook by NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland fact sheet Making the most of a visit to your doctor [.pdf]