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A “Saying No” Day for Clinicians

26 June 2018 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm


Dr Malcolm Thomas

Times:     Registration 9.00am – 09.15am                  Training day 09.15am – 4.30pm (Lunch is provided)

A “Saying No” Day for Clinicians

(part of our ‘Permission to Take Control’ series) 

For GPs & anyone else in General Practice who might find it useful


We like to be liked…and in most cases we are able to do something that the patient appreciates.

Our job, however, is to do the right thing. This often means (effectively) saying, “No” to something the patient would like. E.g. a prescription for antibiotics; a prescription for a potentially addictive drug; a test; a referral; a report or note etc.

Some patients can be won round with care. There is evidence to guide us here. Some patients aren’t going to be happy, however we go about things. These patients need a clear boundary.

These skills have not traditionally been taught well to GPs or the other independent practitioners working in GP surgeries


  • Core consultation skills (acknowledgement response; redirection; “Not” not “No”)
  • Conversational practice
  • Redirection
  • Use of prop
  • Computer says, “No”
  • Resisting wheedling
  • Unable to reach common ground
  • Suggestions
  • What will I take home?


  • Opportunity to reflect on successes and challenges in your own relevant consultations with patients
  • Learning about key skills for reaching common ground
  • Learning some facts about avoiding inappropriate, “Yes” e.g. antibiotics for respiratory symptoms; benzodiazepines; low-yield referrals
  • Practising of key skills in context
  • Practising the skills of sticking to your guns when there is no common ground
  • Developing an effective approach to continued learning in this field


Malcolm Thomas is a GP. He has held posts with Newcastle University Medical School and has been extensively involved in GP Training. His main clinical and teaching interest has always been the challenge of fashioning effective and time efficient consultations with patients.

Location details

Merley House
Merley House Lane, Wimborne, BH21 3AA

Is the training accessible to wheelchairs?Yes

Main contact

Name: Louise Greenwood

Email: louise.greenwood@wessexlmcs.org.uk

Phone: 023 8025 3874

If you have any communication or mobility needs that the event organisers need to be aware of please contact them  in advance of the course to let them know.


26 June 2018
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category: