The Courtyard Clinic's Information Website
St. George's Healthcare Trust, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London, SW17 0QT. Tel: 020 8725 3353

PATIENTS GET TOGETHER - WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?

Here, we've listed below, some typical questions about the Patients Get Togethers that take place every 3 months at the clinic.

What are they?

Food! Always good and welcomed food. Sometimes home-cooked hot food brought in, sometimes dishes made as part of a demonstration and sometimes sandwiches from local supermarkets or even an Indian take away.The Patients Forum are a gathering of patients and staff, and sometimes their families. They vary from entertaining and informative guest speakers, to illustrations and presentations ranging from how to eat more healthily to a movie about an all-female HIV positive soccer team in Zimbabwe. But above all of that... it's an enjoyable place to meet and chat with others who are living with HIV.

Where are they held?

The Patients Forums and the Steering Group meetings are held within the Courtyard Clinic, usually in the main reception area when the clinics are closed. They are also held in the Conference Room, which is down the right hand side corridor behind the 'staff only' door. Food is sometimes placed in the HIV waiting room and sometimes in the men's waiting area. The meetings last around 2 and 2½ hours.

Do you provide transport to and from the clinic for these meetings?

No. But if you feel you would like to attend a get together evening but are unable to make it by yourself then please let us know. Email here. It's this kind of feedback and service users suggestions that helps the clinic to improve all of the services and facilities of the clinic.

Can I bring my friend/partner/child/children/animal/pet?

We welcome all service users of the Courtyard Clinic and their partners, guests and children. Sometimes, arrangements are made for several children to play in a separate area from the meetings. Partners, friends and family members are welcome also. We like to remind our patients about the confidentiality issues around attending meetings for patients with HIV and politely ask that they pass this on to their guests.

Animals and pets are not permitted (with the exception to guide dogs).

Are there smoking facilties there or nearby?

No. The entire hospital operates a no smoking policy, which includes outside of the clinic and within the grounds of the hospital.

I have (or know someone who has) an idea for a patient get together. A talk, presentation or demonstration? Is this welcomed/encouraged?

Absolutely, Yes Yes Yes. We want the Patients Forums to be for the service users, by the patients! We welcome and encourage input from the service users more than anything else. Some of the more entertaining and successful meetings have their involvement! All we ask is that you speak with Bernard (020 8725 3342), who will find a slot in the schedule of an upcoming meeting. The clinic can provide equipment like an over-head projector, connected to a PC or laptop so if you have a talk accompanied by a computer-assisted presentation, then great. But, a talk with no pictures, in front of an audience is just as entertaining and welcomed.

I can't get there for the start time and/or may need to leave early. Is this OK?

Yes, of course. We appreciate that some would like to attend but need to leave early, i.e., to get back to the baby-sitters, or fit in with public transport time tables etc. Or, if you're feeling tired or even if the get together is not grabbing your attention, then of course, feel free to leave quietly. But if it is the latter, please come back and try another meeting - you never know... you might love that one! After all, some meetings are fabulous fun, some are simple and informative but we are very aware, that not every get together is for everyone!