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Neighbour (checkpoints)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Neighbour - The Inner Consultation

Neighbour proposed five checkpoints in the consultation:

1. Connecting: have we got rapport?

2. Summarising: could I demonstrate to the patient that I've sufficiently understood why he's come:

  • the patient's reason for attending
  • the patient's ideas and feelings, concerns and expectations are explored and acknowledged adequately
  • listening and eliciting
  • the clinical process - assess, diagnose, explain, negotiate and agree

3. Handing over: has the patient accepted the management plan we have agreed?

4. Safety netting: What if...? General practice is the art of managing uncertainty:

  • predict what could happen if things go well
  • allow for an unexpected turn of events
  • plans and contingency plans

5. Housekeeping: Am I in good condition for the next patient? - stress, concentration and equanimity


  • (1) Roger Neighbour, The Inner Consultation, MTP, 1987

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