Communication skills

Communication, partnership and teamwork” is one of the
domains of the GMC’s Good Medical Practice Framework
for appraisal and revalidation.

Learning resources

The Oxford Centre for Education and Research in Palliative Care at Sobell House, Oxford provides a range of training courses across Thames Valley around communications, including the 3 hour foundation level Sage & Thyme workshop, and one day intermediate level workshop around conversations at end of life. These courses are free to NHS staff in Thames Valley. Find out more about the courses on the Sobell House website. 

Advanced communication skills – e-learning from the BMJ portfolio, targeted at GPs and registrars to help deal with the most challenging patients and scenarios.

The Peninsula Communication Skills app , developed by the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry  Technology-enhanced Learning Team, is designed to enhance the communication skills of health care professionals.  Read about it on the University of Plymouth website. Download from here.

Communicating with your patients, including video consultations

Video Group Clinics (VGC) is an eLfH programme developed to support GPs, practice nurses and practice administrative staff in understanding and running group consultations in general practice. However, health and care professionals in community services, outpatient settings and care homes may also find it useful.

Video consultations: a guide for practice  BJGP Life (18 March 2020) – guidance to support video consultations from researchers at the University of Oxford.

According to research 43% of adults in England do not have adequate literacy skills to routinely understand health information, and 61% of adults do not have adequate numeracy skills to routinely understand health information. A Health Literacy Toolkit has been produced which includes practical tools and techniques that practitioners in a variety of settings can implement, to enhance approaches and practice for those with low levels of health literacy.

Better conversation: Better health – Resources for clinicians and health and care leaders on how to introduce a health coaching approach to improve the quality of conversation and help patients change behaviour. The site includes a short video, infographics and a resource guide with case studies, evidence and tips.

Mefirst  is dedicated to improving communication between healthcare professionals and children and young people. As well as face to face training there is a collection of resources aimed at all healthcare professionals who work with children and young people clinically but who may not have had specific paediatric training.

Communicating with your colleagues

Communication – from Mindskills – Mindskills offers a suite of materials  – from planning and structuring oral and written presentations, and meetings, through to more difficult situations, that may require negotiating and persuasion.

Communication skills elearning from BMJ  can  help with relationship-building, delivering feedback and handling conflict. Additional topics include assertiveness, negotiating style and cultural communications awareness.

Body language: Your body shapes who you are  – Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Page last reviewed: 17 June, 2021