Welcome to SAGE & THYME ®
“This course should be part of mandatory training! I have worked for my NHS organisation for 37 years and never been taught how to listen to patients until today.”
The SAGE & THYME ® model was developed by clinical staff at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) and a patient in 2006. It was designed to train all grades of staff how to listen and respond to patients/clients or carers who are distressed or concerned. It places published research evidence about effective communication skills within a memorable structure for clinical practice.
‘SAGE & THYME’ is a mnemonic which guides healthcare professional/care workers into and out of a conversation with someone who is distressed or concerned. It provides structure to psychological support by encouraging the health worker to hold back with advice and prompting the concerned person to consider their own solutions..
SAGE & THYME is designed for foundation level communication, suitable for any member of staff (e.g. medical secretary, outpatient clerk, nurse, physiotherapist, doctor, social worker, student) and for any specialty. It is suitable to be used with patients and carers, students, colleagues and children – anyone who is distressed or concerned – inside and outside of health and social care.
SAGE & THYME is taught in a 3 hour ‘SAGE & THYME foundation level’ (sometimes abbreviated to 'S&T FL' on this site) workshop for up to 30 participants using three facilitators. It provides key communication skills training to NHS staff and other professionals working with patients or other people with concerns.
UHSM teaches and licences other organisations (e.g. NHS Trusts, hospices, universities) to deliver SAGE & THYME foundation level workshops in collaboration with TRUSTECH.
In collaboration with the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Network, UHSM has developed a new workshop called 'SAGE & THYME ACP'. During the workshop, learners focus on effective communication skills that help to open an advance care planning conversation. The structure provides a consultation guide as concerns and issues are disclosed. The workshop lasts for 3.5 hours and is suitable for people such as GPs and community matrons who have experience of advance care planning.
To see the full list of pages on our web site, click on the 'About SAGE & THYME tab' and the menu will appear on the left hand side. Click on a white text heading in the menu to see a full list of pages under that heading (shown in black text); or use the 'search' function at the top right hand side of the page.
Successful Use of the Model
For those delegates who were sceptical that this framework would work for them and would take up too much time we have challenged them to just 'try it' and let us know how it goes. Interestingly we have had some lovely stories from those sceptics who have found success in using the mnemonic SAGE & THYME and on one occasion received a box of chocolates from a patient.
Tracy Nightingale, Lead Nurse End of Life Care, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS FT