NHS Manchester University

Welcome to SAGE & THYME ®

SAGE & THYME: a communication skills workshop about listening to people who are worried.


‘SAGE & THYME’ is a mnemonic that provides a memorable structure for conversations, based on the evidence behind effective communication skills: Setting – Ask – Gather – Empathy – Talk – Help - You – Me – End.  

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The SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop is taught to 30 participants in 3 hours using three trained SAGE & THYME facilitators, using group work, a presentation and conversation rehearsals.

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There are over 10 publications on SAGE & THYME.

See the papers, reports, independent evaluations and textbooks on SAGE & THYME

The SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop has been adopted by over 60 NHS Trusts, CCGs, charities, councils, universities and hospices around the UK.

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Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), teaches (via the SATFAC course) and licences other organisations to deliver SAGE & THYME foundation level workshops to their staff, students and volunteers.

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The SAGE & THYME for advance care planning workshop (S&T ACP) was developed with the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Network.  It teaches effective communication skills to open an advance care planning conversation, and is suitable for GPs, community matrons and other staff who have experience of advance care planning.  

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Being a facilitator

"I have been a SAGE & THYME facilitator for a year.  The training was comprehensive and I felt safe and encouraged while practicing the skills set.  I have found the course both demanding and rewarding to deliver.  Working with a good team is essential, both for support and to ensure a robust teaching environment.  The course has evaluated extremely well, and is a communication model that transfers well into practice, both in the health and social care environment.  I would highly recommend the experience."

Gill Banks-Howe, Principal Lecturer, End of Life Care, Teesside University

Latest news

Approaching upset people about research

10 June 2019

Clinical research is needed to develop new treatments and to gain knowledge that will improve patient care.  This sometimes requires researchers to approach patients who may have received some upsetting news, or who are worried about their condition or their future, about participating in research.

We are sometimes asked if the SAGE & THYME Foundation Level workshop teaches skills that can support researchers in talking with patients who have concerns, and the answer is yes!

Find out more by clicking here.