NHS Manchester University

Welcome to SAGE & THYME ®

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

We have created two short films (less than 5 minutes) to support health workers with their worries during the COVID-19 pandemic - see here.


‘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.

Find out more about  the SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop

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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See which organisations run the workshop

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.

Find out about running the SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop in your organisation

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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.  

Find out more about SAGE & THYME ACP

Click on 'About SAGE & THYME' to see the menu of pages for this web site.

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Impact on staff

“Feel more confident to discuss a patient’s concerns.  I have felt happier with the outcome of discussions I have had.”


S&T foundation level workshop participant

Latest news

Training for non-clinical GP staff

25 February 2020

Non-clinical GP practice staff can now benefit from brief communication skills training for end of life care, developed by Mike Connolly in the SAGE & THYME Team.

The training is part of a package of resources aimed at quality improvement in end of life care, provided by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

It supports the RCGP and Marie Curie Daffodil standards for advances serious illness and end of life care and provides some guidance on how receptionists, healthcare assistants, administrators and other non-clinical staff, can listen to and communicate better with patients.

The training can be accessed free of charge here (under multi-professional short screencasts).