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.

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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) in collaboration with TRUSTECH, 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.  

Find out more about SAGE & THYME ACP

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SAGE & THYME Foundation Level - feedback

I just wanted to pass on my thoughts regarding the model.  Firstly, the SAGE & THYME model is, in my opinion, excellent.  It has turned my practice upside down when having discussions with my patients and relatives.  I like how it has shown me not to rush in with lots of advice and info, but to wait and allow the person I'm talking with to guide what help they need.  I also like how it gets to the root of the problem - I now know that the first few things mentioned may not be the worst of their worries at all.  It is a model I have now adopted and will continue to use daily. 

Luke Mayer, Community Staff Nurse - Out of Hours, Dudley Group of Hospitals

Latest news

SAGE & THYME contributes to CQC outstanding caring rating

3 April 2019

End of life care at Wythenshawe Hospital (part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust) has been rated as 'outstanding' in caring in a recent CQC report (19 March 2019).

The inspectors noted that in end of life care: "Members of staff, in conjunction with patients, developed a model to address the emotional concerns of patients or their caregivers. This is now a nationally recognised communication model and the trust was a national leader in training in emotional support."

This is not the first time that SAGE & THYME training has been highlighted in CQC reports: it has been mentioned as an example of best practice in communication skills training for Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (overall rating outstanding) and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (overall rating good).

To read the full CQC report for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust visit: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/R0A/reports