The National Cancer Strategy: Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes 2015-2020 sets out a compelling vision for future cancer services; it includes recommendations for delivery by 2020 and aims to achieve improved long-term outcomes for people affected by cancer. The importance of the communication skills of the workforce was highlighted within the Strategy. All staff, no matter what their role or profession, need to be able to communicate sensitively and compassionately with patients and their families and carers.
Health Education England is leading on a range of initiatives to support this recommendation and commissioned Skills for Health to develop a Communications Interactive Resource which:
- Identify existing good practice in communication skills and bring it together in one place
- Provide a resource to enable services, teams and individuals to build on existing good practice
- Ensure the most up to date information is available to all in an interactive guide, free to access and available online with live links to information and resources
Although the focus of the Resource is on Cancer Services, the good practice examples and links to experiential learning within it are applicable to all of those who work in a health care setting. Empathetic listening skills, shared decision-making, empowering individuals to self-manage and delivering difficult news are skills that are required across a range of service areas.
The Communications Interactive Resource builds upon and is linked to the following which were also commissioned by Health Education England and developed by Skills for Health:
The Person Centred Approaches Capabilities Framework and related information is available for download http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/services/item/575-person-centred-approaches-cstf-download