Communication Skills

Communication Skills

What we know

Clear communication is an essential ingredient of quality palliative care. Good end-of-life communication involves the ability to both give and receive information at a time where strong emotions and stress can affect even the most experienced clinician. For health professionals, having as much information as possible from the patient is vital to ensure any plans and decisions are inclusive and that staff are advocating appropriately for them. Ongoing refresher training can help palliative care staff to improve their skills in discussing end of life (EoL).

What can I do?

To improve your communication skills, use the tips from

Seize or create opportunities to improve your communication skills either through your organisation, through a professional or a peak body or online.

If organising a case conference, use the fillable palliAGED Forms for Your Practice and the guide on using the palliAGED case conference forms.

What can I learn?

Watch the video: Ten steps for what to say and do.

Go to palliAGED online learning for a list of courses by profession or by topic including Communication.


Complete these online learning modules:

Use the Making Communication Even Better learning hub from NHS Scotland to improve your own communication skills and make your service more accessible for people with communication support needs. The section “CSNs and different ways to communicate” offers a learning module and a workbook.

Use the e-learning resource from the NHS (UK) communication skills from End of Life care For All (e-ELCA).

What can my organisation do?

When developing in-house training in communication skills prioritise face-to-face sessions that are skills-based (i.e. which include practicing skills, discussion, hands-on training with counselling and feedback on real interactions between the participating carers and people with dementia).

Identify and make available to staff appropriate education resources.

Encourage and support ongoing education and development of communication skills – professional and interprofessional such as

Page updated 29 January 2024