Sage&Thyme

University Hospital of South Manchester

Enables effective communication with patients, carers and colleagues

“It has enabled me to communicate more effectively with patients, carers and colleagues alike without having to think that I need to think that I need to jump in at the deep end and try and fix everything.” 

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report

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

"[The] SAGE & THYME model made me listen to the patient's concerns and address their real issues, not what I presumed. Reassurance given at each visit to his concern, which was 'how will I be at the end, will I be asleep?' This man has leukaemia, white cells low so infection will be his cause of death eventually. All treatment stopped. [Using the SAGE & THYME model] made him address his idea of support - now has realised his best friend will ensure his wife will be cared for and will help her sort financial things out after he dies.  He feels 'prepared for dying'."

Janet Collins, Professional Development Lead - District Nursing, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Janet, Ward Manager

Impact on patient

“A patient re-called to the assessment clinic following screening was very distressed. She was extremely anxious of what to expect. Her mother died of breast cancer and she thought she was going to be told she had cancer. S&T structure enabled the patient to talk through her anxieties; she became calmer as a result and was able to take some control of her situation.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

SAGE & THYME ACP - valuable training

“Many thanks for coming to Chesterfield education centre to present to our sessional GPs and local palliative care specialists, nurse and practice nurses. The presentation was extremely clear well delivered and most helpful - as I am sure your formal feedback will confirm.”

Dr Ilona Bendefy, GP tutor for East Midlands Deanery and appraiser for North Derbyshire CCG

Impact on student

“I used SAGE & THYME with one of our NVQ candidates. She came to see me, very upset and crying, not wishing to complete her NVQ. 2 months after our conversation, she has completed her NVQ!”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Learnt something new after 38 years

“I have worked in health or social care setting for 38 years and I learnt something from the course, so you are never too old or too experienced to learn new ways of communicating, listening and responding to the needs of patients, carers and work colleagues.” 

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report

Colleagues would benefit from attending workshop

“All my colleagues would benefit from the knowledge gained and this would improve our understanding of patients’ needs.” 

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report

Huge impact

"It has has a huge impact on lots of different groups of staff and volunteers."

Gill Thomas, Lecturer and S&T Facilitator, Princess Alice Hospice

Impact on staff

“Busy ward, busy workload, patient displaying emotions and concerns pre-op (due for surgery today). Use model to delay further discussion to appropriate time. Again use model to discuss concerns after busy time passed to structure conversation.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Impact on a patient

"Patient told me that she had walked out of a fog following our brief consultation [using the SAGE & THYME model].  She worked out for herself what it was she needed to do to solve her problems.  The model really fit well in a really limited time scale."

Kathryn Arrowsmith, Associate End of Life Care Facilitator, Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Impact on staff

“Busy ward, busy workload, patient displaying emotions and concerns pre-op (due for surgery today). Use model to delay further discussion to appropriate time. Again use model to discuss concerns after busy time passed to structure conversation.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Being a S&T facilitator

"Training SAGE & THYME is one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life.  It creates real 'light bulb' moments of participants as they start to appreciate patient empowerment and the fact that they are not expected or required to have all the answers."

Katherine Hopkins, Macmillan Nurse Consultant, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Use model within daily practice

"Following the training I had a carers assessment booked for that afternoon so within an hour I was implementing the model.  Although the carer was quite distressed during our consultation the model proved to be an effective way of ascertaining her needs/concerns whilst exploring who supported her, in what way and what she required from me.  It is definitely a model that I will use within my daily practice."

 

Louise Furmston, Macmillan Information & Support Manager, Blythe House Hospice

Felicity Goodey CBE DL, Benefits of S&T

Amy, Staff Nurse

Impact on patient

“Patient had just been told that his treatment did not appear to be working and he may need to consider the prospect he may die. The whole interaction was one of reflection on the part of the patient and cathartic. He said at the end, ‘Wow, I have done all the talking!’”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Impact on patient

“Patient (was) becoming upset (and) I ask them why they were upset and if there is anything I could do to help.  I gave them time to speak it was only a small thing they had not had a bowel movement for days and was getting stomach ache.  The patient was embarrassed about this I asked was there anything else but they were really concerned and thought that it might be something else i.e. cancer.  I listened to the patient and asked if it would be alright to speak to the nurse.  Senacot [was] given to help them go.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Impact on student

“As a listener, one of my students came in to see me as an attendance issue. As I listened, I gently remarked that she looked stressed, tired and tearful. I reflected her words back to her and she opened up to me about the real reasons for her absence. She disclosed freely as much as she felt comfortable to do so and we explored them together.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Using SAGE & THYME

"Introducing SAGE & THYME into our organisation has been an extremely valuable process."

Sandra Campbell, Macmillan Nurse Consultant, NHS Forth Valley

Nigel Wainwright, Leeds Teaching Hospital, patient story

Impact on staff

“I felt that I had empowered the patient into making decisions for themselves.  That I had listened and allowed time for the discussion.  The outcome I predicted was different in a positive sense.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Used skills taught with carers

“I have used the listening guide techniques in my role with carers and the responding guide to address those concerns raised. It has helped me to help the carers feel more in control. I have used it with patients too.” 

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report

Increased confidence

“Since doing the course I have been more confident in gathering information from a patient when in distress to find out what is really bothering them. It is not always the first issue they may express.”

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report

Successful Use of the Model

For those delegates who were sceptical that this framework would work for them and would take up too much time we have challenged them to just 'try it' and let us know how it goes.  Interestingly we have had some lovely stories from those sceptics who have found success in using the mnemonic SAGE & THYME and on one occasion received a box of chocolates from a patient. 

Tracy Nightingale, Lead Nurse End of Life Care, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS FT

Effective teaching "Communication skills DO matter and this course emphasises how vital the focus on emotions can improve patient care. A great mix of lecture based and group work to consolidate learning, with use of rehearsals in a supportive and safe environment. The SAGE THYME mnemonic can aid in giving a structure to what can be an intense and difficult discussion to address someones concerns."
Sarah Hamlyn, GP, University of Nottingham Health Service

Impact on patient

“I counseled a patient who was depressed and very upset at being in hospital. She had fallen at home and fractured her hip. She was worried about being in hospital for a long period. I listened to her concerns using the SAGE & THYME model. We jointly made a plan about her future goals and management. She seemed much more happy and communicative post our talk and this attitude has been maintained ever since.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Impact on staff

“I felt empowered and happier about asking patients how they feel and what I can do.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Change in practice

“By allowing the person to talk to me is the biggest change of my practice and looking into seeing how other people can support both myself and the patient."

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Impact on staff

“I felt I had fulfilled my role much more than previous. I often avoided conversations around prognosis and death as I found it difficult to conduct a conversation. Now I feel satisfied. I am confident to lead a structured interview.”

 

S&T foundation level workshop participant

Appropriate for mental health

“This course is short, well structured, user friendly and appropriate to mental health as well as other nursing/caring disciplines. We spend a lot of our time asking questions, formulating our responses etc. and this is a good communication tool that I have already put in to practice.”

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report

Lancashire Teaching Hospital, patient stories

Listening skills

“Excellent way of learning how to communicate more effectively with patients or relatives, as with all communication skills, this course demonstrated an effective approach to using your listening skills, and relating back, that shows the patient or relative that they are being listened to and understand but in an empathic way. I have had need to use these skills taught that day recently and has been most effective and beneficial to all concerned.” 

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report

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

Being a S&T facilitator

"I love facilitating SAGE & THYME foundation level workshops because healthcare professionals who attend really respond and accept the model, and report that it offers something practical and useful for day-to-day clinical practice."

Jon Courthold, Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Renal, Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust/Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust

Impact on staff

“I am able to confidently move assessments forward - no longer become sidetracked. Can confidently close interviews without feeling I may have brought things to an abrupt end.”

S&T foundation level workshop participant
Michelle, Therapy Manager

First aid for upset people

"To use an analogy, teaching SAGE & THYME is like teaching first aid for people who are upset."

Jane Berg, Deputy Director - Skills, Knowledge and Research, Princess Alice Hospice
Louise, Researcher

Researchers communicating with distressed patients

“We had had numerous requests to provide training on informed consent and communicating with distressed patients.  The requests came from all different types of clinical research staff and this course met the needs for all of them.  I have confidence in recommending it to other research networks.”

 

Dr Gill Hood, Workforce Development and Patient Public Initiatives for the NWL CRN

Using SAGE & THYME model

"It's safe, powerful and works!"

Fiona Williams, Macmillan Nurse, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Used S&T approach in office and at home

“It is a good communication tool that I have been using in the office and at home too as well as out in the community in people's homes.” 

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report
Cath, District Nurse

Better than a 3 month communication module

Excellent feedback from the individuals – expressed that they learnt more in this session than they had on a 3 month communication module!”

The University of Northampton Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Frail and Elderly Workforce Development Evaluation Report

Helen, Leeds Teaching Hospital, patient story