Successful conference

20 November 2014

The 4th annual SAGE & THYME UK conference was held yesterday.  It was attended by over 60 SAGE & THYME facilitators from around the UK, to hear the latest developments on SAGE & THYME, and to network and make contacts with facilitators from other organisations.

The conference was opened by Felicity Goodey CBE DL, Chair of University Hospitals of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and former BBC journalist, who said that she had attended a few courses in her time, but had never attended one that was "more patient focussed, more effective and better run", than the SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop.

Speakers from outside the SAGE & THYME team included:

  • Katherine Hopkins, Nurse Consultant and Lead Clinician for Palliative Care at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, who talked about her journey from being an early adopter of SAGE & THYME to gaining funding to roll it out across the North West of London;
  • David Walker, Trainer for Boots, who explained how the SAGE & THYME model was helping Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists to help patients who are upset;
  • Joanne Lane (Lead Nurse - Palliative Care) and Penny Mcilquham (Clinical Nurse Specialist) from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, where engaging members of the Trust Board has led to rolling out the SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop to all staff; and
  • Gill Thomas, Professional Practice/Therapies Educator from Princess Alice Hospice, who explained how the SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop fits within their education prospectus, and how use of the SAGE & THYME model can be helpful to hospice volunteers (e.g. shop workers) who come into contact with patients.

The SAGE & THYME Team gave a general update and also provided data on the evaluation of 22 SAGE & THYME ACP workshops with over 400 participants.

The afternoon parallel sessions covered: how to get the group work in the SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop right; a discussion of some evidence around communication skills training; how to find out what patients think (run by Dr Debra de Silva, Head of Evaluation from the Evidence Centre); and sharing some stories of when the SAGE & THYME model had been used with people who had concerns.