Advanced communication and language skills

More than one in three doctors registered in the UK qualified abroad and many more who qualified in the UK may not speak English as their first language. The NHS relies heavily on the skills and dedication of these doctors and could not continue without them.

Wessex is committed to supporting doctors who are struggling with their use of English and/or communication skills, by offering advanced communication and language skills support, where it is identified as a requirement.

Advanced communication and language skills experts

Case managers may identify that a doctors requires advanced communication and language skills support. The doctor will be offered a choice between two different approaches of communication support, provided by the following two Wessex PSW experts:

Jo Murphy

Jo Murphy provides 1:1 coaching sessions on all aspects of advanced communication skills including voice production and a wide variety of other specialisms. The nature of her work is highly practical.

Jo tends to work in three two-hour sessions, or one two-hour session, followed by four one-hour sessions. Each will start with a consultation, in order for Jo to get to know the doctor and their requirements in detail. The sessions are spread over a six to eight week period.

Once Jo and the doctor have identified the doctor’s precise needs, they will focus on each area, (or areas) that need to be covered. Each session tends to evolve according to the individual doctor’s needs, but the key components are as follows:

– Breathing and Relaxation
– Facial muscles, resonators and articulation
– Vocal exercises to establish successful modulation
– Useful phrases
– How to maximise the interplay between facial expressions and hand gestures
– Working on further physical and vocal attributes

Similar process maps are available for other areas of Jo’s expertise (presentation skills for example). If appropriate, Jo may move on, in the latter sessions, to introduce work on :

– Empathy ( for example, breaking bad news)
– Assertiveness (dealing with angry patients, day-to-day interactions)
– Conflict Management (such as difficult interactions with colleagues)

For more information about Jo Murphy, please visit her biography page.

Joanna Hopkins

Joanna Hopkins provides advanced communication skills support, via Skype classes (depending on the doctor’s need). The sessions are tailor-made to suit each individual and last approximately 40 minutes.

Due to the format of these sessions, they can easily be fitted into busy timetables, and doctors can attend in their own home or office. The doctor just needs to have access to a computer and to have a Skype address, to attend.

The sessions are aimed at:

– Improving doctor-to-patient communication by practising colloquial and idiomatic language, layman’s terminology, more natural English phrasing and pronunciation (such as sounds, intonation and stress patterns)

– Improving colleague-to-colleague communication, via role plays, that improve aspects such as assertiveness in meetings, conveying information accurately, requesting appropriately

Joanna will design her Skype classes around the doctor, aiming to empower them to become more confident in a range of everyday situations.

Joanna’s classes are about more than English. They will cover how patients and colleagues communicate, and all that that involves. They are about learning how to make the ‘right noises’ and allowing the doctor to practice reacting appropriately to the silences between the language they hear.

For more information about Joanna Hopkins, please her biography page.

Contact us
01962 690309