“I don’t know what to say…”

St Christopher's CARE


1 day
22 Jun, 2022
Online learning
All prices include VAT

Booking coming soon

Useful information

"If you have ever been lost for words, this course is for you -basic communication skills for frontline staff."

Course delegate

An introductory study day on communication skills for front line support staff

Being in the frontline can be tough. Dealing with a range of demands can throw one off-balance and unexpected telephone calls or meetings in corridors can lead to awkward situations and not knowing what to say.

During this study day we will explore the basics of good communication skills and ways of responding to people who may be distressed, confused or angry. It is for non-clinical support staff such as secretarial, clerical or administrative personnel, domestic and catering staff, porters and maintenance staff from hospitals, hospices, care homes or local authorities.

This study day will include a mixture of discussion, practical activities and direct teaching. It will enable participants to learn different responses, as well as try out and develop skills that will build their confidence. Participants will develop and acquire proficiency in positively and openly reacting to situations when they arise in the workplace.

  • What will I learn?

    During this study day you will:

    • Develop strategies to manage situations when you ‘don’t know what to say’
    • Deal with emotional states
    • Manage difficult telephone conversations
    • Develop ways to answer awkward questions
  • Who is it for?

    • Non-clinical support staff
    • Secretarial, clerical or administrative personnel
    • Domestic and catering staff
    • Porters and maintenance staff
    • Non-clinical staff from hospitals, hospices, nursing homes or social services incl. staff working in fundraising and retail
  • Tutors

    Study day tutors:

    andrea mills

    Andrea Mills Virtual Communities Lead, St Christopher's CARE

    Andrea graduated from UCL – Institute of Education as a Primary school teacher in 1996. She has worked in a range of schools (in the UK and Spain) as class teacher; curriculum coordinator; department and a senior leader for over twenty years. Andrea has been a local authority advisory teacher in Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston and Lambeth. She is experienced in supporting adults to deliver best practice and assisting educational settings (with poor Ofsted ratings) to raise standards.

    Andrea worked as a tutor and lecturer for primary initial teacher trainees at UCL – Institute of Education from 2016 – 2021. The role involved supporting teaching practice through observation, formative assessment and awarding qualified teacher status. Andrea supported academic progress by planning and delivering teaching sessions and marking assignments.

    Andrea has been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) since 2018. Fellowship is awarded to professionals who meet the criteria of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for teaching and supporting adult learning (in higher education). She has excellent understanding of effective approaches to learning and teaching support, as a key contribution to high quality adult learning.

    She now works for St Christopher’s Hospice as Virtual Communities Lead where she facilitates learning virtual and face-to-face learning experiences for a range of learners.

    maria aparicio

    Maria Aparicio Clinical Nurse Specialist & Visiting Lecturer, St Christopher's CARE

    Maria works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care with St Christopher’s Hospice at the Community team for more than 3 years. Recently has joined the St Christopher’s Centre for Awareness and Response to End of life (StC CARE) for 2 days a week as a Visiting Lecturer.

    Her professional experience has always been in EoL and palliative care (PC), spanning across the most varied settings, in clinical work, management, research and teaching, mainly in Portugal, Spain and now in the UK. She also has a MSc in PC and a PhD.

    As a PC nurse, she has been at the forefront of the PC activity in Portugal. As a result of that, she is a guest lecturer at top Portuguese universities, mainly at PC master degree and under graduate training, having consistently an active role in the training of other health and social care professionals for more than 20 years.

    Maria also has collaborated in the curriculum design, organization and pedagogical intervention of several post graduated courses, workshops, webinars and conferences, in Portugal and now at StC CARE in London. She is a regular participant at international conferences as an invited key speaker, promoting learning and research in several areas in PC, and occasionally even collecting some awards.

    Moreover, to share her passion for EoL care and to facilitate learning for students and colleagues is one of Maria’s top professional and personal motivations.

  • What will the course look like?

    The study day will consist of:

    • Live online teaching sessions
    • On demand content
    • Video
    • Small and large group discussion and activities
    • Follow up reflective task
  • Programme

    10.00 – 10.30 Welcome and Introductions
    10.30 – 11.30 Key elements of
    11.30 – 11.50 Break
    11.50 – 12.50 Challenges with
    Communication and end of
    life care
    12.50 – 13.35 Lunch
    13.35 – 14.35 Role play
    14.35 – 15.00 Reflection and Next steps

More information


If you have any questions about this or any of our other courses, please contact the Education team who will be happy to help

020 8768 4656

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    020 8768 4656

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We have a well-established programme of high quality, cutting-edge, specialist palliative care education, designed for those working in the UK and internationally.
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St Christopher’s Education Centre and VAT charges

At St Christopher's, a registered charity, it is important for us to maximise any surpluses to reinvest in the objectives of the charity.

Unfortunately, the manner in which we undertake our training currently means we are not able to invest as much of our surplus as possible, therefore from the 1 December 2017, St Christopher’s Education Centre will charge VAT at the standard rate on our training courses, the reason for this change in pricing is twofold:

i) We want to be able to reinvest any surpluses made from training back into all of our charitable objectives rather than only Education

ii) We want to be able to reclaim the VAT on costs relating to developing and running the training courses