Essential communication skills

Future dates for this course will be announced.

6 CPD credits

We are offering this as a full-day face to face course.

In this course we will be exploring the essential communication skills for effective face to face and remote consultations with patients.

Course content

  • Breaking bad news.
  • Handling consultations with difficult patients.
  • Dealing with written and verbal complaints.
  • Constructive confrontation with colleagues.

As well as providing techniques to help you deal with these situations, we will stage consultations you can comment on and improve. There will also be an opportunity to role play consultations if you would like to.

Our course leaders are healthcare professionals from primary care, secondary care and community care. They have expertise in dealing with difficult complainants and colleagues as well as extensive experience in delivering bad news in palliative care.

This interactive course mixes didactic teaching with group exercises and role play using actors.

Who should attend?

  • Consultants/specialists
  • GPs
  • Hospital doctors
  • Training grade doctors (GPST1-4 and ST1-8)
  • Foundation doctors (F2 only) 

Approved by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK for 6 category 1 (external) CPD credits.


Mike Roddis

Dr Mike Roddis


Director, MJ Roddis Associates Ltd.

Mike, a former pathologist, has worked as a medical director in the NHS and in the independent healthcare sector. He now works with NHS trusts and others to help them improve the performance of doctors. In particular, he works with individuals to improve their interpersonal and professional skills, and with teams of clinicians who seek help to improve their performance. He is an experienced investigator of conduct and capability issues in consultants, works as a consultancy adviser to the Royal College of Pathologists and sits on the advisory board of CORESS (a confidential reporting system for surgery).

Dr Samantha Bell


MDU medico-legal adviser

Dr Samantha Bell studied medicine at Guy's Hospital Medical School and qualified in 1992. After gaining MRCP she went on to train as a GP, gaining MRCGP in 2003. She obtained an LLM in Health Care Ethics and Law in 2015. She worked as a GP principal in Hertfordshire before joining the MDU as a medico-legal adviser in 2015.

Dr Lisa Kauffmann

Dr Lisa Kauffmann

Retired consultant community paediatrician


Lisa has extensive experience in medical leadership, clinical governance and service development as a clinical director and associate medical director. She has served as honorary treasurer of the RCPCH and chaired the college's medical management committee. While working in paediatric palliative care, she developed a passion for improving communication between healthcare professionals, patients and families, and trained as a communication skills facilitator. She now works with co-facilitators and actors to deliver communication skills courses and bespoke sessions.


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  • Training Grade Doctor, Birmingham
  • 29 January 2020 3:10PM

Sets a good groundwork for communication both in and out of the hospital setting.

  • GP, Walsall
  • 29 January 2020 3:04PM

it is an excellent course to attend at all stages of your career

  • Hospital Doctor, Surrey
  • 22 May 2019 9:32AM

Very helpful, well organised course, spot on to the point of difficulties that doctors facing with the everyday communication with patients and other colleagues.

  • GP, London
  • 22 May 2019 9:31AM

An interesting course that addressed several aspects of communication

  • Hospital Doctor
  • 22 May 2019 9:29AM

Provides practical tips to improving communication skills in a variety of clinical/ other scenarios which clinicians encounter everyday.

  • Consultant, Burton on Trent
  • 9 May 2019 2:47PM

Excellent course with great techniques to improve your communication skills and breaking bad news to patients in your daily work basis

  • FY2 doctor, Ealing
  • 8 January 2019 10:26AM

Great course, wonderful staff. Explained everything clearly and gave sufficient time to practice knowledge & skills learnt

  • Hospital Doctor, Colchester
  • 27 June 2018 10:56AM

Good course with good tips and techniques. Facilitators were very helpful and experienced.

  • GP, Walsall
  • 26 June 2018 5:15PM

One of the best courses I have attended , well structured with good speakers.

  • Consultant, Devon
  • 26 March 2018 5:16PM

Useful investment of a day in education for enhancing our ability to communicate on professional and personal matters.

  • Community Medical Practitioner, Rochester
  • 26 March 2018 5:16PM

Well organised and presented.

Examples given in workshops were well-chosen