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Communication Skills to Support Care Navigation

1 Day


This course is designed to support all reception staff to help them build the skills and confidence needed to handle difficult conversations on the telephone and face-to-face, and ensure that patients are appropriately directed to the service provider most suitable to match their needs.
When a patient contacts the practice, the receptionist is tasked with identifying their needs and directing the patient to the appropriate care provider: this may not be an appointment with the GP which can result in the patient becoming agitated and upset / aggressive. 
Services which may be referred to include:
  • Practice and specialist nurse appointments in the practice
  • Pharmacy First
  • Physio First
  • Acute ophthalmology services
  • 111 in order to access an emergency dentist
  • Mental health support including the local drugs and alcohol team.
  • Community support services for carers and older people
These conversations need not be as daunting as they first appear and by helping you to structure and prepare with practical steps, you will learn how to defuse situations, use active listening and questioning skills, and be able to communicate with clarity and integrity to bring discussions to a satisfactory conclusion.
The training will involve group discussions and practical exercises.

Programme Objectives

  • Engage in communication using assertive and positive language
  • Maintain control of the conversation and end the discussion at the appropriate time
  • Be clear with the process to negotiate successful outcomes
  • GP hours saved by the practice
  • Improve client / patient satisfaction
  • Empower receptionist and improve job satisfaction

Programme Content

  • Understanding the care navigation tools available
  • Professional Telephone Techniques
  • Preparing to deliver difficult messages and information to service users
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Controlling the conversation
  • Questioning Techniques
  • Active Listening
  • Assertiveness
  • Avoiding Negative Words/Phrases
  • Your Voice
    • Tone, Volume, Pitch, Speed
  • Your Body Language
  • Empathy with the service user
  • Personal Resilience
  • Handling Difficult conversations
    • Giving Bad/Unwelcome News
    • Dealing with Complaints
    • Aggression
    • Dealing with and Resolving Conflict
Action Planning