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Communication Skills in Health and Social Care

Communication Skills in Health and Social Care

Fourth Edition

April 2017 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Our ability to communicate is a key part of everyday life and is an essential skill, particularly when communicating with vulnerable people in a health and social care setting.


Presented in a unique and easy-to-use dictionary format, this practical guide will help students and practitioners understand and apply the principles of effective communication. From the ‘how to’ practicalities through to challenges and honing existing skills, this book will ensure they have the confidence and knowledge to communicate skilfully and successfully in many different contexts and settings.


This book is essential reading for anyone working in the helping professions for whom good communication skills are an essential part of their role.


The new edition features:

  • New entries covering social media, mindfulness, several tricky topics, and much more.
  • Service user snippets to help address and understand the issues about service user perspectives.
  • Skills to ensure you are engaging with the Professional Capabilities Framework.
Active Listening
Anti-discriminatory Practice
Barriers to Good Communication
Breaking Bad News
Chairing Meetings
Communication and Social Media
Conflict Management
Court Room Skills
Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Empowerment, Resilience and a Strengths Perspective
Establishing a Professional Relationship
Feedback – Giving and Receiving
Getting Unstuck
Group Work
Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and Health Informatics
Interprofessional Collaboration
Interviewing Children
Learning Difficulties
Mediation Skills
Motivational Interviewing
Non-verbal Communication
Overcoming Fears and Anxieties
Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF)
Reflective Practice
Talks and Presentations
Telephone Skills
Time Management
Tricky Topics: Sexuality and Death
Whistle Blowing
Wrong Messages

This is an excellent book for those students who want to explore and understand different themes in relation to developing effective communication skills. The book covers such a broad area this in an excellent reference book for those students and practitioners who want to develop their communication sills further. The author has put together helpful activities in each chapter which help develop the key themes. This would be one of my go to books as a student or a practitioner when I was thinking about how I communicate and would be something I would keep in my bag as a quick reference. As a Manager I wished I had this when supervising my practioners as I can see some of the activities being really useful in supervision sessions.

Jason Loffman
Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University

The new edition will be a constant companion for learners in their development of compassionate and effective communication skills.  The inclusion of the voice of the service user is a wonderful addition and my students will love this book.

Sally Riggall
Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln

I found this book very useful. I reached for it throughout my course and found the information extremely useful for my studies. I admired the layout of the book with its simplistic style, and I never found myself struggling to find the right information within the book.

Chelsea Hage
First Year BSc Health and Social Care Student, University of Lincoln

The book is simply written in an easy to understand format. As a student I found it quite easy to relate to the theories, particularly due to the clearly detailed explanations given throughout the book. Definitely a good source of simple written knowledge.

Sihle Precious Mabena
First Year MA Social Work Student, Manchester Metropolitan University

Communication Skills in Health and Social Care is a great introductory book, supporting students to build knowledge and understanding of communication skills, before they tackle the more theoretical, in-depth and subject-speci?c literature.

Emma Reith Hall, Nottingham Trent University

An excellent, thorough guide to communication for health and social care students. This book covers ALL areas I could think of in terms of effective communication and even deals with 'tricky topics' which I thought was a very helpful section. I also like that this is contemporary and addresses topics such as social media- very relevant!
Finally, for many of the students I teach, the section on talks and presentations will be invaluable as many students struggle communicating with their peers never mind when they are expected to give presentations or participate in group discussions. Overall, I highly recommend this text!

Mrs Laura Stitt
Health, Belfast Metropolitan College (Millfield)
June 5, 2019

Excellent text. Full of activities and critical thinking to keep the reader engaged.

Professor Amy Schultes
Health, Des Moines Cmty Clg-Carroll
August 29, 2018

Highly recommended for students who are starting to work with clients to understanding core concepts such as empathy, assessment and anti-discriminatory practice. A nice introduction that isn't overwhelming for first years!

Ms Diana Conroy
College of health and social care, Derby University
July 27, 2018

This book is well structured and covers a wide range of communications skills relevant to a variety of different contexts. There are lots of suggestions for activities that students can complete and helpful references for additional reading.

Miss Andrea Lacey
Nursing, Bournemouth University
July 16, 2017

Communication Skills in Health and Social Care provides a useful and accessible reference guide for students of health and social care

Dr Benjamin Duxbury
School of Sport, Health & Outdoor Education (Carmarthen), University of Wales, Trinity St David
July 6, 2017

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Acceptance and Active Listening