NHS Manchester University

Welcome to SAGE & THYME ®

SAGE & THYME: a communication skills workshop about listening to people who are worried.

We now have online versions of some of our training - see here

You can book spaces on our existing online or face-to-face training dates in Manchester, or you can contact us for prices to organise SAGE & THYME training (online or face-to-face) specifically for your organisation.


‘SAGE & THYME’ is a mnemonic that provides a memorable structure for conversations, based on the evidence behind effective communication skills: Setting – Ask – Gather – Empathy – Talk – Help - You – Me – End.  

Read testimonials

The SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop is taught to 30 participants in 3 hours by three trained SAGE & THYME facilitators, using group work, a presentation and conversation rehearsals.

The SAGE & THYME Online workshop (equivalent to SAGE & THYME Foundation Level and delivered normally on Zoom) is taught to 20 participants in 2 hours 45 min by two trained SAGE & THYME facilitators, using group work, a presentation and conversation rehearsals.

Find out more about  the SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop

Find out more about SAGE & THYME Online

There are over 10 publications on SAGE & THYME.

See the papers, reports, independent evaluations and textbooks on SAGE & THYME

The SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop has been adopted by over 60 NHS Trusts, CCGs, charities, councils, universities and hospices around the UK.

Read case studies

See which organisations run the workshop

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), teaches (via the SATFAC course) and licences other organisations to deliver SAGE & THYME foundation level workshops to their staff, students and volunteers.

Find out about running the SAGE & THYME foundation level workshop in your organisation

Find training dates

See prices

The SAGE & THYME for advance care planning workshop (S&T ACP) was developed with the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Network.  It teaches effective communication skills to open an advance care planning conversation, and is suitable for GPs, community matrons and other staff who have experience of advance care planning.  

Find out more about SAGE & THYME ACP

Click on 'About SAGE & THYME' to see the menu of pages for this web site.

Find out more about us

SAGE & THYME made a difference to patients

I wanted to let you know how valuable I found the recent training for SAGE & THYME.  The very next day I got the opportunity to use this training three times, to listen to patients who were distressed.  I was thanked by each one of them following our interaction and was told it really made a difference to them and how they felt afterwards.  I have found this so rewarding and really pleased to have made a difference.

Karen Miller, Patient Health and Wellbeing Lead, Wythenshawe Hospital

Latest news

International Conference on Communication in Healthcare presentation on SAGE & THYME Online

12 September 2022

Our lead trainer, Mike Connolly, spoke at the ICCH conference in Glasgow on Friday (9 September) about how 'SAGE & THYME works fine online'.

The presentation abstract was co-authored with Dr Joanne Thomas (S&T business lead), Dr Nicky Barr and Sheona Ramsbottom (S&T trainers).

Mike talked about how, whilst the knowledge being taught was the same for SAGE & THYME Online as for the SAGE & THYME Foundation Level workshop, the delivery was different.

Teaching foundation level communication skills online required:

  • checking that the learner's tech was OK and ensuring they knew how to use Zoom
  • a dramatic introduction
  • a PowerPoint presentation delivered in a conversational-style by two trainers
  • a video of a conversation (rather than live rehearsals), stopped at various points for discussion
  • polls and breakout rooms
  • direct questions to learners

For more information on our evaluation of SAGE & THYME Online, please contact us.

Mike Connolly at the ICCH conference