Skills: language, format and content
Safe communications within and between teams
Some ideas that your team could try:
- Why skills: language, format and content is important
Effective communication can reduce the risk of potential harm arising from misunderstandings, and can have a positive effect on staff. Staff benefit from understanding why it is important to speak up. They need to feel confident to do this, using a clear and simple form of words.
It is critical that staff are capable and confident to use language that is appropriate to the situation. Difficulties can arise when there is confusion, or an over-reliance on technical language. Staff need to able to adapt their language to suit the context/situation and audience.
Communication is not always face-to-face, so staff require support and training to select which format is appropriate. There are a number of structured and standardised tools available, both written and verbal, and staff should be confident to identify which is appropriate to a given situation.
For the correct actions to be completed, different groups of staff may require different types of information, which needs to be shared by the right people, at the right time. All communication needs to contain information which is accurate, consistent and sufficient.
- Resources to support the development of skills to use appropriate language, format and content
The sections below provides more information that you can use to support your improvements.
Interpreting, communication support and translation national policy, Public Health Scotland, 2020.
This policy sets out a clear, consistent and fair approach to the provision of information and communication support for all.
Working with British Sign Language (BSL) users in primary care, Public Health Scotland, 2020.
This guidance outlines good communication practices for GPs and the wider practice team when working with BSL users.
Health Literacy Turas e-learning, NHS Education for Scotland: TURAS | Learn.
This learning resource supports the development of health literacy through the use of simple techniques, including TeachBack and chunk and check, using pictures and simple language to improve how staff communicate and check understanding with others. TURAS log in required.
Realistic conversations: shared decision making in practice, NHS Education for Scotland: TURAS | Learn.
This learning resource raises awareness of shared decision making, explains the key principles and terminology. TURAS log in required.
Health Literacy Techniques, The Health Literacy Place.
This webpage provides a practical toolkit to support the use of five techniques recommended for good health literacy practice: teach-back, chunk and check, use of simple language, use pictures and, routinely offer help with paperwork.