NQSW resource - Outcome statement 2: Communication
Communication: Key resources
Take some time now to explore our list of key resources and websites that may be of use in helping you think about professional development and accountability. These have been selected based on the criteria outlined in About this resource.
See also the full List of policy and legislation relevant to all outcome statements (PDF file).
These have been organised into:
- Communication skills (SCIE)
- Effective communication with service users (PDF) (Race Equality Foundation)
- Seldom heard: developing inclusive participation in social care (SCIE)
Click on the title to see more information.
Aiding communication with people with dementia (Research briefing, 2004, updated 2005)Open
Effective communication can improve the quality of life for a person with dementia. However, experts highlight that people with dementia lack the opportunity to talk and express their feelings about the quality of their own life and services they receive. It is vital that people with dementia are consulted on both issues: this can be achieved, given time. A number of interventions have been developed to work directly with people with dementia on an individual or group basis and also indirectly with family and professional carers and health care or social care professionals to improve communication and quality of life for individuals with dementia and their carers.
Assessment in social work: a guide for learning and teaching language, communication and assessment (Guide, 2007) Open
This guide focuses on language and assessment and the fundamental importance of communication in effective assessment. Four key issues are highlighted:
- the use of plain English
- the use of languages other than English
- the use of non-verbal language
- the use of interpreters.
Communication skills (e-learning, 2008)Open
Through audio, video and interactive uses of technology, these e-learning resources provide an engaging look at the principles of good communication skills and how to apply them in practice.
Link: Communication skills
Communication across cultural and social differences (e-learning, 2008)Open
Culture, identity and personal beliefs have a profound impact on the content and process of communication. When people from different cultures, backgrounds or belief systems communicate, it is easy for misunderstandings to arise. This resource includes five case studies to provide examples of the kinds of challenges and dilemmas social workers experience as they communicate across social and cultural divides. This e-learning resource will develop your understanding of:
- the impact of identity, beliefs and culture on the process of communication
- the importance of sensitivity to issues of culture, identity and belief in communication
- the kinds of dilemmas that arise in communication across cultural and social divides.
Communication training for care home workers: outcomes for older people, staff, families and friends (Research briefing 34, 2010) Open
This briefing draws on a range of UK and internationally published research to look at training to improve nursing and residential care workers' communication skills. It poses a range of questions; for example, does training improve the way that staff in nursing and care homes communicate with older people, their family carers and friends? Do residents and family carers think that training has resulted in improvements to the quality of care that they receive?
Dignity in care (Guide, 2010)Open
Treating people with dignity is an essential aspect of social work. The Dignity Challenge is a clear statement of what people can expect from a service that respects dignity. It is backed up by a series of 'dignity tests’ that can be used by providers, commissioners and people who use services to see how their local services are performing.
Link: Dignity in care
Parental mental health and families: communicating with families (e-learning 2011)Open
This e-learning module aims to promote greater confidence in communicating with family members about issues of parental mental health and child welfare. It highlights the importance of communicating sensitively and provides practice examples and communication strategies that can be used to talk to parents about their mental health, and to children about their parents' mental health and what that means for them.
Safeguarding adults: preventing abuse through community cohesion, communication and good practice (Social care TV, 2009)Open
This film shows how good communication with older people can improve safeguarding. In residential care it is important that staff take the time to talk to residents and to listen to their concerns. Two community projects demonstrate how people are encouraged to look out for each other and to report any concerns about the safety of individuals.
Seldom heard: developing inclusive participation in social care (Position paper, 2008)Open
Ensuring that the voices of service users who are seldom heard are not marginalised is a key challenge for practitioners and managers. It is crucial that these individuals are able to take up the opportunities presented by the personalisation of social care services. This position paper offers a practice framework to help practitioners and managers of social care services.
The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care – people with a communication impairment (Guide, 2007) Open
This guide provides several useful examples of how to involve service users in the development of adult social care. Many systems for consultation favour people who are able to communicate without difficulty. Loop systems, signers, and communicating through a support worker are some examples of technical solutions for people with communication impairments.
Can you hear us? (United Response, 2007) Open
This DVD was made by a group of people with learning disabilities with staff from United Response (UR). They want to show how often people with learning disabilities are mistreated in every day situations. The group was involved in every aspect of making the DVD from storyboarding to filming through to post-production. The DVD consists of five dramas, each showing a different example of discrimination.
Link: Can you hear us?
Communication and people with the most complex needs: what works and why this is essential (Goldbart & Caton 2010)Open
This guide is aimed at supporting commissioners in commissioning support and services which meet the communication needs of people with the most complex needs. It is also useful for family carers, frontline staff and people with a learning difficulty.
Communication for person centred planning (Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, 2005)Open
This information pack will help staff, self-advocates, families and friends to improve communication. The aim is to help people who are working in a person-centred way, to better understand the communication styles of self-advocates.
Communicating with deafblind people (SENSE)Open
This website contains details of the main ways of communicating with deafblind people. It provides visual, audio and practical materials to aid communication.
Darkness in the afternoon (University of Stirling, 2006)Open
This film tells the story of Marie, who has dementia, and her husband, who she sees as a threatening stranger. The story is seen through the eyes of Marie and her reality.
Link: Darkness in the afternoon.
Effective communication with service users (Race Equality Foundation, 2007)Open
Evidence shows that poor levels of communication have a negative effect on access to services and on relationships between service users and professionals. Problems with communication include language barriers and poor engagement with networks used by minority ethnic groups. Failing to communicate effectively can create a vacuum in accurate knowledge about service users from minority ethnic communities. This can result in professionals falling back on stereotypes and assumptions that compromise the quality and effectiveness of services provided.
Effective communication 1 (BVS, 2005)Open
This DVD contains training material to help care workers understand the nature of communication and to improve their communication skills, specifically in care homes. The DVD looks at both verbal and non-verbal modes and techniques as well as special communication needs including service users with sight or hearing impairments, and communication in response to challenging behaviours.
Link: Effective communication
Effective communication 2 (BVS, 2005) Open
The aim of this DVD is to highlight the importance of written communication in the context of social work and social care. It looks at a variety of different types of written record: incident forms, service users’ files, medication charts, telephone messages and other documents.
Link: Effective communication 2.
Focus on communication (BVS, 2007)Open
This DVD features 10 case studies depicting practice which could be improved for care workers to identify and discuss. The study scenarios pose a range of complex questions for care workers to solve. This DVD will help care workers develop their problem-solving skills and improve their service delivery.
Link: Focus on communication.
Supporting communication through AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) (Scope) Open
This pack aims to help parents, teachers and professionals to support individuals who may benefit from using Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC).
Talking needs action training needs analysis: the pilot sites report their findings for end of life care communication skills (NHS 2010)Open
Communications skills is one of the core competencies for End of Life Care. This report presents findings from a training needs analysis (TNA) pilot project, set up to support the development of communication skills training for all those working in end of life care. Key findings show that the majority of health and social care staff are involved in end of life care. Staff time spent working in this area varies, depending on the setting and their role.