Intermediate Level Study Days – Specialist Practitioners

These are a series of study days aimed at nurses, junior doctors & AHP working in the specialised field of oncology & palliative care at a senior level. They are intended to equip staff with the key concepts, knowledge and on some days skills needed to enhance understanding & practice in the practice of oncology.

Intermediate Level Days: ‘The Specialist Practitioner’:

Communication Skills – ‘Breaking Bad News & Conducting Difficult Conversations’ Training Day

This day enables candidates to reflect on their communication skills & build confidence in conducting difficult conversations with patients & delivering difficult/bad news.


Pre Course information required

We recommend that course participants have completed a 1 day foundation course (or equivalent) in communication skills. Successful candidates need to submit a difficult or emotionally challenging communication episode that they were involved with or observed. This will form the basis of the role play activity in the afternoon. If the pre course work is not submitted in time a place will not be allocated. All candidates must be prepared to participate in role play.

Programme content:

  • The importance of good communication in healthcare
  • The impact of bad news: the patient experience: Video, group discussion
  • Communication Skills: identifying difficult situations & considering a strategy for breaking ‘bad news’
  • Handling challenging emotional responses
  • Interactive role play demonstration
  • Afternoon session: Applying theory to practice – Role playing difficult communication scenarios using the candidates pre course submission

Date of next courses:

Wednesday 9th October 2019


Ethics: Ancient questions Modern applications

In the morning we explore the rich history & context of ethical agency by examining the original philosophical frameworks that gave rise to modern medical ethics. In the afternoon we will apply the frameworks to modern medical situations, exploring the various frameworks for their strengths and limitations.

Morning session

  • Deciding upon right and wrong – how do you decide what is right & wrong? Class discussion & group work
  • Setting the scene – What are ethical questions? Why are ethics and ethical codes important?  Is there a difference between morality & ethics?
  • Birth of philosophy – the difference between the pre philosophical mind and the birth of philosophical approaches to right action & thought
  • The birth of different schools of philosophy – Epicurean, Stoical ,Platonic & Aristotelian – views of a ‘good life’, their key differences and the implications of the differences
  • Christianity – the appropriation of Greek philosophical approaches & tools into a religious framework of ethical agency
  • Enlightenment thinking – the birth of science & the move away from religious thinking

Afternoon session

  • Deontology – Kant - duty ethics & ethical codes in nursing & medicine
  • Utilitarianism – Bentham & JS Mill – A re-examination of right action & responsibilities. NHS as an institution with utilitarianism at its heart
  • Is there any room for religious ethical/morality frameworks?  What are the implications for secular institutions?
  • Examination of areas of controversy in oncology – rationing care, cost of treatment etc – group work and debate



Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust staff  £45.00

External candidates £75.00

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