There are limited places on some of our modules starting in the new year 2023. Apply now to secure your place. We are dealing with a high volume of applications and our application processing time is approximately 2 weeks.

The Royal Marsden School

Managing Challenging Conversations Virtually

Health and social care professionals deliver significant news daily to patients and relatives, whether that is speaking to a relative about the care of their loved one or to a patient about their illness or treatment.  These conversations are often difficult and challenging.

'Managing Challenging Conversations Virtually' is a new online course is aimed at supporting health and social care professionals who undertake significant conversations virtually. It will be delivered via the School’s online Moodle platform, allowing for additional educational resources to be supplied to participants as well as providing an opportunity to share experiences and raise questions via an online forum.

"The majority of my consultations are now over the phone. It’s been challenging giving difficult information over the phone. I found dealing with the complaint very helpful and I will certainly take many useful tips away." Student on Managing Challenging Conversations Virtually course, November 2020

The course consists of pre-recorded interactive videos that enable participants to take away the key communication skills and models that can be applied to practice-based scenarios, while also providing the opportunity for participants to consider how these might support their own practice development. 

"I have found the course very thought provoking. I certainly will be using the tips that were suggested in the course regarding phone calls and video calls." Student on Managing Challenging Conversations Virtually course, November 2020

The materials have been written by clinical specialists and experts at The Royal Marsden School and will enable healthcare professionals to broaden their knowledge of significant aspects of communication. 

Key features include:

  • Open access - you don’t need to complete the course on a specific day, rather study at your own pace over three months.
  • Watch interactive video content as many times as you wish.
  • At the completion of this course, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.

Who is it for?

This e-learning course is relevant for all health and social care workers, including community matrons, nursing staff, allied health professionals (including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dietitians) and support workers who meet patients and families via virtual platforms.

"This course used very good examples as how you could hear the person on the other side on the phone as well as on video. Listening and acknowledging a person you talking to is an absolute key to the conversation." Student on Managing Challenging Conversations Virtually course, December 2020

Core topics

  • Delivering significant news over the phone
  • Talking to a relative over the phone
  • Delivering significant news via video
  • Managing a complaint on video

What other students have said about the training:

  • 87 per cent said the course was helping them do their job better.
  • More than 70 per cent of participants rated this course as excellent.
  • Students said the information used in the training was very useful.
  • Participants found listening to other professionals’ experiences very reassuring.

How to apply and further information

To book a place, please follow the registration link. For booking multiple places, please contact the School to discuss further details on 020 7808 2900 or email us at

It was totally relevant to practice and I left feeling stimulated to think and reflect after every session

Student on Managing Challenging Conversations Virtually course, December 2020