Developing Effective Communication in Health and Social Care


Within all settings of health care, social care and early years, effective communication is essential in order to establish and maintain a sound working relationship that means both the worker and the person being looked after can gain what they need from the experience in a quick, satisfied manner. On a day to day basis, communication (in particular oral communication) may seem to some a simple task that doesn’t require a high level of attention however, due to the vast range of types of communication as well as the huge variety of people using them, communication is a very important, very central aspect of health and social care.   The purposes of communication vary largely but in three simple ideas, the purposes are to:
  * Give information; For example – providing details at a GP Surgery/ Health Clinic to tell a service user what services are available and at what times.
  * Obtain information; For example – enrolling a child in day care, at a playgroup or at a childminder’s to make sure that the parents’ of main carer’s name, address and contacts details are accurate and up to date.
  * Exchange ideas; For example – the exchange of ideas and opinions with people whom we form ongoing relationships with.

Communication can be set in a large variety of contexts that could be one to one interactions or exchanges between many people, for example:   a one to one interaction could be between a hospital receptionist and a visitor which, although would maintain a certain level of formality, would still be friendly. A group interaction is more likely to be an informal exchange, for example: in a care home setting, the interactions between service users, perhaps during art or drama therapy, would consist of fairly informal methods of communication due to the nature of the sessions and the level of familiarity between service users. Other contexts may include communication between;...