The essential unit of medical practice is the occasion when, in the intimacy of the consulting room or sick room, a person who is ill, or believes himself to be ill, seeks the advice of a doctor whom he trusts. This is a consultation, and all else in the practice of medicine derives from it." Sir James Spence

Doing clinical work safely and effectively cannot be separated from the interpersonal value of the consultation.  Accurate diagnosis and assessment rely on the patient’s contribution being heard, understood and acted on appropriately. Treatment plans are more effective when patients are fully involved in their care. Effective communication between clinician and patient is complex, nuanced, and multifaceted.  Consultation skills are about combining astute clinical skills and effective interpersonal skills, to ensure safe, empathic and truly personalised care. TALC resources can help develop these skills for any work with patients.

Each TALC module covers a different part of the consultation, from Module 1 SKILLS FOR BEGINNING CONSULTATIONS EFFECTIVELY, through to Module 6 SKILLS FOR EFFECTIVE ENDINGS TO THE CONSULTATION. Module 7 covers SKILLS FOR MANAGING TIME EFFECTIVELY and Module 8 contains INSPIRATIONS, learning nuggets for when you only have a few minutes to spare. All modules explain how to use the skills for telephone and remote consulting situations, as well as face to face meetings. New Modules covering advanced skills are coming soon.

Each Module is divided into Chapters containing downloadable PDF booklets covering each aspect of the consultation, podcasts, demonstration videos and infographics. Each set of skills is fully described, along with reliable methods for teaching and learning skills. The resources make for flexible and enjoyable learning.

Go to the Modules page to find the full list of the Modules. Click on the Module title to see an infographic which summarises the contents, so you can find what you are looking for easily. If you are new to consultation skills education, work through the Modules, one by one, looking at the materials. Practising the skills in stages until they become easy and natural will give the best results. Do not try to fix everything at once! If you want information about specific aspect of the consultation, go the relevant Module/Chapter for inspirations and advice. You can also browse the Modules and see what sparks your interest.

The title of each module shows the scope of the resources. Within each module there are chapters which deal with consultation skills in easily digested “bite sized” pieces. Each chapter has links to other useful resources

The TALC resources can be used at any time from initial training, to postgraduate work.  There is a module on sustainable consulting coming soon, which covers how to develop a healthy, sustainable approach to consultations. The TALC resources enable clinicians to have consultations which are both sustainable, and a truly enjoyable part of clinical work.

TALC will be useful to any clinician who wants to work on their consultation skills. Improved consultation skills give better and safer clinical outcomes AND better relationships with patients. Thus, General Practitioners, Clinicians in any type of training programme, Consultants, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals will all find useful material here.

Educators who train others how to consult effectively, will find chapters covering specific educational skills and methods in Module 9. These tried and tested approaches boost effective learning of consultation skills. TALC resources can be shared with participants who are developing their consultation skills, as part of their training programmes. .

Module 9 EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR TEACHING CONSULTATION SKILLS is mainly for educators and clinical supervisors. It describes tried and tested educational methods to boost learning, with specific details on how to make teaching more effective, more engaging and more interesting.