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Telephone Triage 5 days 9 to 13 September 2024

Cost: £750.00 +VAT

Course details

This intensive 5-day training programme is designed for paramedics involved in telephone triage services, such as those working with the 111 service. It encompasses a broad spectrum of essential skills and knowledge areas, from core triage principles and clinical decision-making to special considerations for diverse patient populations and the critical importance of documentation and quality assurance. Through a blend of theoretical instruction, practical exercises, and role-play scenarios, participants will be equipped to deliver effective, and efficient care in a telephone triage context


  • To equip paramedics with the foundational principles of telephone triage, including effective communication, active listening, and patient-centred care. To enhance clinical assessment and decision-making skills specific to the telephone triage context.
  • To provide training in mental health triage, ensuring participants can competently assess and manage mental health concerns over the phone.


Learning Outcomes

1. Develop communication skills in effectively gathering information and engaging with callers.

2. Enhance clinical assessment and decision-making skills specific to the telephone triage context.

3. Develop confidence to manage calls related to mental health, employing strategies for assessment, de-escalation, and support

4. Develop a structured approach during telephone triage to address the unique challenges and considerations when triaging specific populations, including paediatric, elderly, and vulnerable patients.

5. Understand the importance of audits and maintaining records and recordings of telephone consultations, adhering to best practices in documentation and contributing to continuous quality improvement in telephone triage services.

Course outline

Day 1: Introduction to Telephone Triage

Morning Session: Understanding Telephone Triage

  • Overview of telephone triage services
  • The role of paramedics in telephone triage
  • Introduction to core principles: active listening, effective communication, and patient safety

Afternoon Session: Communication Skills Workshop

  • Techniques for active listening and building rapport over the phone.
  • Effective questioning techniques to extract critical information.
  • Practical exercises on communication and documentation

Day 2: Clinical Assessment and Decision-Making

Morning Session: Fundamentals of Clinical Assessment Over the Phone

  • Overview of the clinical assessment process
  • Identifying red flags and urgent symptoms
  • Decision-making tools and use of templates

Afternoon Session: Scenario-Based Training

  • Interactive case studies covering a range of common scenarios.
  • Group discussions on decision-making and rationale.
  • Feedback session on case study approaches


Day 3: Mental Health Triage 

Morning Session: Mental Health First Aid

  • Understanding common mental health issues presented in triage.
  • Techniques for assessing mental health states over the telephone.
  • De-escalation techniques and crisis intervention

Afternoon Session: Mental Health Scenarios

  • Role-play exercises focusing on mental health triage.
  • Handling sensitive conversations and providing appropriate support
  • Feedback and discussion on handling mental health calls

Day 4: Triage for Specific Populations

Morning Session: Special Considerations in Triage

  • Adapting triage approaches for different populations: paediatrics, the elderly, and vulnerable groups
  • Cultural sensitivity and inclusivity in telephone triage

Afternoon Session: Population-Specific Scenarios

  • Role-play and case studies focused on triaging for specific populations.
  • Group discussions on challenges and strategies for diverse patient needs.
  • Feedback session on the day’s role-plays

Day 5: Documentation and Quality Assurance

Morning Session: The Importance of Documentation

  • Best practices in documentation for telephone triage
  • Legal and ethical considerations in documenting patient interactions

Afternoon Session: Quality Assurance and Role Play Feedback

  • Implementing quality assurance processes in telephone triage
  • Role-play sessions incorporating all aspects of the week’s learning
  • Comprehensive feedback and group reflection on role-plays

Closing remarks and discussion on continuous learning and development


  • Samantha Thompson, Paramedic Lecturer St Georges University
  • Fadzai Mashingaidze, Safeguarding Lead Mental Health and Safeguarding
  • Dr Jay Verma, General Practitioner
  • Dr Shemin Vyas, Registrar Chelsea and Westminster

Who should attend?

  • Paramedics and emergency medical staff currently working in or transitioning to telephone triage roles within services like the 111 helpline.
  • Emergency dispatch personnel seeking to enhance their clinical knowledge and communication skills for improved patient assessment and triage.