The Unit has unrivalled expertise, and contributes to the development and delivery of training in communication skills locally, nationally and internationally.     


The original University unit was established in  1987, under the direction of Professor Peter Maguire.      The current unit was established in 2005 and grew out of a body of work from its previous form as the Cancer Research UK Psychological Medicine research group.  This group was at the forefront of communication skills research and training for over two decades.  The research and training is internationally recognised.

The aims of the Maguire Unit

To provide current evidence based communication skills training that will:

  • Reduce psychological distress of patients and enable their coping efforts
  • Increase patient satisfaction with care
  • Enable professionals to identify ways to manage the challenging situations met in practice
  • Enable professionals to manage the emotional impact of their work
  • To extend the work of the group into all of health & social care

National & regional role

The Unit’s reputation in the development of communication skills ensures that it has a strategic level involvement at a national level.    Expert knowledge, informed by an extensive research portfolio supported by clear methodology, ensures that it is a partner in a number of new initiatives.    The extensive research profile and innovative developments, alongside significant clinical experience, ensures that this expertise is in demand across the UK and further afield.      

The Maguire Communication Skills Training Unit is one of 3 groups associated with the development of the National Advanced Communication Skills Training Programme ‘CONNECTED’, and all the senior trainers held both national & regional roles.  ‘Connected’ training is continued to be seen as Gold Standard for all senior health care professionals.  The Unit is a key provider of this level of training.