HOSPITAL and care home staff in Scotland are to get a taste of acting in an effort to improve relationships with patients.
A conference in Edinburgh today will hear how drama and role-playing can lead to better communication between staff and those using NHS services.
One method being tested is sending actors to care homes to play the role of residents, families and staff, with staff encouraged to interact with them.
The conference, organised by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) will hear advice on how staff can say sorry to patients in a meaningful way, with role-play to show how it should be done.
NES said it was exploring ways in which drama could be used more widely in training.
Esther Walker, director of Forum Interactive, which runs the drama workshops, said they were planning work in homes to help staff and residents deal with conversations about death.
"There's a huge taboo around it. People find it very hard to talk about death and dying, and what people might want," she said.