Richard Cresswell, Ros Wright

English for Health and Social Care Workers

Student's Book

English for Health and Social Care Workers is a practical self-study guide for speakers of other languages who work in health and social care.

“I recommend that English for Health and Social Care Workers be part of the skills-building curriculum for frontline caregiver training programmes in the UK, and for ESOL teachers whose students are frontline caregivers there.” Judy Tobin, IATEFL Voices.



English for Health and Social Care Workers is a practical guide for anyone who works in health and social care and who does not speak English as their first language, but needs to develop their communication skills and knowledge.

This self-study guide enables health and social care workers to improve their spoken communication, vocabulary, grammar and report writing skills and to deliver the appropriate levels of care.

With English for Health and Social Care Workers, care providers and employers and workers who do not have English as a first language can be sure of raising their standards of English language skills.

Health and social care workers will gain a better working knowledge of medical terms, different medications and equipment, terms used by service users and policies and procedures used in the care environment.

Former care minister, Norman Lamb said “For people to get the care they want they need to be able to communicate with their care workers. Employers are responsible for recruiting staff that can competently speak and read English but communication will be a key part of the new Care Certificate.”

This book comes with accompanying online audio.


English for Health and Social Care Workers is a combination of ESOL text and human services study guide. It is geared toward non-native English learners in the UK (due to the clear focus on UK accents, dialects, slang, terms and services), who are preparing for roles as frontline caregivers with the elderly, physically and mentally challenged, and mentally ill clients.

This text is highly user-friendly, with memorable and colourful images, up to nine audio tracks per unit, realistic case studies, and sample documents for each scenario, including risk assessments and daily care reports. The ESOL aspect is strongly context-based, and the grammar, vocabulary and medical terminology are introduced in accordance with the topics. Its approach is modern (including vegan, pescatarian and other diets, for example) and client-centred, and the overall focus is on healthy and respectful communication.

The units cover a variety of relevant topics, including manual lifts and transfers, pain and medication, and dealing with incidents of abuse and other challenging situations. For each topic, there are case studies; for example, the ‘In their shoes’ feature encourages students to consider situations from clients’ perspectives and includes necessary essential dialogue. The focus throughout is on the variety of clients’ and caregivers’ cultural perspectives and backgrounds, recognising clients’ emotional states, and using expressions and tone of voice to reassure clients and build rapport. All of this is underscored by the ample, well-performed and detailed audio tracks.

With all due credit, I have used a couple of scenarios from this text to good effect, in 1:1 classes with health care workers, as a way to introduce different accents and expressions while discussing relevant social topics. I recommend that English for Health and Social Care Workers be part of the skills-building curriculum for frontline caregiver training programmes in the UK, and for ESOL teachers whose students are frontline caregivers there. Because of the variety of realistic and emotionally evocative scenarios, students will definitely expand their awareness as well as their personal memory bank of a range of challenging situations.”

Judy Tobin
ESOL Teacher, St. John’s, Canada


English for Health and Social Care Workers is for all health and social care workers who do not speak English as their first language. This includes health and social workers, care home managers, care home assistants, health care assistants, health visitors, occupational therapists and more.

It corresponds to B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).


ISBN: 9781911028079
Publication: 24 May 2017

  • Unit 1 – Communication
  • Unit 2 – Personal Care
  • Unit 3 – Food and nutrition
  • Unit 4 – Manual handling
  • Unit 5 – Pain and medication
  • Unit 6 – Health and safety
  • Unit 7 – Activities of Daily Living
  • Unit 8 – Safeguarding
  • Unit 9 – Challenging situations
  • Unit 10 – Personal and professional development


Ros Wright has focused on English for Medical Purposes (EMP) since 1998. Ros trained qualified doctors to pass the US component of the US medical equivalency exam. She has since co-authored several EMP titles including Good Practice: Communication Skills in English for the Medical Practitioner, which won the 2008 BESIG-David Riley Award for Innovation in ESP. Ros holds an MA in ELT Materials Development, is twice President of TESOL France and is currently member of both the Proposals and Conference Committees of IATEFL. Ros previously taught English in France and Japan.

Richard Cresswell has worked in Health and Social Care for over 20 years as a Registered Care Home Manager for people with learning disabilities and more recently as a Trainer, Assessor, Internal and External Verifier for various QCF Qualifications. Richard is a Qualified Teacher in Learning and Skills (QTLS) and is the Director of PortWell UK a training and assessment company specialising in delivering training and qualifications to those working in the health and social care field.


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