Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

End-of-life Conversations

Can an innovative collaboration improve the impact and dissemination of the key findings from a qualitative study that explores clinician and informal caregiver views and experiences of having end-of-life conversations? 


End of life1Image design by Diana Gradinaru  

The Second Conversation  is an on-the-job training model for junior doctors to improve their confidence in having end-of-life discussions through incorporating observational, experiential and reflective skill components. The Second Conversation was originally designed and tested by a team at the Royal College of Physicians and Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust with support from a multi-disciplinary and multi-organisation steering group. Ongoing development through a multi-site quality improvement project is being overseen and led by the team at Guy’s & St Thomas’. 

A team at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London have undertaken a series of face-to-face interviews with junior doctors, senior doctors and informal caregivers who have participated in the Second Conversation across different medical specialities and hospital sites. Through this study, the team aimed to understand, explore and compare experiences of having conversations about end of life or advanced illness and the Second Conversation from these three different perspectives.

The aim of this artistic collaboration was to produce an innovative and creative output based on the results of this research, to help communicate and disseminate the main findings and engage the key stakeholders in the topic. The project team anticipated the primary audience will be doctors, as the aim of the Second Conversation was to improve their communication skills.  

Project team

Dr Katherine Sleeman - joint academic lead
Dr Katherine Sleeman is a clinician and academic in palliative medicine, based at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London. Katherine is interested in understanding and improving patterns of care before the end of life, and improving the quality of end-of-life communication. She enjoys writing and talking about end-of-life care for general audiences.

Find Katherine on Twitter @kesleeman

Dr Anna Weil - joint academic lead
Dr Anna Weil is a palliative medicine specialist registrar and a clinical research fellow at the Cicely Saunders Institute and is currently studying for an MSc in Palliative Care at King’s College London.  Anna has experience in quality improvement science and qualitative research related to end-of-life care communication and education.  

Diana Gradinaru - artistic lead
Diana Gradinaru is a freelance London-based animator and illustrator with a background in Fine Art. She studied animation at the Royal College of Art. She has worked on independent documentaries and projects for clients including the BBC, the RSA and Random Acts. She is currently animator in residence at the Royal Institution and is working on an independent short with the help of BFI Network. Her style blends the hyper-detailed and the naive to surreal effect.

Dr Katherine Bristowe
Dr Katherine Bristowe is a Lecturer at King’s College London in the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation. She has a background in linguistics and health communication research, with particular expertise in qualitative methods. Her research interests include widening access to palliative care and evaluating of complex interventions. 

Sami El-Enany is a British Egyptian composer who works with sound, often negotiating the fringes of instrumental, electronic and field recording. His practice ranges widely from composition and sound design for screen, sound art, filmmaking, record production, songwriting and band-life.

End-of-life Conversations is a collaboration between King's College London's Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation and animator Diana Gradinaru.  It was supported by the university's Culture team.

Stay in touch

Email the Culture team

Sign up to the newsletter