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Handover Choreography: Practice improvement through mobility analysis

This project aims to explore the choreographic dimensions of clinical handover in one Cancer Care day unit.


Handover improvement work to date has been framed within ‘check list’-like frameworks aiming to systematise communication and render it as standardised and predictable. The central idea being explored is that dance movement therapy may impact on clinicians’ approach to handover by highlighting their inherent behavioural and mobility routines.

Working with dance experts, and drawing on Dance Movement Therapy, handover practices will be filmed and scrutinised to capture predominant mobility features which can then be integrated into dance representations with the aim of eliciting reflections from clinicians about how they work together, how they move and how they embody their professional roles.

By making clinicians more aware of their body language and nonverbal communication patterns, it may enhance and elaborate a different approach to chemotherapy; a fast paced, high volume, pressurised and stressful mode of care. It may also help to enhance sensitivity of the challenges to quality of interaction between clinicians and patients under pressure and amplify the supportive elements of care both for patients and staff. It will open up new learning and understanding of how communication is impacted by the environment of care and behavioural patterns in the setting of a Cancer Care Centre. 


Project team

Professor Anne Marie Rafferty - academic lead

Anne Marie Rafferty is Professor of Nursing Policy, and former Dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London. She is a historian, health workforce and policy researcher, graduated from Edinburgh University in Nursing Studies, MPhil (Surgery) Nottingham University; first nurse to gain a doctorate (DPhil Modern History) from Oxford University.

She was seconded to the Department of Health to work with Lord Ara Darzi on the Next Stage Review of the NHS and awarded a CBE for services to healthcare in 2008. She served on the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery 2009-10 and has been recipient of various awards; Nursing Times Leadership Award in 2014 and Health Services Journal Top 100 Clinical Leaders Award in 2015 and was inducted onto the Sigma Theta Tau International Hall of Fame in 2016.

She holds fellowships from the Royal College of Nursing, American Academy of Nursing. She co-lead a Student Commission on the Future of the NHS supported by NHS England and was a member of the Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales which reported in 2018.

She was elected President of the Royal College of Nursing from 2019-21.

Professor Rick Iedema

Rick Iedema is Professor Director of the Centre for Team-Based Practice & Learning in Health Care, King’s College London. His main research interest is in how clinicians collaborate and communicate, and in the ways patients can become involved in healthcare practice improvement. He has published widely in the area of healthcare practice improvement.

He was Monash-Warwick Professor of Implementation Science at Monash University 2016-2017, after managing the NSW Ministry of Health’s Agency for Clinical Innovation research portfolio 2014-2016. He was the Director of the UTS Centre for Healthcare Communication 2007-14, where he and his team pioneered innovative and participative approaches to healthcare communication improvement. He initiated video-reflexive ethnography in the early 2000s as part of his role at the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Clinical Governance Research, a method designed to enable clinicians and patients to innovate care practices ‘from within’.

Notable recent publications include Video-Reflexive Ethnography in Health Research and Healthcare Improvement: Theory and Application (2018, CRC Press), Communicating Quality and Safety in Health Care (2015, Cambridge University Press), and Visualising Health Care Improvement (2013, Taylor & Francis).

Vera the Diva Ballroom and Latin Dance School - artistic lead
Vera the Diva was founded in 2013 by Edurne Goldaracena. Edurne, who has been dancing since the age of 6 and a full time professional teacher for over 20 years, is from San Sebastián, the Basque region of Spain. With her love for dancing, she moved to London to pursue her career and under the guidance of the legendary Sydney Francis, obtained her first teacher qualifications with the I.S.T.D. and later with the I.D.T.A.


Handover choreography: Practice improvement through mobility analysis  is a collaboration between King's College London's Department of Adult Nursing and Vera the Diva Dance School. It is supported by the university's Culture team.

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