Becky Whittakker

Becky Whittaker

MA, BA (hons), PGCFE, RN

  • VERDIS ‘Real Talk’ Programme Development Manager

Becky is the programme development manager for an innovate and exiting education intervention called ‘Real Talk – engaging patient in talking about end of life’. This is part of the wider VERDIS research team in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Becky is an experienced registered nurse with extensive clinical experience in the management and delivery of palliative and end of life care in a range of settings, including NHS and the voluntary sector.

An experienced educator, Becky worked as assistant professor in palliative and end of life care at the University of Nottingham for ten years with responsibility for delivering a wide range of palliative and end of life care topics for pre and post registration nursing courses, including director of the MSc Health and Social Care. An area of interest is incorporating emerging research evidence into curriculum design and evaluation.

Becky is a member of the VERDIS research team, led by Prof Ruth Parry. Real Talk is a novel and flexible communication training resource featuring real-life video recordings taken in a UK hospice. Applied conversation analysis research helps in our understanding of how experienced clinicians communicate with patients, and their companions, who are living with life limiting conditions. Emerging themes relate to how clinicians broach dying, plan care and respond to difficult ‘how long’ questions.

Becky’s part time role aims to develop and evaluate of Real Talk across a range of healthcare settings.

  • Whittaker B, Parry R, Bird L, Watson S, Faull C. (2018) Development, validity, and reliability testing of the East Midlands Evaluation Tool (EMET) for measuring impacts on trainees’ confidence and competence following end of life care training. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 8 (4) 439-446. First published online doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2016-001100. Link:
  • Parry R, Seymour J, Whittaker B, Bird L, Cox K (2013) Commissioned report for the Independent Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway: Rapid Evidence Review: Pathways focused on the dying phase in end of life care and their key components. University of Nottingham, Department of Health and National End of Life Care Programme. Link:
  • Howard P & Chady B (2012) Placement Learning in Cancer and Palliative Care Nursing: a guide for students in practice. Edinburgh: Elsevier
  • Barnes S, Gardiner C, Gott M, Payne S, Chady B, Small N, Seamark D, Halpin D, (2012) Enhancing patient-professional communication about end of life issues in life-limiting conditions: A critical review of the literature. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 44(6) 866-879. Link:
  • Chady B (2012) Evaluation Toolkit: a project to assess the outcomes of end of life care learning events. Annual Report available by request
  • Chady B, Faull C, & Broadhurst D (2010) Evaluation Toolkit: assessing outcomes of end of Life learning events. University of Nottingham: East Midlands SHA. Latest version 6.1 available online at