Terminally ill doctor’s ‘My Name Is…’ campaign wins support
More than 90 NHS organisations, as well as big names such as David Cameron and Bob Geldof, are getting behind the ‘My Name Is…’ campaign, started by terminally ill doctor Kate Granger.
The 31-year-old hospital consultant came up with the idea for the campaign while she was being treated for cancer and felt frustrated with staff who wouldn’t introduce themselves. The idea behind the campaign is to improve the patient experience that she felt was lacking when she started her treatment for a rare and aggressive form of cancer three years ago.
The personal touch
The doctor who broke the bad news to Kate did not introduce himself to her and couldn’t bring himself to look her in the eye. Kate felt that by adding a personal touch, the standards of treatment and patient care could be improved. She noticed that a number of other staff acted in the same way and so she started the #hellomynameis on Twitter.
The campaign is designed to remind staff to go back to basics and make a vital connection with patients by, at the very least, giving their names. Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Kate said: ‘The lack of introductions really made me feel like just a diseased body and not a real person’. Adding that when someone did introduce themself ‘it really did make a difference to how comfortable I was and less lonely I was in hospital’.
Remembering core values
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals, where Kate works, was the first trust to sign up to the campaign. Other trusts across the country are now sharing information about how to treat patients with dignity and respect. As well as looking after the physical comfort of patients by providing the best quality equipment, including beds, evac chairs and gurneys, the emotional well-being of patients is just as important.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the campaign was inspiring, adding: ‘All patients should be treated with compassion and the fact this movement has started from within the NHS itself makes it all the more powerful. We know that doctors and nurses within the NHS are doing more than ever to provide safe and compassionate care and this movement is harnessing their energy’.
For Kate to take the time and effort to put the human back into healthcare at such a difficult time for both her and her family is an incredible achievement and one that needs all the publicity and support it can get.