The ‘Hello my name is…’ campaign was created by Dr Kate Granger, an Acting Consultant in Medicine for Older People from Wakefield, who herself has terminal cancer. During a hospital stay last summer, Kate noticed that many staff looking after her did not introduce themselves before delivering care. So she decided to do something about it.
“This felt very wrong so encouraged and supported by my husband we decided to start a campaign to encourage and remind healthcare staff about the importance of introductions in the delivery of care. I firmly believe it is not just about knowing someone's name, but it runs much deeper. It is about making a human connection, beginning a therapeutic relationship and building trust. In my mind it is the first rung on the ladder to providing compassionate care.”
‘Hello my name is…’ is designed to remind health care professionals and all staff of the importance of introducing themselves to patients and how this relatively ‘little thing’ can positively affect a patient’s experience of the treatment and care they receive.
Dr Granger explained: “In my mind ‘the little things’ aren’t little at all, they are indeed huge and of central importance in any practice of healthcare.”
“When I say ‘little things’ I mean someone sitting down next to you rather than standing over you; someone holding your hand when you’re upset or distressed; someone taking that extra moment to really listen and allow you to express your fears; someone recognising you are in pain and being gentle when they examine you.”
‘Hello my name is…’ started on Twitter and it has inspired nurses, doctors, therapists, receptionists, porters, domestics and staff in all roles. The campaign is being endorsed by an increasing number of well-known figures including David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt, Nicola Sturgeon, the Countess of Wessex, Kylie Minogue, Bob Geldof and Drew Barrymore.
Dr Granger has teamed up with Listening into Action (LiA) to launch ‘Hello my name is…’ across the NHS. LiA’s aim is to shake things up and get a fundamental shift in ways of working across the NHS. LiA focuses on removing bureaucracy and empowering staff ‘at the coalface’ to improve patient care in their own areas. The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals – where Kate is now working – are a Listening into Action (LiA) Trust and their own launch of ‘Hello my name is…’ was a catalyst.
“We thought it would be good to invite other Trusts in the network to launch on the same day, and it spread like wildfire from there” says Hannah Forbes of LiA. The first Trusts signed up, and the momentum from this was used to ‘fuel the spread’ to a massive 100 organisations within just two weeks.
Kate said: “I'm incredibly excited about bringing #hellomynameis to Mid Yorkshire Hospitals and even more excited about the collaborative launch of the campaign across the Listening into Action (LiA) network and beyond. I think the main messages from the campaign about high quality communication and always treating our patients as people with respect and dignity fit perfectly within the Trust's core values. I really hope my legacy will be exactly that, putting compassionate practice right at the heart of healthcare delivery every single day."
If you’d like to know more about ‘Hello my name is…’ and how you can get involved, visit hellomynameis.org.uk/home or follow the campaign on Twitter via #hellomynameis.
If you are going to make the change to introduce yourself with ‘Hello my name is…’, then share your action on changeday.nhs.uk/tell-us-your-action.