Dr Kate Granger is a health professional with terminal cancer, so she sees healthcare from both sides and writes to improve it. She has started #hellomynameis where those in the profession are invited to make a pledge to introduce themselves to every patient they meet as a start to even out the imbalance of power.
‘As a healthcare professional you know so much about your patient. You know their name, their personal details, their health conditions, who they live with and much more. What do we as patients know about our healthcare professionals? The answer is often absolutely nothing, sometimes it seems not even their names. The balance of power is very one-sided in favour of the healthcare professional.’
She says she has ‘always been a strong believer in getting to know people’s names as part of building good working relationships with both patients and other colleagues’
and ‘thinks it is the first rung on the ladder to providing compassionate care and often getting the simple things right, means the more complex things will follow more easily and naturally’.
Her message ends: ‘The NHS employs 1.7 million people. The majority of these people will interact with patients on some level. Let’s see how many pledges we can get!
Here is mine to get us started:
“Hello. My name is Dr Kate Granger. I’m one of the senior doctors who will be looking after you on the ward while you’re with us. How are you feeling today?” ‘