Hello. Your name is?
Dr Kate Granger is asking doctors to put patients at the heart of everything they do. For her, it’s a very personal mission – she’s terminally ill with cancer.
Throughout medical school, you learn an enormous amount: how to treat hundreds of conditions, how to use innumerable pieces of specialist equipment, and how to understand the intricacies of the UK’s health profession.
At the centre of this learning are the patients you’ll be treating. But one doctor argues that compassionate care is often overlooked by time-pressured medics, and says that this must change.
Dr Kate Granger is a final year specialist registrar in geriatric medicine, currently working at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. Kate is also a cancer patient; terminally ill with a rare form of sarcoma.
Kate writes a lively and active blog and has written two books on her experiences from both sides of the medical profession. Her warts-and-all Twitter profile gives a running account of her condition and the interactions – both positive and negative – she has with our healthcare system.
Last summer, Kate began a Twitter campaign to encourage doctors to introduce themselves to their patients before doing anything else.
This, she insists, is an important step in building a relationship between doctor and patient.
Guest blogging on the NHS England website, Kate said:
‘A friendly introduction explaining your role and what you intend to do is the first rung on the ladder to building rapport with a patient, establishing the essential trust and therapeutic relationship.’
The hashtag #hellomynameis, has been at the centre of this campaign. Doctors, nurses, porters and medical students have pledged to introduce themselves to every patient they meet.
Kate’s campaigning corresponds with our core guidance for doctors, Good medical practice, which says that doctors must respect their patients and be open and honest with them.
Nominate someone for a Kate Granger award by Friday 14 February
Following her campaigning, the first Kate Granger awards for compassionate care will be held this March. They will recognise individuals, teams or organisations that have made a positive difference to patient care.
If you’ve seen particularly compassionate care during a placement, or even during time spent with elderly relatives receiving care, you can make a nomination on the NHS Employers website. Note that nominations close on Friday 14 February.