Dr Kate Granger, MBE looks to inspire the next generation, after speaking to health cadets at Fairfield General Hospital

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Dr Kate Granger, MBE looks to inspire the next generation, after speaking to health cadets at Fairfield General Hospital
08 January 2016

The doctor and terminally ill cancer patient from Leeds famous for setting up the Hello My Name Is campaign has visited Fairfield General Hospital in Bury to speak to healthcare cadets.

Dr Kate Granger, MBE, spoke movingly about her life and experiences as a doctor and cancer patient at Fairfield General Hospital on 6th January 2016.

She described how after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2011 and her subsequent sessions of chemotherapy, she has not always been introduced to the healthcare staff that are treating her.

She said: “The introduction by a healthcare worker of saying Hello, my name is…, is about a connection between a person who is suffering and a person who is trying to help them.  It’s vitally important that we get that first impression right.

“I got the idea of the Hello, my name is campaign after an experience in an emergency department where I was treated by three different staff, none of whom introduced themselves to me, either by their name or job title.  The first person to introduce himself to me was a porter and by him telling me his name, I immediately felt at ease.”

Dr Granger addressed an audience of 90 multi professional healthcare cadets aged between 16 and 18 years old who are all training and working on a number of wards within The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Representatives from the Trust’s Education & Research team were also there, alongside staff from Skills for Health, who provide workforce solutions designed to improve healthcare.

It is hoped that Kate’s personal appearance will inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals at the Trust to embrace the ethos of the Hello My Name Is campaign and adhere to it throughout their future careers.

Ursula Caldwell, Clinical Educator at the Trust said:

“The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Skills for Health Academy were delighted to welcome Dr Kate Granger to speak to approximately 90 multi-professional healthcare cadets.  It was a wonderful and unique experience for these young cadets who are aged between 16 and 18 years ready to embark on their careers within the National Health Service. The Academy team discuss the #hellomynameis Campaign with the cadets during their induction, however it is an extra boost to have the person who began this campaign speaking to them. It brings the whole campaign to life.”

Kate added: “I was keen to speak to the cadets so that they could hear about the values behind the campaign.  I enjoy speaking to younger people as they are the future of our profession and if we get it right at the start with them, they will carry it on throughout their careers.”

Molly Fitzpatrick, a first year cadet from Blackley was particularly impressed with Dr Granger’s presentation.  She said: “I think it is amazing what Kate has achieved with her Hello My Name Is campaign.  It has inspired me to be confident and speak up.   I always  introduce myself to patients as it makes them more comfortable and it is easier to strike up a conversation with them.”

Gill Harris, chief nurse at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The Pennine Acute Trust signed up to the Hello My Name is campaign last year as we believe a confident introduction by healthcare workers is the first step to providing compassionate care to our patients.  Patients deserve to know who is speaking to them and it is often all it takes to put patients at ease and make them feel relaxed whilst in our care.”

The Hello My Name Is campaign encourages nurses and other frontline NHS staff to tell their patients their name. The campaign was started on social networking website Twitter by Kate after she noticed the number of staff who did not introduce themselves to her when she was an inpatient with post-operative sepsis.

Kate works as a consultant in elderly medicine despite having terminal cancer, alongside promoting her campaign for NHS staff to make a pledge to introduce themselves in future to their patients.

You can support Dr Granger’s campaign on Twitter by sending her a message at @GrangerKate, including your name and the phrase #hellomynameis

Pictured left to right: Ursula Caldwell, clinical educator at Pennine Acute Trust; Molly Fitzpatrick; Dr Kate Granger, MBE and Gill Harris, chief nurse at Pennine Acute Trust.