The inspirational #hellomynameis campaign for more personalised care was launched five years ago by Dr Kate Granger MBE, a registrar in elderly medicine who had terminal cancer.
Following her own experience of the impersonal care she received while in hospital, Dr Granger set out to improve the way NHS staff communicate with patients, launching the #hellomynameis campaign while battling her incurable disease.
The initiative aimed to highlight to healthcare staff the importance of introducing themselves properly to patients, not just through common courtesy but also as a way of establishing trust and making a human connection with someone at a very vulnerable and painful time of their lives.
Sadly, Dr Granger, died in 2016 at the age of 34. She had reached her target of raising £250,000 for cancer charities, as well as receiving a tremendous response to the #hellomynameis campaign.
The initiative has so far been supported across the world by over 400,000 health workers and 90 NHS organisations, and continues to be widely promoted through a range of health and social care settings today. It is a movement we fully advocate here at Continued Care.
Even the smallest things can make a big difference to our clients’ day-to-day lives, and our carers understand this and offer valuable support. We all understand the care system is under pressure, but there is no excuse to let this impact on the personal side of caring for someone.
Just taking the time to talk or finding out if there is anything extra they need can really raise someone’s mood. It may be as simple as a walk around the garden and enjoying some fresh air, buying a newspaper or arranging an appointment.
Spending time in people’s homes means we see first-hand what is troubling or bothering them. Even a small intervention can mean so much to the person we are caring for and our staff do their best to make a difference wherever they can.
As a care provider, we are also very aware of the negative impact loneliness can have on both health and wellbeing. It is a topic very much in the spotlight, and the recent publication of the BBC Loneliness Experiment makes interesting reading. Older people who may be too frail to leave their home can often experience loneliness and it is our job to support them. Personalised care, in our view, is a way of combating loneliness because it leads to better conversations and understanding so people receive more tailored support to suit their needs.
By following the #hellomynameis message, not only can all caregivers offer courtesy and respect to their clients, but they also gain the privilege of getting to know them better and building their trust, helping to make their lives that little bit easier.