Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has pledged its support to a major campaign which has become a social media phenomenon.
The trust is rolling out the national Hello, My Name Is... campaign in its health and social care services in Northumberland and health services in North Tyneside which encourages all staff, regardless of role, to introduce themselves to patients and service users.
It is recognised that this is a small gesture and personal touch that makes a significant difference to compassionate care.
To kick-start the campaign in Northumbria Healthcare, Hello, My Name Is… founder Dr Kate Granger visited the trust and delivered an inspirational speech to more than 100 nurses who care for patients on the frontline and have a mentoring role in teaching, guiding and inspiring other healthcare staff.
Dr Granger, a registrar from Yorkshire specialising in elderly medicine, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, launched the campaign after a hospital stay last summer when she found that many staff did not introduce themselves before delivering care.
Determined to do something about it, Kate and her husband initiated a Twitter campaign with the mission to get as many members of NHS staff as possible to pledge to introduce themselves to their patients.
In the last year, the campaign has had over 56 million contacts on social media and gained widespread support including from Prime Minister David Cameron, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, Labour leader Ed Miliband and chef Michael Roux as well as NHS professionals across the country.
Nurses attending the conference pledged their support by having their photographs taken with the #hellomynameis placards and vowed to take it back to their ward and share it with their colleagues.
Dr Granger said: “I was honoured to be invited to visit Northumbria Healthcare, have the chance to speak directly to staff who care for patients and help spread the word about the campaign. I am truly touched that yet another trust is backing the campaign and pledging to do such a simple thing that makes such a difference.
“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.
“I have been impressed to hear of the fantastic work happening at Northumbria and, given the commitment and enthusiasm of the staff that I’ve met, I am confident that the campaign will be a success at the trust and that patients will benefit.”
Rosemary Stephenson, the trust’s director of nursing, said: “We were delighted that Kate was able to come to Northumbria Healthcare to tell us about her campaign.
“Her personal story is truly touching and her campaign strikes a chord no matter who you are - a patient, a relative or a healthcare professional – that just a few words can make such a difference in providing compassionate care.
“All the nurses here today have been inspired to lead a change across the organisation where we all remember to introduce ourselves to each and every patient we come into contact with day to day, no matter how busy we are.
“All of our staff do an amazing job delivering high quality, personalised care and this campaign complements all the work we’re doing to continuously improve the experiences of the patients in our care.”