I was recently a hospital in-patient with post-operative sepsis following a stent exchange procedure. During this admission I made some observations on the quality of my care. Perhaps the starkest of these was that not every member of staff who approached me introduced themselves. We have it drilled into us on day 1 of Clinical Medicine learning that starting the relationship with a patient begins with an introduction. It was easy marks in our exams. I’m sure it is the same for nursing and other healthcare professionals too. But something has failed…

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.

I have 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. I think 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.

So here the idea of #hellomynameis is born. If you support this idea please leave a comment below with your introduction to a patient. By doing this you are pledging to introduce yourself to every patient you meet. Please share this page with as many healthcare professionals as possible and let’s make things better… 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?”

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359 thoughts on “#hellomynameis

  1. Kate – I empathise completely and share yours and also a number of others frustrations re this. I would also like to congratulate you very much on the success of this campaign.
    I’m an ED consultant and have spent quite a bit of time in hospital as a patient over the last 4 months. Despite receiving some compassionate and excellent care, I too have become incredibly frustrated by the lack of engagement, understanding and basic communication extended to both myself and fellow ward patients by some members of staff. Feedback on results and investigations have been poor demonstrating individual (and team) lack of responsibility and accountability for individual patient care. Often those supposedly overseeing my care have no idea that I’ve had a scan today let alone what it shows. I am tired of watching doctors gaze at the floor when they realise my questions are reasonable and simple such as wanting to know the result of the blood test they took from me at 8am when it now 6pm and they are rushing out the door. I propose an extension to ‘Hello my name is” which goes something like “hello my name is…..AND i will be RESPONSIBLE / ACCOUNTABLE for your care today. I will come and discuss the results of your blood tests and any other investigations with you later today. If you have any questions at that stage i’d be happy to try to answer them”. Too many patients are left wanting / waiting for results, occupying an acute hospital bed un-necessarily only to be discharged on the WR the following morning (could be as late as 2 -3pm). Managers, as i’m am sure so many of you are aware, so many hospital beds are blocked by in-efficient task management and discharge planning, lack of empathy, compassion, understanding that the statistic in the bed is actually a human, with a job, a family, a life that they really are very keen to get back to, and could get back to that day/ that night if only someone who had engaged, who cared enough had remembered to check the blood / scan result that day……….I could go on, but it is not my intention to make this a forum for “the problem with bed blockages in ED”, but to support Kate’s campaign and suggest we can also and should also be encouraging responsibility and accountability in staff in seeking to improve both the patients experience and care.

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  6. Hello my name is Penelope….. I am a daughter of a very loving mum, who passed away very unexpectedly in the care of my local hospital. I am tomorrow going into a meeting with the staff, to explain how the events surrounding mum’s care or should I say the lack of care, has affected me. I have withdrawn the official complaint, in the hope that by engaging with the staff direct & telling them the power of not addressing a person when carrying out procedures has claimed my grieve. I should be grieving the passing of mum, not grieving the uncaring treatment witnessed. No explanation of who the nurses are & what they are about to do. The poor attitude of not only the nurses but the doctor, who recommended a catheter with no reasons why & many other uncaring attitudes. Addressing mum as “she” as though mum was not there! I would like to see a national dress back for all NHS staff, so relatives can easily recognise staff & their positions. If I can make a difference in this meeting tomorrow, I might be able to move on grieve the passing of my mum!

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  8. Hello Dr Granger, My name is Liz Hargreaves and I am an administrator working in the Children’s Audiology department. I am interested to read your comments and also add that I think this is a more universal failing than just with clinical staff. I often do not know the name or title/job role of people I encounter within the work place and would like to see more people adopting the approach you are promoting. I think it is important across the board and culturally we are not tuned into it. I think that maybe people feel self-conscience and embarrassed by having to bring attention to themselves in that way. Whatever the reason, it does result in a lack of professionalism. So from now on I am going to stand out from the crowd and state my name and job role when greeting new people in the work place.
    Good Luck with your campaign.

    Regards Liz

  9. Hi I’m Jackie King I’m one if the senior nurses with team, pleased to meet you.

    Kate you and your work is inspiring…all the best to you.

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  11. Hello my name is a great campaign . As a nurse and healthcare worker I was given a diagnosis of a brain tumour a year ago after an admission to ED the Consultant who I never had met just walked in and gave me my diagnosis without introducing themselves . Well done and good luck Kate

  12. Hello my name is Dawn . . . I’m a 3rd year student nurse, qualifying in September this year. I am currently researching for a Care Delivery and Management assignment and this campaign says so much about simple things lacking in patient care. A recent article in the Nursing Times considers the patients stress levels as they are transferred around hospitals, from ward to ward, often in the middle of the night. It questions how patients are to engage in caring relationships when they are moved around in such a way. The article also makes suggestions how this might dehumanise them. Hopefully this campaign will make huge differences and make bed managers and the hospital hierarchy stop and think about patient centred care more as they push them around from pillar to post at all hours of the night. Understandably, some transfers have to happen, but these should only be in the patient’s best interest or for very good reason. How can you say hello my name is and expect patients to remember who staff are if they are part of a bed juggling process. Well done Kate I love this campaign and always take pride in introducing myself to patients. It breaks barriers and helps make patients feel more involved.

  13. Hello my name is Rachel and I am a first year student mental health nurse, we have had the importance of introducing ourselves drummed into us from day one, there is no excuse for a lack of respect and compassion when helping vulnerable people.

  14. Hello Kate my name is Tracey Murphy I’m an assistant director of nursing and we have started your “hello my name is” campaign at our trust.. I would like out trust to do some work on the ” big orange button” your stories are very thought provoking, thank you for sharing them and good luck my thoughts are with you x

  15. Hi, my name is Su & I’m a nurse here, I’m part of a huge team of health care professionals who you will meet during your stay with us. How are you? Then ask general Q’s like who’s with you today, do you need/want to ask anything? weather, jokes & general banter to make them feel at ease :)

  16. Hello my name is elaine and I am a ward manager I will be looking after you today and will be responsible for your care. How are you feeling today
    Today I attended my trusts ward manager away day where we were shown your video and discussed your campaign. I and others were inspired and I am going to champion this on my ward and within the hospital
    Thank you for the inspiration

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  18. Hi my name is Maggie and I am one of the nurses from the bowel cancer screening programme. I will always try shake hands and make eye contact with my patients. All my patients have some level of anxiety when then meet me for the first time. To try and overcome that and many other barriers to effective communication such as, environment, perceived power inbalance etc I make a special effort to greet them with respect and postive regard. I have been a nurse for over 18 years and I when I was in training a ward sister told me to treat all patients with the same level of care and professionalism as would expect for my mum. This has stayed with me and throughout my career has been a benchmark for the care that I provide for my patients. Kate, wow your an inspiration you have so going on in your life and yet you make time to raise awareness on such an important but overlooked issue; but hey you know what they say ‘If you need someting doing, ask a busy women’.

  19. Hello my name is Paula. I work for the Motor Neurone Disease Association or MNDA for short.
    I was a nurse, but now I work as a Regional Advisor across the North West. I try to improve care services, advise staff and support people affected by Motor Neurone Disease.

  20. Hello my name is Sarah welcome to CAMHS. I’m the lead nurse here and a member of a great team of people including Dr’s , social workers, psychologists and other nurses ,all hoping that we can help young people and their families with their difficulties .Can I first of all ask you what you prefer to be called ?

    What a fantastic campaign Kate , really inspiring .We are sharing across our health authority.

  21. I’ve just returned from my evening ward round and ” hello my name is Michael Wilkinson, I’m one of the Consultant Surgeon’s here” is my usual intro or alternatively “I’m one of Mr/Ms X’s colleagues who asked me to come and see you…” I agree its not difficult but confess that time pressures may force me into the occasional lapse. Thanks for the reminder which I will continue to try and remember!

  22. Hello name is Tracy King, I’m not employed by the NHS but have an interview for a position of Ward Clerk this Thursday – eek! I have been reading some of your articles Dr Granger and find them inspiring. I will certainly be taking your thoughts with me to this interview, thank you for posting and making people aware. May I wish you all the best and thank you for your inspiration xx

  23. Hello my name is Anna Morris and I am a Theatre Sister at Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. I have attended a Safer Care conference today in Telford and would like to feed back to you that everyone in attendance wore a name sticker saying ‘hello my name is’. Such a simple thing that can make a big difference, and proof that going ‘back to basics’ is the way to build a good foundation for the future in nursing. Thank you.

  24. Hello, my name is Fiona Finlay, one of the doctors in the palliative care team. I’m hoping I can help you to feel a bit better. How are you today?
    You’ve given me lots to think about. Thank you.

  25. Good morning/ afternoon my name is Marie, and I will be looking after you today, I am will be here all day with you please grab me if there is anything I can do for you.

  26. Hello my name is Lindsay and I’m the midwife who will be looking after you. How are you today? I like to think that I always introduce myself to the women I meet and care for but your blog has made me wonder if this is always the case…I will certainly ensure from now that I always ensure that I do this. Thank you for this reminder of what is essentially basic care and a mark of respect for people who put their trust in us.

  27. ‘Hello my name is Liz Charalambous and I will be looking after you today. If there is anything you want just ask and we will do our best for you.’
    Thank you for your campaign Kate and wishing you the best for the future.

  28. Hello my name is Amy……I am registrar in elderly medicine in Bradford and have been introducing myself to all my patients after reading about this campaign and it has had some excellent feedback. I have also beenade aware of the need to feedback results of investigations to patients which has really improved the patient-doctor relationship for me.

  29. Hello my name is Katie, I’m 3rd year student nurse and Im one of the nurses who will be caring for you today.. Is there anything I can do for you?

    I often see health care professionals forgetting to introduce themselves and I’m often asked by patients “who was that?” And also “there are so many different coloured uniforms, I don’t know who’s a nurse and who’s not”.. This campaign is a step in the right direction in solving those issues. I make a pledge to use “Hello my name is.. For the rest of my nursing career and encourage others to do the same.

  30. Hello my name is Dr Jo and I am one of the hospice doctors looking after you. How are you feeling?

    Thankfully I am in an environment where we know how important it is to introduce ourselves and make our patients feel at ease – but it is always good to get a reality check and remind ourselves of how it is good practice to do so.
    I was also able to reflect yesterday how #hellomynameis worked in a private hospital ward with my husband and on the whole they nurses, the theatre assistant and even the cleaners and catering staff were good at introducing themselves. The only person who didn’t introduce themselves to me as a relative was the consultant looking after my husband…still some work to do I feel both in the NHS and privately. Just because you are paying for care in the private sector doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect the same courtesy from everyone involved in your care. Keep up the good work Kate – I think you are fab! Jo

  31. Hello, my name is Flossie and as of September this year I’ll be a medical student at King’s College London.

    I’ve done work experience at two big city hospitals, and the major difference I noticed between the two was the way the doctors talked to their patients. In one, perhaps the biggest hospital in the area, the doctors didn’t introduce themselves and barely even acknowledged the patients. They spoke to each other using long medical words and barely attempted to explain it to the poor patients, who had no idea what was going on. In the other, it was the opposite. There was this one consultant I shadowed, who had a really busy and overbooked clinic one day. He was getting quite frustrated and stressed with the workload, but each time he saw a patient, he would walk in and introduce himself with a smile, completely level-headed, and gave nothing but the best standard of care he could. That’s the sort of doctor I want to learn from!

    I noticed this campaign a couple of months ago on twitter, and can safely say that #hellomynameis is going to have a huge impact on my medical career. It’s something I will bear in mind throughout, and I’ll make sure my fellow medical students do the same. When I volunteer on the wards at my local hospital I make sure that I introduce myself to all the new patients.

    Keep it going Kate, you’re doing an amazing thing here! x

  32. Dear Dr.Kate. hello my name is Bridget and I am an healthcare assistant within the ed. I have been working in the nhs for 15 years….is it really that long..I used to work on the acute assessment unit and have thoroughly enjoyed my work. But over the past few years it has become apparent that overall attitudes of staff from top to bottom have definitely shown an increasing lack of personal care on a one to one basis. I am proud to care and hope any patients I come into contact with have been made to feel that they do matter as individuals. Sadly I feel I am in a minority and have no idea how to reverse this dont care attitude. My very best to you with your ongoing fight. Bridget

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