Happy second birthday to #HelloMyNameIs

Today marks a milestone on the #hellomynameis journey as it reaches its second anniversary. 2 years ago today I was in hospital with a post-operative infection, and was inspired by a conversation with my husband during evening visiting time. I had been moaning to Chris about the lack of introductions from the healthcare staff looking after me. Being the practical optimist that Chris is, he simply told me to “stop whinging darling and if it is that important to you do something about it.” So we did. And it all started with a tweet…

***I’m going to start a ‘Hello. My name is…’ campaign. Sent Chris home to design the logo… #hellomynameis***

Reflecting on everything that has happened 2 years later is quite surreal. We had a tiny idea. We used my voice, passion and dedication to improve the NHS that I so dearly love and my message was heard loud and clear across the care sector. The journey has led us to Buckingham Palace to receive my MBE from HRH Prince of Wales, on a UK wide tour of the country where we met 2000 members of frontline staff, to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister and to the Scottish Parliament. The campaign has received national media coverage and the social media reach statistics are astounding.

I firmly believe that communication and compassion are the most important of the 6Cs and that stating the obvious is a useful thing to do. I’ve just had another hospital admission for neutropaenic sepsis. When my Consultant came to see me he brought his brand new team of junior doctors. Four new faces looking at a washed out, sweaty, pale and in pain version of me. But DtM did something special. He introduced me with “this is Kate” and then asked them to all introduce themselves. Immediately I was no longer the circus act but an active participant in the consultation, no longer surrounded by strangers. This is why #hellomynameis has become so important to me. It makes a huge difference to patient experience. I continue to receive stories from other fellow patients about their positive and negative experiences of introductions and these are my main motivator to keep the campaign alive and flourishing.

I am so grateful to each and every individual who has pledged their support to the campaign. Without the NHS responding to my call none of this would have been possible. The energy of our champions out there to spread the word is fantastic and I would like to say a huge thank you to anyone who has done anything to promote #hellomynameis.

This is all about a simple behaviour that forces us to connect with our patients, to foster relationships and see the person behind the illness.

What can we do to keep the momentum of the campaign going? All ideas welcomed and appreciated…