Campaigning doctor to speak at Health and Care Innovation Expo 2014

A doctor terminally ill with cancer will explain why her experience of being a patient led her to start a campaign to raise levels of compassion among NHS staff.

Dr Kate Granger, a Specialist Registrar in Geriatric Medicine from Leeds, will tell delegates at NHS England’s Health and Care Innovation Expo what she has found while seeing the NHS “through the eyes of a patient” and talk about some of her experiences since undergoing treatment.

Dr Granger’s insight will be just one of a number of fascinating presentations, debates and discussions at Expo to be held at Manchester Central on 3 and 4 March.

Known for her highly personal blogs and tweets as she battles her illness, Dr Granger will discuss patient experience and compassion in care with Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer.

Based on her experience as a patient, Dr Granger started a campaign called “hello my name is” to remind health care professionals and all staff of the importance of introducing themselves to patients and how this relatively ‘little thing’ can positively affect a patient’s experience of the treatment and care they receive.

Dr Granger explained: “In my mind ‘the little things’ aren’t little at all, they are indeed huge and of central importance in any practice of healthcare.”

“When I say ‘little things’ I mean someone sitting down next to you rather than standing over you; someone holding your hand when you’re upset or distressed; someone taking that extra moment to really listen and allow you to express your fears; someone recognising you are in pain and being gentle when they examine you.”

Compassion features as one of the 6Cs project championed by Jane Cummings – the others being care, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

The session featuring Dr Granger and Jane Cummings will also focus on what people in the NHS can and should be doing in their interactions with patients.

Dr Granger added: “Compassion is the buzz word in the NHS at present. We, as healthcare professionals, are all constantly being told to be more compassionate.

“But we hear stories of compassion failure every day in the media. I believe giving proper consideration to ‘the little things’ however, goes a long way to increasing the compassion we display to our patients, helping them to feel supported, respected and cared for during illness, at what is often the most vulnerable time of their life.”

Jane Cummings said: “Kate’s insight will help  people to really understand and engage with the concept of compassion and what it means to patients.

“Kate is very bravely using her personal experiences to teach us and I would highly recommend this session to anyone who wants to develop how they care for their  patients”.

Dr Granger will present the first  Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards at Expo, to an individual and a team

Other keynote speakers will include Lord Ara Darzi, Lord Victor Adebowale, Tim Kelsey, and chief executive Sir David Nicholson, as well as medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.

Everyone attending Expo will be a student at the pop-up NHS University, able to build their own bespoke course from a wide range of seminars and workshops.

The courses will be arranged around a set of themes including creating widening care in the primary sector;  excellence in acute and hospital care; catalyst for change; people powered health and care; leadership for change; inside health and care, and living well for longer.

As Expo is being staged in Manchester there will also be a special focus on the north, “This is how we are doing it”, featuring a series of case studies of how innovation is developing high quality care for all.

The two days will also feature Camp Expo, where delegates will be encouraged to pitch in ideas and showcase their work – with no agenda required. What happens at Camp Expo will be set by people who choose to present there.

Whether becoming a dementia friend at the dementia café, picking up new digital health skills or making a pledge for NHS Change Day, everyone will be inspired, will make new contacts and move the dial on their professional ambitions.

Running alongside Expo will be a fringe event with lots of lively debate.


Kate is a final year Specialist Registrar in Medicine for the Elderly working in Leeds.

One of her main clinical interests is Palliative Care in the acute hospital setting and she is currently studying for a University Certificate in Palliative Medicine.

Kate is also a terminally ill cancer patient with a very rare type of sarcoma, and is currently having palliative chemotherapy for a recent progression in her disease.

Kate has written books, as well as posting tweets and blogs regularly about her experiences of illness.

She is passionate about Quality Improvement and how she can use her experiences and observations as a patient to make the care delivered in the NHS better..


  1. Parul says:

    Although all staff should introduce themselves it seems like some trust are set on spending more money on Badges with ‘my name is…’ – I certainly would not like someone to stick thier badge in my face.
    Yet clinicians are very comfortable about discussing a pt. in an open ward without asking pt if that is ok or doing ward rounds when pt is trying to eat

  2. Dorina F O'Carroll says:

    Very interesting article to read however it makes me sad that so many “ordinary” people have voiced these concerns (myself included) often to deaf ears

    A GP raises concerns and is enabled to voice them before a large audience when will health care professionals start to listen to all those silent voices of the general public

    I for one could write a book about my horrfic experiences about the service i work for lets hope this does make a “difference” It is too late now for my son and husband but not for all the other silent voices