Dr Kate Granger is to undertake a gruelling tour to promote her #hellomynameis compassionate care campaign.
Kate, 33, who has terminal cancer, will start the whirlwind roadshow on 17 June, visiting 16 healthcare organisations to meet NHS staff in just nine hectic days.
She will be accompanied by her husband of 10 years, Chris Pointon, who has been at her side throughout her four-year cancer battle and helped to promote the #hellomynameis social media campaign as well as raising more than £160,000 which they have donated to cancer causes.
The #hellomynameis campaign led directly to the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards that will be presented for the second year at Expo 2015 in Manchester in September. Kate has proudly described the awards – which have received 90 entries this year – as “my legacy to the NHS”.
Her tour starts at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust on 17 June and finishes at St John’s Hospice in Bedford on 24 June. In that time they will cross-cross Britain, visiting England, Scotland and Wales while clocking up 1,600 miles.
“I started the campaign almost two years ago when I became frustrated by the number of hospital staff who failed to introduce themselves to me when I was an inpatient,” said Kate. “As a doctor it felt very wrong that this basic step in communication and compassion was missing. So, supported by my husband, I vowed to try to bring about a lasting positive change.”
Kate’s idea was a simple one: to use social media primarily to remind, encourage and inspire healthcare staff to introduce themselves to their patients.
“I firmly believe a friendly introduction is about far more than just common courtesy but rather human connections, therapeutic relationships and building trust with patients.”
Never in their dreams could Kate and Chris have thought the #hellomynameis campaign would take off in such an amazing fashion.
Kate now has more than 36,200 followers around the world and #hellomynameis has received more than 500 million Twitter impressions.
The campaign gathered incredible momentum with a national ‘big bang’ launch in February. It attracted support from over 100 NHS organisations and significant media attention. It has since reached across the globe with hospitals in America, Australia, Canada and Europe all becoming involved. UK volunteers treating patients with Ebola in Sierra Leone have also been following the campaign’s ethos by writing their names on their protective clothing.
Kate added: “We want to keep the campaign in people’s minds and for them to keep working on it within their organisations. For people to hear how #hellomynameis came about is the most powerful asset of the campaign.
“We are going to be visiting hospices and community trusts as well as acute hospitals. I think we are going to have a blast.”
Husband Chris added: “The idea came as a result of the large number of requests Kate receives on a daily basis to talk to people across the country and all around the world. Kate sent out a tweet asking if people wanted to meet her and within two hours she had received 60 responses from different trusts and organisations.”
Those who have signed up to #hellomynameis include politicians, health leaders, stars and celebrities.
Prime Minister David Cameron, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and NHS England’s National Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh have all backed the campaign. They stand alongside the likes of Sir Bob Geldof, Kylie Minogue, chef Michelle Roux Junior, Hollywood star Drew Barrymore, most of the cast of Coronation Street and the Hairy Bikers.
Kate’s campaign is now supported by 100 NHS Trusts and she has been awarded an MBE “for her services to the NHS and improving care” – an honour she will receive at Buckingham Palace on 12 June.
Kate explained: “To keep up the momentum, Chris and I decided it was important that more NHS staff were able to hear my story in person, so we came up with the grand plan to go on tour.
“It is very exciting to be able to meet people from all over the country and spread the #hellomynameis message further. It will be an incredibly tiring but I hope productive week and I’m extremely grateful to Chris for his immense logistics skills to keep me on track!”
The tour will start in Leicester on Wednesday 17 June and will then continue to Coventry and Northampton, followed by Ipswich and Cambridge on Thursday 18 June, then Worcester and Cardiff on Friday 19 June. Chester, Salford and East Lancashire CCG will be visited on Monday 22 June, followed by North Cumbria, Dumfries and Durham on Tuesday 23 June and finishing off with St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, Rotherham hospital and St John’s Hospice in Bedford on Wednesday 24 June.
Watch a video of Kate and Chris talking about the tour.
The tour itinerary:
- 17 June: Leicester Royal Infirmary, University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust, Northampton General Hospital.
- 18 June: Ipswich hospital, Cambridge Community Services (with invitations out to the acute Trust, medical and nursing schools) – event to be held at The Moller Centre, Churchill College
- 19 June: Worcester hospital, University Hospital Wales
- 22 June: Countess of Chester Hospital, Salford Royal, East Lancashire CCG
- 23 June: North Cumbria NHS Trust to be held at West Cumberland hospital, NHS Dumfries and Galloway to be held at Easterbrook Hall, University hospital of North Durham
- 24 June: St Gemma’s hospice Leeds, Rotherham hospital, St John’s hospice Bedford