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Compassionate Kate’s pride at her NHS legacy

Dr Kate Granger says the Compassionate Care Awards named after her will be her legacy to the NHS.

In a moving interview, Dr Granger, who has terminal cancer, told of her pride for the awards which stemmed from her #hellomynameis campaign launched two years ago.

She presented the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards for the second time at the Health and Innovation Expo 2015 in Manchester Central today.

Speaking before this year’s awards with her husband of ten years, Chris Pointon, who helped launch the campaign now followed by 38,000 people around the world, Kate, 33, said: “I can’t really explain how proud I am to have something like the awards named after me. It’s really a big part of my legacy to the NHS.

“I’m a very positive person and I think celebrating when care is good needs to happen more often.

“The first awards, were such an amazing experience in terms of meeting all the nominees and the winners who were so bowled over by getting an award for what they saw as just their everyday job. It was just an amazing day.”

Kate, who collected her MBE  for “services to healthcare” from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in June, added: “The fact it is going to continue and be something Chris can be proud of when I’m not here is also important to me.

“It’s an award that anyone can enter and anyone can win, from a student nurse in their first year to some very experienced clinicians, everyone is on a level playing field when it comes to compassionate practice. We want to make these awards as big and as influential as possible.”

The Kate Granger Awards were born out of her #hellomynameis campaign calling for more compassion in care, which began while she was undergoing treatment for cancer. She was disappointed that staff failed to show basic compassion by introducing themselves before her treatment.

The campaign has since become a global phenomenon, with #hellomynameis receiving more than 800million Twitter impressions and the hellomynameis.org website getting around 100 hits per day.

The Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards have also proved just as successful and this year Kate and the panel of judges had 100 entries to select from, narrowing them down to 18 finalists before selecting Kate selected three winners.

Kate was just as bowled over with this year’s winners and as she presented the awards she said: “The #hellomynameis campaign struck a chord with professionals and patients. The journey over the last two years has taken me all the way to Buckingham Palace to get an MBE. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has done anything to promote the campaign.

“It’s been on my bucket list to be here to present the awards for the second time, so I have been a determined and tough little cookie.

“I am very proud of everyone who entered or was nominated, everyone who was shortlisted and of all the winners.

This year’s Individual Award went to Lydia Jackson, a Healthcare Assistant with the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, for the incredible work she did with a man with an extensive fungating lesion to his face, following radiotherapy for a squamous cell carcinoma.

Lydia’s compassionate and excellent interpersonal skills enabled her to develop a therapeutic relationship with this gentleman who lives alone, in poor circumstances and who is also fiercely independent.

The Team Award went to Harvey’s Gang at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is a unique initiative that enables young patients to spend a day in the haematology laboratory learning about their bloods and the testing process.

The initiative was devised by Malcolm Robinson, chief biomedical scientist, the transfusion laboratory manager and the pathology team, working in collaboration with the paediatric team. The idea came about following a one-off request by a young patient called Harvey Baldwin.

Harvey was just seven years old when he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. He wanted to understand his condition and how having blood samples made a difference to his care.

The third prize, the Organisation Award, went to The Care Home ‘Ask and Talk’ (C.H.A.aT) volunteer service and Think About Me, at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABHB).

C.H.A.aT volunteer service is a unique partnership between ABHB and the NHS Retirement Fellowship (NHSRF) offering support to patients living in nursing homes and their families.

Skilled, retired NHS staff offer confidential one-to -one support to provide an opportunity for older people living in care homes and their relatives to talk about their experiences.  They also identify those good practices which seek to personalise, individualise, respect and maintain an older person’s dignity. They share and celebrate good practice while also identifying and acting on what may need to change.

Now watch a video interview with Kate and her husband Chris Pointon talking about the legacy of the awards:


The Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards 2015 – Winners in detail

Individual Award: Lydia Jackson, Healthcare assistant, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Lydia delivers exceptional care to a wide range of patients and is a leading example of how being compassionate and caring can have a positive impact on a patient.

Lydia’s team currently looks after a gentleman with an extensive fungating lesion to his face, following radiotherapy for a squamous cell carcinoma. Lydia’s compassionate and excellent interpersonal skills have enabled her to develop a therapeutic relationship with this gentleman who lives alone, in poor circumstances and who is also fiercely independent.

As the gentleman’s condition deteriorated, he experienced several problems and was admitted to an acute hospital. Being taken into hospital was not in line with his wishes and he was discharged that same evening.  Lydia, along with members of her team, supported him to be as safe as possible within his home, going the extra mile by staying with him well over their normal working hours. Although Lydia is not the only member of the team involved in his care, she is the one person he completely trusts.

Linda Graham, team lead, Eden Community Nursing, said: “It was an absolute privilege to work alongside Lydia that evening to see the relationship and trust this gentleman has for her. She treats him with such dignity and respect and he listens to her gentle encouragement responding to her in a way he does not with other staff.

“She is a shining example of compassionate care, going about her daily work with a quiet modesty and not always aware of the qualities she possesses and the impact she has on others.”

Well respected by her team, her intuitive, astute and cheerful nature is always commented on by her patients. She has embraced all the changes and challenges district nursing has faced over the past few years and is a credit to both herself and her team.

Linda added: “Lydia is currently working full time and undertaking further education  to access nursing studies in the future. I support her wholeheartedly and would love to see her achieve this as she will be an outstanding nurse – someone I would want to look after me or my relatives if needed.”

Team Award: Harvey’s Gang, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Harvey’s Gang is an initiative that enables young patients to spend a day in the haematology laboratory learning about their bloods and the testing process.

The initiative was devised by Malcolm Robinson, chief biomedical scientist, the transfusion laboratory manager and the pathology team, working in collaboration with the paediatric team. The idea came about following a one-off request by a young patient called Harvey Baldwin.

Harvey was just seven years old when he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. He wanted to understand his condition and how having blood samples made a difference to his care. Following his request, the paediatric nursing team contacted the haematology laboratory at Worthing Hospital and it was arranged for Harvey to visit the lab.

Harvey hand-delivered his own blood samples to the laboratory and watched as they went through the testing process. Harvey loved the experience and enjoyed being treated like a trainee scientist for the day.

Sadly, Harvey lost his battle on 6 October 2014. Not only had Harvey made an impact on all the staff, but Harvey’s experience in the lab had made a huge impact on him. Malcolm wanted to offer this opportunity and the same experience to other critically ill children and discussed this with the team.

Leaping into action, the paediatric team launched Harvey’s Gang. It was decided that children who attended the lab would become part of Harvey’s Gang and receive an attendance certificate, white coat, security badge and goodie bag.

The staff in pathology, under the leadership of Malcolm, have now conducted 13 laboratory tours since the start of Harvey’s Gang. The philosophy of the programme is now moving to the hospital’s St Richard’s site and into the pharmacy department to help broaden patient’s experience, knowledge and understanding of what happens in pharmacy.

Tracey Mudd, head of midwifery, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Each child has had an impact on staff in so many different ways. The team are experiencing greater job satisfaction and have forged greater team working and professional development.

“They get asked a lot of questions and are happy to help broaden the patients’ knowledge and understanding. The team is making a real difference to the standard of care each member of Harvey’s Gang receives. The patients love their visit and are able to do things they perhaps would not otherwise have been even able to do”.

Organisation Award: The Care Home ‘Ask and Talk’ (C.H.A.aT) volunteer service and Think About Me, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABHB)

C.H.A.aT volunteer service is a unique partnership between ABHB and the NHS Retirement Fellowship (NHSRF) offering support to patients living in nursing homes and their families.

Skilled, retired NHS staff offer confidential one-to -one support to:

  • provide an opportunity for older people living in care homes and their  relatives to talk about their experiences
  • identify those good practices which seek to personalise, individualise, respect and maintain an older person’s dignity
  • share and celebrate good practice
  • identify and act on what may need to change.

Locally, there are over 1,500 NHS-funded patients living in nursing homes. Following high numbers of local safeguarding referrals, a Home Office inquiry, and televised programmes that identified significant abuse in care homes, ABHB revised its governance processes. This was to improve the focus on patients’ experience, and safeguarding where care is provided for NHS patients by non-NHS providers.

Often, while older people are willing to talk about care, they are reluctant to talk to statutory bodies about concerns they may have. Innovative ways to engage patients and families were needed to maximise feedback.

Following the Panorama programme on abuse in care homes, the NHSRF contacted ABHB seeking assurances on the systems and processes in place to protect vulnerable people. Members of the NHSRF were keen to help and an idea was born.

Skilled, retired NHS professionals would make up a volunteer workforce to improve patient experience. Feedback would be used to improve the lives of all older people living in care homes.

Volunteers quickly identified four key areas for improvement:

  • activities were not always personalised
  • involvement in health care decisions needed to significantly improve
  • there were limited opportunities for people to access the wider community
  • relatives wanted to hear feedback from the people living in the home about what it was like to live there,

Following this feedback, C.H.A.aT took steps to improve, by setting up workshops to make sure good practice was shared nationally. They rolled-out training relating to patient involvement, advance care planning and maximised the opportunities for residents to go out.

The service also secured funding to develop a local web-based feedback system called Think About Me. This enables residents and relatives to leave comments about their experience which helps others, who are looking for a care home, to make a more informed choice.

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