LIFESTYLE

'I'm A Person, Not Just A Diseased Body': Terminally-Ill Dr Kate Granger Launches Campaign To Give Patients Dignity

02/02/2015 10:33 | Updated 02 February 2015

A terminally ill doctor who launched a "compassionate" campaign to encourage fellow healthcare staff to introduce themselves to patients, has been backed by over 90 NHS organisations.

Leading figures such as David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt and Bob Geldof have also lent their support.

Dr Kate Granger, 31, launched the "Hello my name is..." campaign three years ago, shortly after being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

At the time, the hospital consultant said she was left feeling frustrated by medical staff who failed to introduce themselves throughout her treatment.

kate grainger

At the time of her diagnosis, Granger said that the doctor who informed her of the life-changing news that her cancer had spread didn't introduce himself to her. Nor did he look her in the eye.

"The lack of introductions really made me feel like just a diseased body and not a real person," Granger told BBC Radio 4.

But, she added, when staff members did introduce themselves it made the world of difference.

Granger's #hellomynameis campaign now acts as a reminder for staff to go back to basics and build vital human connection and trust with patients.

It's now evolved into a national campaign with 400,000 medical staff backing it across 90 NHS organisations, who are now working together to discuss how they can boost compassionate care for their patients.

Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt says that he fully supports the "powerful" campaign.

"All patients should be treated with compassion and the fact this movement has started from within the NHS itself makes it all the more powerful.

He added: "We know that doctors and nurses within the NHS are doing more than ever to provide safe and compassionate care and this movement is harnessing their energy."

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Meanwhile Granger hopes that, despite her terminal illness, the campaign will leave behind a legacy of treating patients with dignity and respect.

"I got my cancer diagnosis three years ago and unfortunately I'm not going to get better, I have a rocky road ahead of me," she said.

"I really hope my legacy will be putting compassionate practice right at the heart of healthcare."

Cancer Research And Prevention 2014

[H/T BBC]

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