Saturday 14 December 2019

Doctors to give 'personal touch'

St James's Hospital in Dublin Photo: Colin O'Riordan
St James's Hospital in Dublin Photo: Colin O'Riordan

IT IS a simple and compassionate gesture that can make a big difference to a hospital patient who is battling illness in unfamiliar and lonely surroundings. The campaign to urge more staff to introduce themselves with the greeting ‘Hello My Name Is...’ is now spreading globally.

St James’s Hospital in Dublin is the latest to make it part of the daily automatic routine on its wards. The campaign was started by Kate Granger, a 31-year-old English doctor who was struck by a lack of the personal touch when she was being treated for terminal cancer three years ago.

“I want my legacy to be a better health service,” the consultant said. The doctor who told her the cancer had spread did not introduce himself or look her in the eye.

Her campaign reminds staff to go back to basics, build trust and make a human connection with patients by, at the very least, giving their names.

St James’s Hospital chief executive Lorcan Birthistle commented: “The simple exchange of names between any member of hospital staff and a patient is how the foundations of a relationship, built on trust and compassion, is fostered. We take a holistic approach to the care of our patients.

“The launch of the ‘Hello my name is…’ campaign reinforces our continued commitment to the delivery of person-centred care.”

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