The year was 2013. Doctor and terminally ill cancer patient Kate Granger was again in hospital. During her difficult treatment, there was something in particular that was bothering her. Some of the many doctors and nurses she was in contact with, and were treating her, did not introduce themselves.
Her husband, Chris Pointon, challenged her to do something about it. Kate, who already had written a book – The Other Side – about her experiences as a patient, and had 24000 followers on Twitter, started the #hellomynameis campaign on the social media platform.
Four years and over 1.6 billion Twitter impressions later, the movement has spread to more than twenty countries. Kate sadly passed away in 2016, but her legacy lives on through her husband, who has kept the campaign alive. “Introductions cost little money, take little time and make a big difference,” says Chris.
Chris is currently on a global tour to promote the campaign even wider, talk about the power of a simple introduction, share good and bad practices in healthcare and raise money for charity. This week he has visited Counties Manukau Health.
“Saying ‘hello my name is’ is the first step. It breaks down barriers of power between a patient and a healthcare professional. It puts the patient at ease; the patient feels treated as an individual.”
His ultimate aim is for every hospital, anywhere in the world to know about the campaign, and for people to introduce themselves. “If it helps one person, it is worth the investment from Kate’s view and mine.”
Until the end of 2017, Chris plans to visit over 50 hospitals and events to talk about the campaign. “The more I can spread the word first hand, the more I can tell the story of Kate and #hellomynameis,” says Chris.