Goodbye Kate Granger who said: “I am not a diseased body … I am Kate Granger”

Kate Granger, a doctor in West Yorkshire, passed away this week. She had terminal cancer.

Pic gratefully borrowed from BBC

During a hospital stay in August 2013 with post-operative sepsis, Kate noted that many staff looking after her did not introduce themselves before delivering her care.

“It felt incredibly wrong that such a basic step in communication was missing,” she wrote. “After ranting at my husband during one evening visiting time, he encouraged me to ‘stop whinging and do something!’”

So she did.

She launched ‘Hello, my name is’ to encourage NHS staff to connect and communicate with the patients they look after from the moment they first meet them.

“I firmly believe it is not just about common courtesy, but it runs much deeper. Introductions are about making a human connection between one human being who is suffering and vulnerable, and another human being who wishes to help.”

Kate believes that introductions begin therapeutic relationships and can instantly build trust in difficult circumstances.

In the comms business we ‘professionals’ are (hopefully) up-to-speed with the latest techniques, whether this is the creation of content, marketing that content, networking and communicating the results. That is what we do.

What Kate did was deliver all of the above on a platform of compassion, as opposed to one of reward.

Her message – and I urge you cast work aside for a few minutes and watch her video – is so simple and effective that it must work with equal effect in other spheres as well.

The world is in a state of high anxiety right now. Brexit, Nice, Turkey, Trump –v- Clinton – all these on top of existing tension and violence in Syria, Israel, Palestine, Somalia, Iraq and elsewhere.

Would it not be splendid if folk just said ‘Hello; my name is …’ instead?

Kate Granger wanted her campaign to be her legacy. And so it will be if we all play a part.