City doctor calls for better communication with patients

NHS Change Day logoA top Southampton doctor has urged healthcare workers to start every patient or family conversation with their name and job title.

Dr Kate Pryde, a consultant paediatrician at Southampton Children’s Hospital, said simple introductions could “make all the difference” to a patient’s experience of treatment and care – but were often overlooked.

She spoke out ahead of NHS Change Day 2014, a national event which gives staff across the country the chance to make a public ‘pledge’ they believe will help improve services for patients, families and colleagues.

“Patient-centred care is of the utmost importance to us all and, having recently been a patient myself, I was really struck by the difference it made when people introduced themselves and said what they were going to do,” explained Dr Pryde.

Her call comes after a campaign launched by Dr Kate Granger, a specialist registrar in geriatric medicine in Leeds, to raise levels of compassion among NHS staff following a difficult hospital experience of her own.

Dr Pryde said: “Kate Granger, a terminally ill doctor, inspired a phenomenal movement with her blog and Twitter campaign #hellomynameis after her experiences of care and even our youngest patients tell us how great it is when we use our names.

“My pledge is to ensure I start every conversation with a patient, family or an unfamiliar staff member with 'hello my name is...'.

“It doesn’t take any effort on our part but can make all the difference to our patients.”

As part of NHS Change Day, which takes place on Monday (3 March), University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Fiona Dalton has pledged to sign up as hospital volunteer on a permanent basis.

In addition, chairman John Trewby will spend the day helping porters transport patients around Southampton General Hospital.

To find out more about NHS Change Day, including the national pledges which urge members of the public to give blood, promise to attend hospital appointments and give up an hour of their time for volunteering, visit

Posted on Friday 28 February 2014

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