Campaigner and cancer patient Dr Kate Granger dies


Kate Granger, the doctor who launched a campaign to make the NHS more patient-centric, and who inspired many patients and healthcare professionals, died on Saturday after a long struggle with cancer.

Dr Granger set about raising funds for local cancer centre in Yorkshire after being diagnosed in 2011 with a rare form of cancer, desmoplastic small-round-cell tumour (DSRCT), a type of sarcoma.

A geriatrician working in the NHS, Granger launched the #hellomynameis campaign to encourage healthcare professionals to introduce themselves properly to patients after having experienced this problem as a patient.

Addressing a major NHS conference on the subject, she implored healthcare professionals to “see me, not just my disease,” recounting a spell in hospital where she was referred to as “that girls with the rare cancer” and “bed seven”.

Launched in 2013 via Twitter, the #hellomynameis campaign caught the imagination of many doctors, nurses, receptionists and other NHS staff, and has been used to spearhead patient-centric initiatives across the health service.

She also launched the Compassionate Care Awards, which is now in its third year, and highlights examples of outstanding patient care, with the aim of spreading ideas and best practice across the health service.

“We are all deeply saddened at the passing of Dr Kate Granger,” said Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, responding to the news yesterday.

“Kate was a truly remarkable and inspirational individual who openly shared her daily battles with cancer, providing a source of strength and inspiration to countless people.

“Kate used her experiences to pioneer the #hellomyNameis campaign to remind staff to see patients as people.

“The campaign has been adopted across the country, making a huge difference to patients. It will be a profound legacy of her work, along with the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards and the countless people she has inspired with her example.

“She had humility, compassion and warmth in equal measure and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with [her husband] Chris and her family at this difficult time.”

Writing in a blog shortly before her death, Kate Granger she said she hoped to be at the Compassionate Care Awards in Manchester in September, but added: “If I have died then I will be watching on from elsewhere feeling proud that of one of my legacies to the NHS is alive and well.”

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Andrew McConaghie

25 July, 2016