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Campaign calls for empathy on patient names

If your name is Benjamin, but you rather be called Ben, you’ll understand the sentiment behind a new campaign launched by Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.

#CallMe is aimed at encouraging staff at all levels to establish from the outset how patients like to be addressed, regardless of what is on their notes.

The initiative follows a new patient consultation that reveals those called by their chosen names felt more reassured, comfortable and understood during conversations and consultations with staff.

Examples included a man whose birth name is William, but is better known as Randall. Another was seven-year-old Benjamin from Bishop's Stortford, who much prefers Ben, and whose image has been chosen for campaign materials.

Ben Hardy, CUH patient

Others had nicknames bestowed on them by family and friends to reflect their personal traits, hobbies, jobs or something else – and very remote from anything on paperwork!

To support the campaign staff will greet patients by saying “Hello my name is…” before enquiring as what they like to be called.

Staff will wear a bright yellow “Hello my name is” badge, which supports another campaign by terminally ill Dr Kate Granger to remind staff about the importance of introductions and compassion in healthcare.

Duncan Bushnell, CUH patient and Bismi Philip, CUH adult registered nurse

The action further supports the Trust’s ambition to be – together – safe, kind and excellent. Remembering to ask a patient’s chosen name allows us to put them at the heart of care and creates a more inclusive environment for everyone. It can have a positive impact on their mental and emotional well-being. We would like to thank all those patients that joined in our consultation and helped shape what we hope will be a very successful campaign.

Lorraine Szeremeta, CUH chief nurse

The late Dr Granger’s touching story can be found at