A young doctor with a passion for patient care? Yes, that is clearly the case. But at just 29, Dr Granger was diagnosed with cancer.
As a terminally ill cancer patient, she had been informed she may only live for another 14 months. But over the five years post her initial diagnosis, Dr Granger achieved so much.
I’ve been humbled and blown away by the courage, pride, commitment, love and dedication she has shown to us all at her most vulnerable times.
So grab a cuppa and meet Dr Kate Granger MBE, the lady behind the first of my 12 inspirational women blogs.
Inspiring Women: Dr Kate Granger MBE
I first came across Dr Granger on Twitter in 2015. With 47k followers, I was surprised that it took me so long but quickly came to realise something very special was happening with how nurses and doctors were communicating with their patients.
It was changing. And it was changing because of Kate.
Before I jump in, if you aren’t familiar with this hashtag, I dare you to open up Twitter and pop #hellomynameis into the search bar. Actually, I’ve set it up for you, just click HERE to view the results.
Be prepared to spend some time on Twitter once you do but it will give you a feel for exactly why Dr Kate Granger MBE is a name that I often quote when people ask who inspire me.
You’ll find nurses, doctors, patients and even awards dedicated to this national campaign initiated by Dr Granger.
You see, she changed the quality of care that patients receive in the NHS with four simple words. Those four words that you’ll find in that hashtag and that had failed so many patients before her national campaign which has since gone worldwide.
As a patient, one of the most vulnerable times of her life, she had realised that so many of the staff looking after her, didn’t introduce themselves.
If you think about why those staff were in contact with Kate, they may have been talking to her about personal information. They may even have been discussing difficult decisions re continuing with therapy and/or choices of treatment. They may have been responsible for undertaking procedures or checks with Kate of a more intimate nature.
She realised how a simple introduction would help patients maintain dignity and feel more than a number in a day of the NHS. Because she was one of them and she knew how important that human connection was.
She had a vision and in a very short period of time her campaign, aimed at doctors and nurses, was rolled out in 120 NHS institutions and 100 other countries. It’s now part of the routine medical communication training.
She used social media at it’s best and I daren’t think of how many patients have benefited as a result. Perhaps you’ve been one of them and spotted a name badge starting with #hellomynameis.
As a result, Granger was awarded an MBE in 2015.
Fundraising – £300k and counting!
Just a few days before Kate passed away, she was able to celebrate raising £250k along with her husband Chris for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre Appeal.
They both played a key role in arranging several events but also donated the proceeds from her two books. These were both written based on her experiences as a patient, The Other Side and the Bright Side.
As a keen baker, there were yummy photos of cake sales and just yesterday I read that they’d hit the £300k milestone.
A massive achievement and just another example of how dedicated Kate was to improving others in her own situation.
You are Not Alone
When first diagnosed, it’s reported that when Kate first started her blog she vowed to “live-Tweet” her death to encourage the British to talk more openly about dying.
She, of course, went a lot further than tweeting to help others in her position feel like they weren’t alone.
Books, blogs, TV appearances.
She shared the ups, downs, the good, the bad and helped many find a voice for themselves.
She also helped other doctors and nurses truly understand the thought and emotions that patients experience.
In the final few months of her life, she did, in fact, live up to her promise. But as you can see from her tweets, she used this time to say thank you to so many.
So gracious. So loving. So Kate.
One Small Part of A Bigger Picture
I hope that you’ve enjoyed getting to know Kate a little. It’s a story that I’ve been inspired by and one in which I followed with so many others during my time working in the NHS. I was so proud to see one inspirational lady help change care in the hospitals I worked in
I can see how hard her husband Chris is now working to ensure that their work continues. I have a funny feeling that her legacy will continue for a long long time.
I didn’t personally know Kate and I know that this is only a fraction of her story that I’ve managed to share with you. She was, of course, a wife, a friend, a family member, a geriatrician, an aunt and so much more. My own few words can’t scratch the surface of what I expect others around her will have seen, shared and loved.
As I write this, I know that I can’t capture how I feel about Kate and how she’s inspired me into this short blog. Words sometimes can’t quite get across the strength of a feeling.
But I hope in some way, my words do show just how inspirational she was to me.
She made me want to better person both on a personal and work level too. I hope she helps do that for you too.
You can find out more about Kate and her story via her websites and social media feeds below.