Compassion in Practice was first presented as the new three year vision and strategy for nursing, midwifery and care staff on the 4th December 2012. The 6Cs as it’s widely known has been in place for a little over one year and many trusts are using its framework to improve practice.
At Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust we haven’t talked too much publically about the 6Cs although I am confident we are all about commitment, compassion, courage, care, communication and competence. I know that because I see it every time I am in our services. In 2014, I have made a commitment to sharing with colleagues, people using our services and partners how we deliver every day within the framework of the 6Cs, but don’t take my word for it, read two blogs posts below written by our staff who tell you how we do it. – Beverley Murphy
“There is a saying -‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ – which describes wonderfully well how small things with seeming insignificance can emerge and grow into solid, enduring structures. So it is with ‘Hello, my name is’.
In September 2013, Kate Granger, a 31 year old doctor from Wakefield was an inpatient in an NHS hospital. Kate has a terminal illness and both tweets and blogs about her patient experience. What Kate noticed was that not every healthcare staff member introduced themselves to her. Kate’s observation was that healthcare staff know a great deal about their patients, but patients know very little about the person treating them – sometimes not even their name. This creates a power imbalance, tipping the scales away from the already vulnerable patient. Kate suggested that as healthcare practitioners we should make that first small step on the way to building trust with those in our care. And so #hellomynameis was born –to give it its proper Twitter hashtag. You can read Kate’s blog here. The idea spread rapidly through social media and through the nursing community in particular. When I attended the CNO Summit at the end of November 2013 to co-present a seminar with @WeNurses, every speaker, (myself included) began ‘ Hello, my name is…’ Others are now using the hashtag #hellomynameis in their Twitter handle or putting it into badges and banners. It was a testament not only to the speed and innovation in social media, but also to Kate’s understanding of what compassionate care should look like.
In mental healthcare, engaging and communicating with people is our core business. Indeed, why would anyone warm to a health professional who doesn’t tell you their name? And who can tell the story of their distress to a nameless other? So it seems right and natural that we follow the lead given to us by Kate.
In our daily practice, what simple things can we do which capture the spirit of #hellomynameis?
Here are some suggestions:
- If you have a staff photo board, give it a ‘Hello, my name is…’ title.
- If you are giving a presentation, think about starting with the words ‘Hello, my name is…’
- If you are meeting with a service user for the first time, try ‘Hello, my name is…’
- If you are devising care plans with people, you can incorporate introduction as an initial intervention to support engagement and build trust.
- Try out ‘Hello, my name is’ with new people or temporary staff you may be working with.
I would love to hear from those in the Trust who are aware of or have used #hellomynameis and who have an interest in its impact on practice.
Hello, my name is Alison Inglehearn, clinical team lead nurse. You can contact me at the Women’s Service, Newsam Centre, Leeds.”
Alison.Inglehearn@nhs.net / tel: 01138556378
“I’m a newly qualified mental health nurse, who has recently started working as a community mental health nurse at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Choosing to be a nurse was the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a nurse and, unlike most people, I don’t remember when I made the decision to be one, but I do know that I always wanted to make a difference somehow and now I can’t imagine being anything different.
In addition to being a nurse, I’m lots of other things. I’m a mentor and a student again and I’m also a Care Maker. “But what is a Care maker?” is a sentence that every Care Maker has heard numerous times. Well, we were recruited by Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England to act as ambassadors for the 6Cs. The 6Cs are defined within the National Nursing, Midwifery and Care Staff Vision and Strategy, entitled ‘Compassion in Practice’ as being care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment. They are the values and behaviours that should underpin care, wherever it takes place, and are seen as the cornerstones of compassionate care. As Care Makers, it is our role to champion the 6Cs by providing a link between the National Strategy and everyday nursing practice. The aim is to capture the spirit of London 2012, learning from the way Game Makers were recruited, trained and valued and instilling the spirit of energy and enthusiasm they created. We have had the same training as our colleagues, but we have a particular interest in promoting a culture of compassionate care through the 6Cs in practice.
Care Makers as a group are the catalyst for a new way of thinking about the NHS. We are there to promote and celebrate good care and examples of when hurdles are overcome, which is where the 6Cs come from. If care is provided, that is compassionate, caring, courageous, and with competence, commitment and good communication, then we believe that this helps ensure that the person receiving care from our services is more likely to feel valued and respected.
In my experience staff in Leeds embody the 6Cs in their everyday practice, they just might not realise it. Everyone I work with puts the person who is receiving care from our services first and tries their best to work with the individual to find the right solution for that person. I believe that staff working for the Trust work together as a team, supporting each other in being compassionate and caring towards the people who receive care and support from our services. They are comfortable communicating with the team and have the courage to ask for advice and find someone with the right competence to help. Finally their commitment can be seen by how hard they work every day and they always try to do even better for the people who they care for and their families and carers. I’m glad I work for the Trust, as I am proud to be part of this.”
Becki Wilkinson, community mental health nurse