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Ex-RCGP chair calls on hospital doctors to introduce themselves to patients

A CCG led by a former chair of the RCGP has backed a campaign for secondary care doctors to follow the lead of GPs and introduce themselves at the start of consultations in order to boost the patient-doctor relationship.

Professor Mayur Lakhani, chair of West Leicestershire CCG and a GP in Sileby, Leicestershire is backing the #hellomyname campaign started by cancer patient Dr Kate Granger, who noticed her doctors were failing to introduce themselves in consultations.

The former chair of the RCGP believes doctors and nurses can improve patient outcomes by making an effort discuss risks and benefits in prescribing, and that a strong doctor-patient relationship is key in making treatment decisions – particularly in areas like end-of-life care.

Professor Lakhani said: ‘We are lucky to have some of the best GPs and consultants in the country. As doctors, patients trust us with detailed information and are entitled to know the name of the doctor or nurse who is treating them.’

‘A doctor-patient partnership allows choices, risks and benefits of medication or operation to be explained and more sensible and tailored decisions to be made. This concept is called shared decision-making.’

He added: ‘People want a relationship with their doctor, rather than being treated as a number. I passionately believe a simple introduction is the start of that professional relationship and the beginning of compassion and accountability.’

Pulse recently reported that patients feel that GP training practices offered the most ‘patient-centred’ care, which some GPs linked to the better funding associated with these practices and the sharing of best practice amongst trainees.

Researchers have also shown that rigid QOF guidance and work and time pressures are undermining GPs’ ability to deliver patient centred care.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Agree with this. I have many patients who complain to me about this issue. Its basic manners to introduce yourself to patients. I know its easier in primary care for patients to know who we are, but a simple introduction by busy secondary care doctors goes a long way.

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  • All very well, but we must put our own house in order.
    Manpower shortage in Primary Care will undermine this concept.

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  • Professor Lakhani said: ‘We are lucky to have some of the best GPs and consultants in the country.

    As opposed to what? Also having some of the most mediocre and the worst in the country too!! I suspect this would constitute a normal distribution of a medical workforce in any country. Again another example of disingenuous platitudes by a seasoned medico-politician methinks. We have way too many more important issues to fight affecting medics in the current climate than this. Whilst courtesy is important at all times, and I feel confident that most of my fellow clinicians are identifiable either by verbal introduction, name badges, name plates or the like, I fail to see why in the few incidents that a doctor does not introduce themselves to the patients satisfaction that said patients does not just ask - WHO ARE YOU? WHATS YOUR NAME DOCTOR/ This is what would be done in any other walk of life if a particular individual had an issue with this problem. Not the starting up of a campaign. This is not FGM, reduced staffing levels or the closing of an A+E for Gods sake!

    Why make it another reason to berate doctors with, for who most is not a problem in their practice. What makes us so special to be highlighted for such particular concern in this. Are their millions of patients walking around each day not knowing who the hell put them on statins, did a rectal examination, or just cut them open and had a look in their belly?. If so that that would be a scandal. If not, and is just a few (few meaning in the greater scheme of things given the number of patient contacts that occur each day in the NHS) occurrences, why don't we put this down to the vagaries of working life in which none of us is perfect all the time, and probable mirrors all other professions. A reminder to be courteous-OK, but a That would be just another waste of useful campaigning energy needed for much more important matters affecting the NHS.

    Disillusioned GP (1yr)

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  • People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...

    ...and I don't need the ex-chair of the RCGP to teach me to suck eggs. Perhaps he would like to issue nice shiny badges inscribed 'Hello. I'm Bob, and I'll be your doctor for today'.

    Or maybe we could concentrate on the campaigning about the real stuff - the dismantling of the health service by politicians, aided and abetted by their lapdogs on the CCG

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  • I agree with Prof. lakhani
    I had cataract removed by a Dr which I have never seen before. he was not one of team of my Consultant.
    He spent about 3 mins looking into my eye, saying that there should be no problem.
    Few days after the OP I noticed my colour perception is changed and up to this day have not been able to address it. why is it that in Italy Dr's see the patient and follow them right to their OP and they explain and get the consent form signed.
    In the USA if certain lens is used patients are informed about the possibility of subjective colour discrimination symptoms.
    This did not happen in my case.
    ps the op was carried out in one of our supposedly top Hospitals.
    i am ANGRY.

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