Chris Pointon is a healthcare campaigner and husband of Kate Granger, the geriatrician, author and NHS patient who sadly passed away in July 2016 due to a rare form of incurable cancer. Working alongside Chris, Kate led the #hellomynameis campaign, which drew on her own encounters as a patient following the time in August 2013 she was admitted to hospital and she noticed that many of the staff looking after her didn’t introduce themselves before delivering care. Encouraged by Chris to “stop whinging and do something” after discussing it with him, she did exactly this, and ended up becoming the face of a compassionate care campaign that changed the world.
“…People don’t often talk about what they want their own legacies to be, but this is something that I actively encourage … as I’m a firm believer that everyone in the world can make a difference – no matter how small…”
Chris, we first spoke to you in 2016 about your wife, Kate, and the #hellomynameis campaign you set up together. What has been the biggest achievement for #hellomynameis so far?
The biggest achievement so far for the #hellomynameis campaign has been the organic growth it has seen across the world, which has culminated in the campaign being used in more than 20 countries and it continues to grow. Its simplicity is its key and is the start of a therapeutic relationship between patient and healthcare worker – irrespective of nationality, culture or organisation. It can be tailored to suit the country, however the basic introduction remains.
What does it mean to you to see Kate’s campaigning carry on as her legacy?
People don’t often talk about what they want their own legacies to be, but this is something that I actively encourage now when I give keynotes as I’m a firm believer that everyone in the world can make a difference – no matter how small. Kate will never be forgotten and her legacy that has been left not just for people but within people makes me immensely proud. My mission is to ensure that continues to grow.
— #hellomynameis (@PointonChris) October 22, 2017
Please can you tell us more about your trip to Australia and New Zealand? What has been the response to the global campaign?
In the months and years before Kate died we often talked about what I would do next and one of the big parts of this was to continue the campaign across the world on a global tour (as we did the UK tour in 2015).
The campaign is already widely used across Australia and New Zealand and I was invited to go and speak at a couple of events, which ended up resulting in me delivering 21 talks in 25 days across various cities and towns – in hospitals, universities, hospices, health conferences etc.
The response was unbelievable and once again it made me so proud to see the passion, the love and the dedication for both the campaign and my amazing late wife, Kate.
— #hellomynameis (@PointonChris) September 28, 2017
How has your employer been supportive towards you and the campaign?
Across the last few years my employer has been amazing with both myself, Kate and the campaign. Kate was invited into our home office to give two inspiring talks to our colleagues and then since Kate died I have delivered an inspiring talk also.
The support throughout the organisation (along with the president and CEO of WalMart) never wavered and I will always be indebted to the amazing business for the support at a time that was so tough in my life. I am currently on a 12-month sabbatical, which they also fully support in order for me to promote the campaign.
#hellomynameis is backed by number of celebrities. Please could you talk us through their support? Are there any other big names you would like to get involved?
The best way of promoting a campaign across the world is to get key endorsers who then have a photo taken with the #hellomynameis sign and tweet support to the campaign. Alongside this a lot of them follow the campaign and sporadically will contact me regarding how I’m doing or the campaign.
I’d still love to get to the campaign endorsed by the Obamas and also Elton John, who very generously donated to the charity. As yet I’ve failed to get a photo of him endorsing the campaign (although I’m seeing him in concert in February, so you never know!).
Here’s a few of our supporter photos.
There’s now a single to promote the campaign. How did this come about? What has the reaction to it been?
As we continue to raise money for charity one of my friends at work approached me and asked if he could write and perform a song that we could sell to raise money. It was released around two months ago and reached number seven in the download charts in its first week. It is available to download here.
What is next in the pipeline for you and the #hellomynameis campaign and how can Womanthology readers get involved?
Over the next few months we have a huge number of speaking events taking place across the UK and the world. Events are constantly being updated on https://hellomynameis.org.uk/events/. We have also recently had a play commissioned that will talk about Kate, me and the campaign. This is being written by the renowned Brian Daniels and we aim to be touring with the play towards the middle of 2018… Keep close to the website for further information.