Doctor calls for better communication

Dr Ash Bowden & Kaity O'Connell

Local emergency doctor, Dr Ash Bowden, is encouraging more medical professionals on the Central Coast to join the #HelloMyNameIs badge campaign, an initiative aimed at improving communication between staff and patients.

The campaign was co-founded by the late UK doctor, Dr Kate Granger, in 2013 and is now carried on by her husband, Chris.

It aims to encourage medical staff to wear a #HelloMyNameIs badge to remind them about the importance of introductions in healthcare.

Dr Bowden, who also goes by Doctor Do More, said he has noticed patients feel more comfortable communicating with their doctor or nurse by using their name.

“Coming into hospital for a patient can be so scary, and we often underestimate that as healthcare staff,” Dr Bowden said.

“Simply being able to know the names of those looking after you can help calm nerves and improve the overall admission.

“We’re moving past the days of referring to each other by titles or patients by bed numbers.

“Communication is often underrated but can help understanding of conditions, medications, treatment and health literacy in general.”

Over 400 badges have been distributed to medical staff across the coast, with the next order round coming up in April.

Dr Bowden said it is important for staff to also communicate with other staff by their names.

“Healthcare staff communicate with so many different team members in a day, and it’s incredible to see how much better that communication is when we can use each other’s names,” he said.

“The team works more effectively, as well as feeling supported, in a department where people know your name.

“It’s easy to feel like we’re just service provision when we’re working in a busy healthcare system, but this campaign helps to nurture relationships between staff and patients and reminds me why I love my job.”

Through the help of local nurse, Kaity O’Connell, many at Wyong and Gosford Hospital staff have already joined the campaign.

More information, email: or search @doctordomore.

Jacinta Counihan