This week I wanted to talk to you about an exciting series of healthcare plays by playwright Brian Daniels that are coming to ASPH very soon!
Brian was commissioned back in 2016 by the National Council for Palliative Care and funded by NHS England, to write three plays about end of life care based on real life stories, with the aim of providing professional development and powerful insight for healthcare staff. It was so successful, he was then commissioned by other healthcare bodies to produce further plays on prominent medical and social issues and has been touring healthcare organisations, charities and NHS Trusts across the country performing these plays since.
Sue Tranka and I saw one of the plays from the series at the Princess Alice Hospice, ‘Hello, my name is’ which is based on the experience of the heroic and inspirational Dr Kate Granger, who I am sure you are all familiar with. Kate was a geriatrician and was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2011 and sadly died four years later. The experience of her illness gave rise to the "#hellomynameis" campaign working with her husband Chris Pointon to improve patient care through encouraging healthcare staff to introduce themselves to patients and create a personal connection. The campaign gained enormous momentum and support inspiring many and raising a huge amount of money for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre.
It was such a creative, inspiring and moving piece of theatre that we thought we must bring it to Team ASPH! So I am delighted to announce that this spring / summer Brian and his team of actors will be bringing four of his plays to the Trust, with the ‘Hello, my name is’ play as the finale. We are also over the moon that Dr Kate Granger’s husband Chris Pointon, who has continued the campaign following her death, is joining us for this special play to give a talk and help re-launch this amazing and important campaign across the Trust.
‘Don’t Leave Me Now’
This play has already had more than 200 performances and tells the story of how two very different couples, and their families responded to the news that a loved one had been diagnosed with early onset dementia. The play was inspired by two real stories and ultimately asks the question – when does love become a duty – or does it? It has been seen and endorsed by all major Dementia/Alzheimers charities as well as by Cruse Bereavement Care.
‘Both Sides Now’
This play commissioned by Rowans Hospice in Portsmouth is about how we find resilience in the face of bereavement. It also looks at the complexity of relationships and the loss of long term partnerships. There are a number of scenes between the protagonist and a bereavement psychologist and we look at the skilful way in which resilience can be acquired. Those engaged in the health industries too are faced daily with having to bounce back after traumatic events and they too must acquire resilience to handle their day to day challenges.
‘Fighting For Life’
Is a play based on the Findlay Report. James and Joan Findlay had been married more than 60 years when their health started to deteriorate. In long term relationships, the healthier one often covers for the less healthy one until their health begins to break down. At this time their family are often middle aged, living remotely and busy with their own lives and careers. What are the challenges of accessing appropriate health and social care? This play was launched by Marie Curie in January 2018 and shortlisted for a PENNA (Patient Experience Network Award).
‘Hello, my name is’
The name Dr Kate Granger may not in itself be immediately recognisable, but the campaign she and her husband started ‘Hello, my name is’ has been adopted by many UK and International healthcare organisations including Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Kate Granger was herself a consultant geriatrician. She was diagnosed when in her early 30s with a rare and incurable cancer. She knew she had a limited lifespan and wanted to create the biggest impact she could in the time she had left. See the story acted by two professional actors, one playing Kate, the other Chris and you will be moved but triumphant at how much was achieved against so much adversity.
With very best wishes,