A health team is leading a campaign using #AndILookLikeThis badges to help remove the physical barrier facemasks create for staff when communicating with patients.
The palliative care team at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have created new ID badges to show the face behind the mask.
Now the team is calling on all of its clinical colleagues across the organisation to join them in wearing the badges.
The #AndILookLikeThis campaign – first launched by staff at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – is in response to the impact personal protective equipment (PPE) has had since the COVID-19 outbreak.
John Sheridan, Macmillan lead nurse for end of life care, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have been aware of the impact facemasks have had on communication with patients.
“So much of the care we give is about the personal relationship we have with our patients. A smile, a reassuring touch, and showing that we care can mean so much to them and to their relatives.
“When you can’t see half of someone’s face, it creates a real challenge. So, when we saw the social media coverage from Chesterfield about their idea, we loved it.
“Ever since we have first used the badges, we have had so much fantastic feedback.
“It shows to patients who we are – they can see from our badge what we look like behind the facemask.
“We are now calling on all of our staff to join us in wearing the badges. It really is such a powerful way of removing that physical barrier PPE has created.”