‘Extra special’ recognition for Carlisle Speech and Language Therapist

A Carlisle Speech and Language Therapist has received national recognition for her compassionate work to improve mealtimes for elderly people living in care homes. 

Sarah Linnard, a Speech and Language Therapist for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust attended the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards and was one of only three people selected as a finalist by #hellomynameis founder Dr Kate Granger before she died seven weeks ago.

Kate launched the #hellomynameis campaign in 2013 to remind health care professionals of the importance of introducing themselves to patients and how a relatively ‘little thing’ can positively affect a patient’s experience of the treatment and care they receive. It is now backed by more than 100 health trusts including Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Chris Pointon, Kate Granger’s husband, presented the awards and revealed that Kate had selected the nominees shortly before she passed away. A moving pre-recorded message of Kate and her husband was also played at the awards.

Those shortlisted for an award had all demonstrated how they have made a fantastic difference to patient care and, in particular, shown evidence of using ambitious and innovative ideas to improve patient experiences.

Sarah, who was nominated by her line manager Paul Atwood, enhanced the experience of care home residents by realising that the way Speech and Language Therapists work could be improved by making mealtimes a positive experience rather than a routine task.

After the awards, Sarah said:

“It's an exciting thing to have been part of, very emotional and extra special.  It’s nice to see a celebration of the small things that make a big difference.  We all see mealtimes as a celebration, we go out for meals with family and friends but people in care homes don't get that choice.  This is about making environmental and social changes to make it positive for residents.”

The top prize went to John Jackson, a night porter from East Lancashire Hospitals Trust for his work with a bereavement group.  Tommy Whitelaw was also shortlisted for his work on raising Dementia awareness in memory of his mum.


The Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards were held on 7th September 2016 in Manchester.