STAFF across the NHS and care in South Yorkshire are encouraging colleagues to “call my name right” this week.

Nearly 14 per cent of NHS staff are non-UK nationals and many will have their name mispronounced on a daily basis. This represents more than 10,000 people working in health and care in South Yorkshire, as well as many other British colleagues whose names are regularly pronounced incorrectly.

Using the correct pronunciation not only improves the working lives of valued colleagues, it can also prevent confusion between colleagues and even potentially reduce mistakes and errors.

The campaign is being launched as part of Race Equality Week, which runs from 5-11 February 2024.

Dr Rajeev Gupta, Consultant Paediatrician who started the campaign, said: “I’m really proud the NHS is promoting the campaign. Your name is not just what you answer to, it is your identity and represents what your parents decided, it represents your family history and in many case generations and cultures. I know it’s not always easy and I have personally mispronounced colleagues’ names. But I also know what it feels like when colleagues and patients take time to ask your name and to pronounce it properly, and it makes you feel incredibly valued as a person.

“It’s really easy to take part. Those that find their name being mispronounced can use the week to tell colleagues the correct pronunciation, or amend email signatures and social media accounts with how to say your name. Or colleagues and patients can ask how to pronounce a name without fear of offending.”

Vivienne Williams, Chair of the ICB Race Network, said: “The NHS recruits from right across the world and at any time in South Yorkshire there will be colleagues from India, the Philippines, Poland, Nigeria and many more countries providing care.

“A small sign of how valued they are is taking time to pronounce their name correctly, and if you don’t know, having the politeness to ask them how they wish to be addressed. Its these small things that can make a huge difference to someone’s working environment.”