Theatre staff can be difficult to recognise behind their scrubs and masks. Frustrated by this, Dr Naz Hoque set about stitching custom-made theatre caps to give staff their own identity.

Dr Naz, an anaesthetist at St George’s, was inspired by the #TheatreCapChallenge – a trend started in 2017 by Australian anaesthetist Dr Robert Hackett, who wrote his name on his cap to avoid confusion in theatre.

The handmade caps come in a variety of colours and prints and are finished with people’s names stitched to the front.

To top it off, Dr Naz is also doing it for a fantastic cause; to raise funds for transforming our paediatric anaesthetics rooms into a more enjoyable space for our young patients who’re often very anxious ahead of surgery.

Dr Naz said: “It all started when I found some nice bandana fabric in a hospital charity shop and made theatre hats out of it – then it went viral! Once everyone had one I decided to experiment with different patterns, but I’ve always tried to keep it different from the theatre cap challenge; I only include people’s names on the hats and not their roles, to abolish the hierarchy.

“You can feel like a number, but once people remember your name they’re more willing to talk to you. Some people even recognise the hats before the person!”

Dr Naz has received some amazing feedback so far: “Staff have told me that the caps have helped to improve communication and wellbeing at work; they feel valued and are more likely to acknowledge each other while wearing their caps.”

Dr Naz’s mission is for this to be standard practice across all specialities in the future in order to improve teamwork, which not only ensures everyone keeps their identity but also directly impacts patient care in theatre.

To see some of her amazing work visit her Instagram page: @hatsbydrnaz. If you’d like to donate to this worthy cause then please visit her JustGiving page.