Make a Difference Call Out


Have you made a pledge to make a difference?

Over the last 3 years Dementia Carer Voices has been collecting pledges from various people such as – carers, NHS staff, students and other health care professionals.

We now have over 10,000 pledges ranging from:

“I will support my staff more” to the simplest of things such as “I am going to call my mum tonight and tell her I love her”

It has been a pleasure for the team to collect all the fantastic pledges over the years.

We are now looking to hear from you!

If you have made a pledge then the team would like to know how you are getting on with it?  and tell us about what difference it has made to you and others around you?

You can find your pledge here, to reflect back on.

Get in touch with the team at or call Laura on 0141 404 0233

Thank you

Team Dementia Carer Voices

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Posted in News

Tommy Whitelaw shortlisted as a finalist for prestigious Kate Granger Awards #hellomynameis


Dementia Carer Voices’ are extremely proud to announce that Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Individual category of the Kate Granger Awards 2016.

Now in their third year the awards were set up by Kate Granger, a doctor who worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS through her #hellomynameis social media campaign.  There were more than 130 nominations for this year’s awards, and with her friend Dr Natalie Silvey, Dr Kate Granger was able to choose the nine finalists and three winners of the 2016 awards in the days before she sadly died on 23 July. Kate regularly spoke of the awards as her legacy saying,

Being a patient has taught me a huge amount about being a doctor. Prioritising compassionate care in its rightful place alongside patient safety, under the umbrella of quality is perhaps one of the most important things I have learned.

The shortlist is made up of three nominees in each of the three award categories. The first award is for an individual working in the NHS or delivering NHS funded services. The others are for teams or organisations who are part of the NHS, or who deliver NHS funded services. These services can be delivered in hospitals, or in a primary care, community or residential setting.

Speaking about his nomination, Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw said

I am honoured and humbled to be shortlisted for this award. I would like to thank Joan, a transformation nurse, for taking the time to nominate me. I am extremely proud of Dementia Carer Voices’ work and to work alongside my Director and Mentor Irene Oldfather, our Chief Executive Ian Welsh, Laura, Ashleigh and the rest of the team at the ALLIANCE.”

ALLIANCE Director Irene Oldfather said

The Kate Granger #hellomynameis campaign has touched hearts and minds, and changed clinical practice across the UK. To know that our Dementia Carer Voices engagement lead Tommy Whitelaw has been shortlisted for such a prestigious and compassionate award is in some ways not surprising given Tommy’s poignant story of caring for his mum Joan and his outreach across the UK. But I think we all feel moved to know that Tommy was selected by Kate herself in her last days. It is fitting given Tommy’s story, which is about love, care and compassion. The ALLIANCE is proud that work which tells the story of people themselves has been recognised in this way. Congratulations to Tommy and all the finalists.”

Thank you

Irene, Tommy, Laura and Ashleigh.

Posted in News

Dementia Carer Voices July/August Newsletter 2016

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Dementia Carer Voices Project’s newsletter, which will keep you up to date with our latest activity.   This month’s highlights include Dementia Carer Voices partners with the Chief Nursing Officer Directorate, What does Brexit mean for people with dementia and their cares? and  Driving and Dementia by James McKillop.

Read: Dementia Carer Voices May/June Newsletter

Posted in News

NHS Expo 2016

Dementia Carer Voices are very honoured to be invited to speak at the NHS EXPO on our ‘Make A Difference’ campaign and tour on September 7th 2016.

We have now received an incredible  10,000 personal pledges from Individuals, Hospitals, Care Homes, Universities and Colleges on how they will make a difference for people living with dementia, families, carers and colleagues.

Tommy had the great experience to speak at the EXPO a few years ago at the beginning of the campaign, So its great to be returning to give a update.

Tommy will be taking part in the session with Paul Jebb @pauljebb1  Exp of Care Professional Lead, @NHSEngland Hon Snr Lec @uclan and Jen Kenward @Jenkenward, Experience of Care Lead – Community, primary & integrated care @NHSEngland  who will speaking about ‘Turning good intentions into a purposeful action’ on how and where people can find support on the pledges made this session will be at Central 8 at 12 o’clock.

We feel this is a great opportunity to both celebrate and help support the incredible people and pledges we have met and received along the way.

Tommy has been invited to speak at a second session later that day  from 4 pm till 4:20 at Central 5,6,7

There are many people to thank for this amazing opportunity here are a few:

Jane Cummings – CNO, @NHSEngland @JaneMCummings

Neil Churchill –  Director for Patient Experience, @NHSEngland  @neilchurchill

Paul Jebb  – Exp of Care Professional Lead, @NHSEngland @pauljebb1

Jen Kenward – Experience of Care Lead, @NHSEngland @Jenkenward

Nicole Fisher – NHS England Team Manager. Older People’s Mental Health and Dementia

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share the pledges people and work of our Dementia Carer Voices project 

What’s on offer from Health and Care Innovation Expo 2016? 

  • Two main stages, with speakers including NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax, and international digital healthcare expert Professor Bob Wachter MD. Our list of high profile speakers continues to grow, with further national and international experts confirmed every week.
  • More than 100 expert-led sessions in our pop-up university, with targeted sessions led by key national organisations and directorates
  • Detailed, professionally-focussed seminars and activities in dedicated satellite sessions
  • Four feature zones, each running their own speaker agenda across two days: NHS Right CareNew Models of CarePersonalised Medicine and Digital Health
Posted in News

Time to Think Delirium

This weeks guest blog come from Penny Bond, Improvement Support Team Leader in Healthcare Improvement Scotland leading a national programme of work to improve older people’s acute care @opachis. Here she talks about a collaborative national approach to improving the identification and management of delirium in older people admitted to acute hospitals.

Delirium is a serious medical emergency affecting up to 25% of hospital inpatients. This figure is even higher in individuals having surgery or receiving intensive or palliative care. It is associated with poor outcomes, is more prevalent in older people admitted to hospital and the risk of developing delirium is greatly increased in people living with dementia.   Despite its prevalence and impact delirium is not always reliably identified or well managed. Improving the identification and management of delirium has been and continues to be a key area of focus for Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s (HIS) improving older people’s acute care programme since April 2012. Colleagues across Scotland including the Scottish Delirium Association and Alzheimer Nurse/AHP consultants have worked collaboratively to take this work forward.

Although delirium and dementia are different evidence tells us that an existing dementia can significantly increase the risk of developing delirium. Conversely people with delirium are more likely to suffer further cognitive decline including dementia. Delirium is very distressing to individuals and to their families and carers. It is vital that staff are aware of the connection between the two as well as understanding the difference between them.

One of the factors differentiating delirium from dementia is its sudden onset. When family members use expressions like “This is not my Mum” or “I don’t recognise Dad” it should serve as a trigger for thinking about the possibility of delirium. People who develop delirium stay two or three times longer in hospital and are also more at risk of hospital-acquired complications, such as falls and pressure ulcers, are more likely to be admitted to long term care, and have an increased mortality. Not all episodes of delirium are avoidable but there is evidence to suggest that about a third of deliriums are preventable. Some of the risk factors that can be reduced include dehydration, constipation, multiple medications, infection and sensory impairment.

In response to requests from clinical teams we worked closely with the Scottish Delirium Association and other colleagues across Scotland including Alzheimer Nurse and AHP Consultants to design, test and adapt a range of tools and resources to help assess, manage and review delirium. The two main tools that have been tested are the 4AT assessment tool and the ‘TIME’ bundle. The 4AT has been shown to be a straightforward and effective means of screening for delirium. When a possible delirium is identified the ‘TIME’ delirium care bundle provides a guide for staff to think about possible triggers for the delirium, any investigations that may be needed, how to manage care effectively and crucially highlights the importance of engaging with families and carers. The value of listening to family members can’t be under estimated and patient and carer experience of delirium have informed tools and resources.


Providing staff with education on delirium can contribute to early recognition of delirium in older people. Colleagues at NHS Education for Scotland developed a range of learning resources to support staff and enhance their knowledge and understanding of delirium. Two modules are available on Learnpro ( The first module ‘An Introduction to Delirium’ provides baseline knowledge and skills for all staff working in health and social care settings while the second module ‘Delirium: Prevention, Management and Support’ aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of health care professionals working across all care sectors.

Healthcare teams across Scotland have made significant progress in raising awareness of delirium locally and supporting staff with education and improvement activity. Some health boards have run Delirium Awareness days or weeks where they have run information sessions for colleagues and actively promoted the delirium toolkit. Some boards now run regular training for staff on delirium identification and management and others have incorporated delirium into existing dementia education sessions with staff. Recently a national think delirium week generated a lot of interesting discussion and sharing of ideas via social media. In Scotland the week culminated in the third national delirium conference. 150 delegates attended a day focused on delivering quality delirium care including hearing about ‘A daughter’s perspective’, sharing experiences, learning from colleagues across Scotland and making personal pledges to improve delirium care. Click here to view the photo gallery from the day


Benefits of adopting a national approach to improving delirium care include the creation of opportunities for networking and sharing new knowledge and experience across Scotland and learning from each other. Awareness of delirium has increased and there is evidence of more reliable and consistent processes in delirium screening.   The programme has facilitated collaborative working between teams and across Scotland. The improvement focus of HIS, the subject matter knowledge of clinical colleagues, the lived experience of families and the commitment and engagement of local teams have all served to augment these benefits.

With an ageing population generally and rising numbers of older people with dementia admitted to hospital as an emergency caring for older people is ‘core business’ for hospitals. We will continue to work with colleagues across Scotland to ensure a consistent and person-centred approach to the improvement of delirium care for all older people in acute care.


Posted in 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts

Ashford & St Peters Pledges and New Dementia Bays

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Great thanks to Louisa Daly, Head of Patient Experience and Involvement, Fiona Holley, Practice Development Lead and all the team at Ashford & St Peters Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for inviting Tommy back to the hospital to take part in the opening of the New Dementia Bays at St Peter’s.

Tommy gave 2 talks and help launch the new ward pledge trees designed by the children from the paediatric wards.

Key people we would like to say a massive thank you too at the hospital are:

Suzanne Rankin – CEO
Aileen McLeish – Chairman   
Layla Hibbs – Dementia Specialist Therapist
Diana Sheridan – Dementia Specialist Therapist
Russell Wernham – Deputy Chief Nurse 
David Sills – Lead Admiral Nurse
Heather Caudle – Chief Nurse

Tommy has  had the great honour to speak at the hospital before. You can read about our previous visit here.

The dementia bays are situated within the care of the Elderly wards and the objective of the project is to “Enhance the Healing Environment”.  The environment has been adapted, taking guidance from current research, through using colours and minor alterations to create a calm, therapeutic environment for people with dementia and their loved ones.


You can read some of the inspiring pledges below from the two talks and we are really excited to follow the story of the ward pledge trees and watch them grow.

A big thank you from all the DCV Team for a truly inspiring day.

My pledge is to listen to my patient’s stories and meet their needs and help them as much as I can.

I pledge to listen and understand what matters.

I will try to listen to patients and views and give them some love.

I pledge to help and listen to my friends and neighbours who have always been an inspiration.

I pledge to take the time; however limited. I feel I have to ask what matters.

I pledge to always ask about my patients and listen to them to provide the best care I can.

I pledge to always find out what matters most to make a difference no matter how big or small.

I pledge to hear and listen to patients.

I pledge to get to know the person and look past the condition and see the person inside.

I pledge to give more time; listen to my grandmother she has Vascular Dementia.

I would be more interested about life history of my patient.

I pledge to always listen and take time with cares and people with dementia.
Claire Goodall

I pledge to find out my patient’s stories, find out who they are, and who and what matters to them.  Alison Cunningham

I pledge to really listen and be the voice for those who don’t have a voice or aren’t heard.
Sarah Hill

I pledge to give time to listen and discover the person.
Sue Southey

I pledge to listen attentively to someone with dementia, and learn about his/her past.
Christina Walsh

I pledge to remember that people lived before and after coming to hospital. Condition does not define the person.
Samantha Lamb

I pledge to take the time to listen to my patient and to be their tole and to make a difference.  Nicola

My pledge is to listen, have compassion and understanding of dementia patients and cares stories/lives.
Beverly Ruby

I pledge to give as much care, support and understanding as I can.
Sarah Davison

I pledge to touch people`s lives, playing as part of their love stories, not seeing dementia but the person that used to be and that stills there.
Filipa Carolina

I pledge to listen more to what matters to others.
Andy Brown

I pledge to always care for the beautiful person I stand by not just the condition they are labelled with. I pledge to listen.
Natasha Bland

I pledge to always see the person and not just the patient.
Helen Young

I pledge to take more time to listen and understand my patient.
Samran Flowen

I pledge to listen and care for people.

I pledge not to take for granted those people with dementia who would ask for my help.

After today I pledge to spend more time to listen and make them Feel wanted.

Listen, Listen, Listen to patient’s.

Dedication, compassion and patient first.
Dr Peter Enwere

I pledge to be of good importance to everyone that come my way irrespective of their situation I will take time to ask what matters to people.
Remi A

I pledge to learn why patients feel the way they do and to learn about what matters to them. Hannah Hills

I pledge to always take the time to listen to a patient’s story and find out what matters to them. Katie Williams

I pledge to see the person first, always, not the dementia.
Ella Hill

I pledge to listen and to find out what and who matters to you. What can I do to make a difference? Jill Mills

I pledge to find out more about an individual’s story so that I have better understanding.
Sarah Boyle

I pledge to help fight the terror of loneliness. To provide support, encouragement and love as I am able.
Laura Greaves

I pledge to treat every human I meet with the dignity they deserve and more.

I pledge to always try and make sure people living with dementia and their carers do not feel alone.
Kelly Wright

I pledge to tailor my care to incorporate more of what matters to the individual.
Emily Smye-Rumsby

I pledge to find out what matters most to my patients.

I pledge to listen and hear.

I would try to listen and understand what my patients are trying to say to me.

I pledge to treat all my patients with kindness.

I pledge to support people with dementia.

My pledge is to be kind and caring nurse.

I pledge to make a difference to each person I meet by making sure that what and who matters to them matters to me and I will keep them in mind and in my heart I may able to care for them the best wat possible.
Pajo Rachelle Timosa

I pledge to listen, patient and give support to make someone feel safe.

My pledge is to be understanding and listen to their stories.

I pledge to care for people with dementia with utmost dignity.
Melissa Medina

I pledge to listen to my patients and to spend more time with each individual who needs help.
Jungune Wei

I pledge to be more understanding and patient.
Val Green

I pledge to listen to cares and learn what I can make to help and support a dementia patient under out care and out of work.

I pledge to ask, listen and do what matters to make a difference and to use what I have learned from patients and cares when teaching others.
Samantha Knipe

I pledge to listen to people that have dementia and be there for them more.
Sally Hindie

I pledge to listen to the history and my patients.

I will continue to put myself in my patient’s shoes and care for them as individuals.
Libby Simpson

I will continue to make a conscious effort to make time and effort with patients and to know more about the patients life before dementia, As a student I currently have more time to carry this out. Stacey Stemp

I pledge to know your patient. Listen. Do not treat based only on what you can see geographically but try to seek clarity on what they really need.

My pledge is to make sure to know the story from all patient and all their fears so I could find the best way for caring.

I pledge to ask what matters, listen to what matters and do what matters each day. To never lose sight of peoples “you`re stories” and work to keep them alive.
Cara Charles-Barks





Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

Lancashire Pledge to Make a Difference!


Friday 22nd July saw Project Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, visit Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.. The event was held as part of the Trust’s commitment to ensure people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community.

Massive thanks to Jo Blofeld, Patient and Carer Experience Lead in Adult Community Services for arranging for Tommy to come and visit to share the campaign and his caring experience.

Jo said

“What a morning we had on Friday at The Harbour to mark our commitment to people with dementia and making sure that they feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community.  Thanks to all of our wonderful staff who made the event happen and to our guest speaker Tommy Whitelaw for sharing his experience and knowledge with us! Read more on our website”:




You can also find a film of the day here.


Special thanks to all that took the time to make a pledge to make a difference.

Thank you Team DCV🙂

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Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

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