It’s people who make the difference ‘Together we’re great’



Today`s guest blog and viewpoint comes from Yvonne Manson, Dementia Consultant from Balhousie Care Group.  Tommy visited Balhousie on the 10th Jan 2017, stay tuned this week for the pledges going live.  Now in the meantime lets see what Yvonne has to tell us…



Workforce development is something that has always been very important to me and I believe that if we value people we will get the best from them. It is people who make the difference. I joined Balhousie Care Group just under a year ago and along with residents, families and staff across the group; developed the dementia strategy which launched in July of 2016. For me it was important that the strategy was not simply written by me as a policy and put out but that everyone who would be impacted by the strategy had the opportunity to be involved and that it met the needs of the people who it impacted mainly: residents, staff and families of Balhousie care group.

Theme one of the dementia strategy identified that ‘each of our care homes will have at least two active dementia ambassadors’. These ambassadors would be supported to ensure the dementia strategy was implemented within the homes and working to support the residents, families and staff within the care home.

Dedicated ambassador meetings

We launched our bi-monthly dementia ambassador meetings to provide a platform for ambassadors to come together, share ideas and provide support for one another. It also offers an opportunity for shared learning with great training and development opportunities.

We recently held our first meeting of 2017 and we were lucky to have two guest speakers attend. Heather Edwards, dementia consultant at the Care Inspectorate and Tommy Whitelaw, project engagement lead at Health and social Care Alliance Scotland.

Heather and Tommy are both very approachable, inspiring, positive people and an asset to have as part of our meeting. Their passion, knowledge and captivating personalities drew our ambassadors in and inspired them with their stories and understanding of living with dementia and supporting those that do so I am delighted that both came along and I am looking forward to seeing how our ambassadors take the information Tommy and Heather delivered and fit it into their homes.

Supporting people to deliver excellence

What I love about our dementia strategy and about Tommy’s ‘You can Make a Difference’ campaign, is that although there are core themes on how to deliver excellence in care, they can actually be delivered in personalised ways which are adapted to individual environments. Once someone has the knowledge on how to deliver, my role is to give autonomy and support them to develop something that works best for them and their residents.

This takes me back to my starting point that if we work together to learn, develop and inspire, we really can be part of something great. I regularly say that awards are amazing, but ‘if you get up each day, to go to work to do something you love, then you’re already a success’. I am proud of the work I do and the people I work with, and hope that we can celebrate the passion, talent and achievements that many of the people working within the care sector in Scotland demonstrate.

Yvonne Manson

Dementia Consultant

Balhousie Care Group

Posted in 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts

Putting care at the heart of our communities


This weeks guest blog comes from our very own Tommy.  Let’s see what he has to tell us…

“Our residents do not live in our work place, we work in their home.”

I have been sharing this quote from a care home worker and thinking about it a lot over the last few weeks.

I feel very honoured as part of our ‘You Can Make a Difference’ Campaign and tour across the country to spend most days speaking to staff in hospitals, hospices and care homes, or our next generation of healthcare professionals in colleges or universities.

So often I travel home feeling inspired by the people that I’ve met and pledges that we’ve received.

The quote made me reflect on the way that residential care is often thought about, both in terms of the people who live there and the staff who work there.


Communities are in our hearts, we are the heart of our communities and our homes are at the heart of our community and relationships. This isn’t something that should change when we start live in a care home, after all, as the quote points out – this is our home now.

  • If we want to create friendly and supportive communities we have to include care homes, the people who live and the people who work there.
  • If we are going to ask people ‘what and who matters to you?’, let’s make sure we ask the people living and working in care homes too.

What can you and I do to help change perceptions, and make sure that people living in residential care remain at the heart of our communities?

For my part, a big focus of my work through the Dementia Carer Voices project has been about highlighting the unique life stories of people living with dementia and their carers, and celebrating the role of the staff that make a real difference to their lives.

“Our residents don’t live in our work place, we work in their home”. In fact, our residents don’t just live in our care homes, they live in our communities and we can all play a part in supporting them to live well and stay included.

Tommy Whitelaw
Dementia Carer Voices Project Engagement Lead

Posted in 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts

Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences Students @ University of Strathclyde pledge


With great thanks to Anne Boyter, Director of Teaching Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Strathclyde, for kindly inviting us along to speak to 3rd year pharmacy students on Monday 9th January, as part of their consolidation week. Tommy was joined by friend and colleague, Graeme Morrison ( @ALLIANCEGraeme ), Prescription for Excellence Inclusion Officer, to talk about the importance of seeing the person behind the condition and focusing on what matters to people. Pharmacists are very accessible healthcare professionals and have a growing role in supporting people with long term conditions, so it was important to emphasise the difference that these future pharmacists could make to people’s lives.



This was a great way to encourage the students to reflect on why they chose the course and to look beyond the science to how they would use their expertise in medicines to help people achieve what matters to them.

You can read some pledges from the day below:

I pledge to never forget that one person can make a massive difference and the small things matter.

Grey Kennie

Pharmacy student

I pledge to try help everyone to the best of my soul


Pharmacy student at University of Strathclyde

I pledge to be as kind and understanding as I can with every person and every patient


Pharmacy student

I pledge to treat everyone as an individual and not as a patient, and to always care.

University of Strathclyde

I pledge to help as many as I can, no matter what

Rachel Sum

Pharmacy student

I pledge to continue to think that everything matters, every person I meet will be shown the respect they hope for not matter what they say, I won’t stop caring

Shelba Zahir.

I pledge to raise awareness and abolish the stigma associated with any medical/physical condition to avoid the correct care&advice when&where I can

Zainab Hayat.

Pharmacy Student.




Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

DCV Speaking Erskine Hospital January 17th 2017

Massive thanks to our great friend Derek Barron @Derek Barron for the kind invite to speak (2 talks at Erskine Hospital 17th January 2017 .

Erskine is Scotland’s foremost provider of care for veterans and their spouses.

We are so very honoured to be invited and continue our great relationship with Derek.  We Launched our first pledge talks and trees with Derek back in 2015 at NHSAA  along with a short film.

We are looking forward to continue our work together with Derek over the coming years in this new role as Director of Care and linking up with our great friend Janice McAlister @janicemcalister again at the talks.

You can view more info about Erskine and the day below.

Erskine is Scotland’s foremost provider of care forveterans and their spouses, Erskine provides unrivalled nursing, residential, respite and dementia care within four homes across Scotland.

An important aspect of ensuring the care we provide is of the highest standard is to ensure our staff have the training, skills and knowledge to support them in delivering compassionate, person and relationship based care.

On 17th January we will be holding two training sessions for our staff, focused on delirium and dementia.  The event will take a four pronged approach, each neatly dovetailing together to provide a rounded view of delirium and dementia.

Clinical: Dr Claire Copeland (consultant physician) will provide a clinical perspective of the signs and symptoms of delirium, the need for urgent identification and intervention, Janice McAlister (Alzheimer Scotland Nurse Consultant) will provide a similar input focused on dementia.

Physical activity: Janet Leith (Physiotherapist -Erskine) will provide an overview perspective if the impact of delirium on physical activity.

Relative: We will have two different Erskine relatives speaking (one morning, one afternoon) and National Carer lessons: Tommy giving a personal but national dementia carers perspective.

The learning outcome for our staff will be increased clinical knowledge to enable to them to better recognise and treat delirium, and a great understanding of their personal impact on the lives of those with whom we share care.


Posted in Events

#UCLAN 3rd Year Nursing Students add pledges


With great thanks to Paul Regan, Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire for inviting Tommy to speak to 3rd year Nursing Students on the last day of attending University before going out into practice.

The day was very emotional spending time with #OurFutureNurses who have been studying together for the last 3 years.

Tommy has had the honour to speak at the university a few times before. You can read the pledges from previous visits HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

Thank you for inviting us to take part in such a special day and for the inspiring pledges below.

Team #DCV

I pledge to always do the best I can to ensure patients and families get the help and care they need. And to ensure that all dementia patients are given a who I am, document on admission.

Yasmine Thomas

I pledge to always remember that my patient is a person with feelings and not just a condition, I will always treat them as I would want my family to be treated.

A Murphy.

I pledge to treat everyone like you want to be treated to be kind and compassionate nurse

Samira Mohamed

I pledge to always put patients first no matter what the circumstances

Nicola Adamson

I pledge to treat my patients as individuals and ensure I remain compassionate in my job.


We pledge to listen and be kind and patient towards everyone we meet during our long carriers as nurses

I pledge to be the nurse that I aspired to be during my training.


I pledge to continue to make a difference to my patients, family and friends every day!

Jenna Longden

I pledge to be kind, resilient and remain compassionate throughout adversity and hardship.

Zara Khan

I pledge to do what’s best for my patients and advocate for those who haven’t got a voice.

Lisa Cullum

I pledge to be kind, caring, and compassionate. Continue making a difference to help patients and their families

Lauren Edwards.

I pledge never to forget the person and to always try to make a difference every day.

Sean Bradley

I pledge to understand my patients as the person they are.

Aimee Taylor

I pledge to find Joan in a bed number

W. Wright

I pledge to always recognise carers, and the amazing job they do, and tell them that.

Sarah Foster

I pledge to continue to be passionate about what I do.

F. Patel

I pledge to continue to treat my patients with the greatest care and compassion and listen always.

Natasha T.

I pledge to continue to give 110% to the profession, respect others, be non-judgemental to people in our care.

Ryan Tobing.

I pledge to be the eyes of the blind, the love of life for the suicidal and the leg of the amputee

Reanne White.

I pledge to care for dementia patients appropriately, fulfilling privacy and dignity throughout

I pledge that I will continue to be kind and compassionate to always listen and treat people with respect, dignity and individuality. I will continue to ensure that those with dementia and others families and carers are supported.

Stephanie D

I pledge to always see the person and ask what matters to them


I pledge to help and care for any person who needs it, As a nurse as a daughter, mother, sister, auntie, friend or stranger. Everyone deserves to have someone to turn to in their time of need.

Gillian Lister.

I pledge to treat my patients with kindness and dignity and respect, and offer support to whoever needs it every day.

Rebecca Crawford.

I pledge to treat patients patiently, always carry out person centred care and find out patients past before dementia to best carry out care. Always be compassionate and listen to relatives and offer support.

Elizabeth Slater

I pledge to never lose that quality that remember people what nursing is about kindness, compassion, care and patience.


I pledge the health and feelings of my patients will always be my first consideration


I pledge to ask the question more, what would you want? To my patients.

I pledge to be the best I can be to make sure my students are the best they can be.

Gareth Bell.

I pledge to ensure that no patients in my care feels lonely and scared without someone to talk to because I will always make time for them. I will be their carer but also their friend and voice when needed.

Marie Stanley

I pledge to remember the person at the heart of every aspect of care

Charlotte Thompson

I pledge to come from kindness, enriched with compassion, when approaching every individual.

Kathryn Ann Carter

I pledge to remember my compassion and commitment to all the patients I meet throughout my whole career thinking about why I am a nurse and how proud it makes me.


I pledge to be there for all my patients and their family when they are going through times, and guide my patients who are scared and unsure.

Caroline Alison

I pledge to see and find the beautiful and unique story behind the diagnosis of the person I am caring.

I pledge to make a difference in looking after people with dementia by treating with same respect like everybody else

Antonette Tejada

I pledge not to forget the little things, the important things, to take the time to ask to know my patient


I pledge to make a difference to dementia lives through time promotion or music therapy with the hospital setting to reduce anxiety


I pledge to find the glimmer of light in the darkest of times

Rhianna Mitchell

I pledge to stop people saying suffering with dementia, but living with dementia


I pledge to challenge poor practice whoever and whenever I see it.

Johnathan Crane

I pledge to be a voice for those that cannot speak, to care for those affected with this horrific terminal illness, I aim to understand and promote their life and story, not their diagnosis

Rachel Harvey

I pledge to be an advocate for the patients in my care to listen to do everything I can to provide the best care possible

Sophie Harvey.


Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

Stirling University Nursing Students Pledge to Make a Difference


Big thanks to Anne Taylor and Cari Malcolm for inviting Tommy back to speak to 200 Nursing students at Stirling University.

Tommy had the great privilege to speak to students last year, you can read the pledges from 2015 students HERE

Tommy was joined by our volunteer Celia and our great friend Shaun Maher Strategic Advisor for Person Centred Care and Improvement.

Shaun gave a talk after Tommy on ‘turning Good Intentions into purposeful actions ‘  and #wmty16 #wmty17  

We are truly inspired by the university, the students we met today and the inspiring pledges below.

Thank from all the #DCVteam

My pledge is to ensure that nobody feels on their own no matter what they are going through and to offer support and help no matter what situation they are in.

Kathryn Moore – Student Nurse

My pledge is this time next year I would like to have enhanced my knowledge, being a more crucial member of a team of nurses. I want to make a difference among the people’s lives in my care.

My pledge is that I will do everything in my power to care for and protect the people that I work with every day and to take the time to listen, to their stories and to find out what matters to them and who matters to them.

Charlotte Helen Jefferson – Student Nurse

My pledge is to see my patients as who they are and not their illness or disabilities.

Abigail Connor – The University of Stirling

I pledge to always care for someone to the best of my ability and always treat everyone as an individual and respect the person’s values and beliefs.

No onwards always make sure that “Is that ok for you for me to do this for you”.

I will take the time to get to know a patient and their story not just their medical conditions.

Kayleigh Sinclair

I pledge to remember I am now a part of the person’s life and to treat them with respect and to care to the best of my ability.

Kaitlin Currie – Student Nurse

I pledge to do my job the best I can as a nurse and really listen to what each patient actually wants/needs.

Amy Lochhead

I pledge to make a difference to people and carers by being genuinely interested.

Hannah Smith – Stirling University

I pledge to make a positive difference to every individual.

Niamh Kerr – Student Nurse

I pledge to listen to my patients and people I care for. To try and not be task orientated and see them as individuals. To be the best nurse I can be to the best o my ability.

I pledge to always make that difference to the individual and loved ones.

Michelle Thrafall – Nursing Assistant

I pledge to always listen to the person, hear what they are saying and help them to the best of my ability.

Charley Gilchrist – Student Nurse

I pledge to care for the person as an individual hear their story and not let them be defined by their condition.

Abbey Aitken – Student Nurse

I pledge to be a nurse who impacts lives by caring, listening and being aware of every individual their loved ones and all their needs.

Lyndsey Mackenzie – Student Nurse

I wish to support people of their weakest moments, to make a difference and to make all people in the world feel safe and happy.

Monika Inglot – Student Nurse

I want to care for everyone as I would for my own family.

I pledge to enhance quality of care to the best of my ability, ensuring to treat people as an individual and supporting them and their families through all aspects of their care.

I pledge to learn about the individual and their family, to listen and understand their situation and be the best nurse I can possibly be.

Nikki Lister – Student Nurse

I pledge to listen to people make them feel like they matter to me. Spend time with people and always aim to go above and beyond for people.

I pledge to always do my best for the patient. To see the person, they are and not the diagnosis.

I never want to leave a patient without trying to make them the happiest they can possibly be.

Eilish McBeth – Student Nurse

 I pledge to treat every patient as an individual and always be compassionate to others.

Jennifer Baillie -Student Nurse

I pledge to never use the word “challenging” and to always care for the person how they want to be cared for.

Stacey Donnachie – Student Nurse

I pledge to help patients not feel scared.

Pauline Sanson


I pledge that every day I wake up, to try and make someone’s life more positive, to listen and show how much I care.

Karen Rhind

I pledge to never walk past someone in need.

Sarah Lamont

I pledge to be the best nurse I can be to be an advocate, to listen to everyone, including the voices that can not be heard and to treat others how I wish to be treated.

Paige Harris – Student Nurse

My pledge is to look at every person as an individual and to provide the best personal centred care I can using the gifts I believe to have.

Louise Devaney – Student Nurse

I pledge to listen to every person’s story, treat each person as a person and not merely as a person with a condition and go the extra mile to treat and value every patient/carer/family I meet.

Meg Rhiannon Preshaw – Nursing Student

I pledge to be kind, make people feel like they matter.

Caitlin Dyer – Stirling University


I pledge to be the best I can be, to listen, support and care. Ignoring all the frustrations of life making anyone in my care the centre of my attention to see the person behind the illness.

Corinne Downie – Student Nurse

I pledge to treat and support people, who have mental health conditions. To promote independence to make people feel safe.

Andrew Brogan – Mental Health Student Nurse

I pledge to always make time to listen to patients, carers and their families and offer any advice, comfort or help no matter how small.

Kirsten Sinclair – Student Nurse

I pledge to always consider the patients fears and the fears of those surrounding them.

Megan Byers – Student Nurse

I pledge to always listen and carer about each individual.

Emma Collis – Stirling University

My pledge as a nurse is to treat everyone with unconditional positive regard. To remind people I care for that I can be there hope, comfort and I can be the nurse to guide them in finding peace within.

Emma Hayes – Adult Nurse

I pledge to hold my patient’s hands if they feel scared.

Ariadna Ortet-Walkker – Student Nurse


My pledge is to make every person feel as though I have enough time to not just treat them but to listen to them and make them feel valued as an individual and not just another patient.

Nicole Muirhead – Student Nurse

I pledge to always get to know the person and to not define them by the illness that doesn’t define their lives.

Kara Young – Student Nurse


I pledge to make a positive impact on lives, care and give to people and to leave them with a smile on their face.

Darren Barry – Student Nurse


My pledge is to listen, support and protect choices of any individual and their families in need.

Sarah Sharkey – Student Nurse

To make an effort to always remember patient’s backgrounds and stories/life and not to just see their disease/illness.

Lucy Deas – Stirling University

I pledge to show an interest in the person behind the dementia e.g. their life and not the main focus to be about their dementia.

Kiera Grogan – Mental Health Nurse

I pledge to always look past a person’s illness and spend time to get to know them as an individual and not just their illness.


Abby Rafferty – Stirling University

As a mental health nurse is to treat everybody equally and not to be judgemental. I will care for clients/patients like I would like to be treated or cared for.

Lona Momo – Stirling University

I promise that I will be that kind, human, understanding ear. I will make sure I ask who and what matters to patient I am caring for. I will be the best nurse I can be and that starts with the little things.

I pledge to always listen to anyone that I come across in work and listen to their stories and experiences they`ve came across in their life.

Zara – Student Nurse

I pledge to make sure I ask everyone what do you want to do.

I pledge to make the person’s voice/choices be loud and heard. To always see the person for who they are and never their illness.

Jordan Munro – Adult Nursing Student


I pledge to be kind, always listen and see the things that others cant. To always see the person, father than the illness.

Megan McEwan – Senor Care Worker

I pledge to do all I can to improve the care given to the lives of people living with dementia whether it be giving them the care they need or being a support system for them to have someone who cares for them or simply just to listen to their feelings and emotions.

Rebecca Wilson – Student Nurse

I pledge to openly listen to what is important to individuals, taking into consideration how they are feeling and what they are thinking.

Shannon Lennon – Student

I pledge to treat my patients as people and not just a patient. Have a chat and make them feel that they matter.

Emma Grant – Student Nurse

I pledge to treat each and every one as an individual. Se the person and not the illness.

Karen Still – Student Nurse

I pledge to listen to patient’s stories and take time to learn and understand them.

Jodie – Student Nurse

I pledge to always see the person and not the illness and to keep peoples love stories going.

Laura Meade – Student Nurse

I pledge to be loving and caring, improve quality of others’ lives.

Today onwards I will always make sure my patients’ rights and choice and provide a good quality care. So, that I can make a difference in their life.

Dhanya Baba

My pledge is to become a compassionate nurse and provide a high standard of quality of care for my patients and families.

Juby Joy – Student Nurse

I pledge to always listen to a patient’s story and see the person and not their illness.

Richard Munro – Student Nurse

I pledge to leave no job unfinished to always listen and to see past the illness or condition that individual is faced with.

Ailie Georgia Miller – Student Nurse


I pledge to always treat each person as an individual, to always care, lok after and ensure all is safe and cared for.

Catriona O`Donnell

I pledge to be the best listener and tell my patients everything is going to be alright – because you are in safe hands.

Veronica Walker

I pledge to ask the right question (what matters to you) and to listen to the answer and do everything in my power to honour it.

Darren Hancock

To spread kindness and hope. You matter..

Sophie Colburn – Student Nurse

I pledge to always see the person for who they are and not for the task that needs to be done.

Leah Holt – Student Nurse


I pledge that I will always look at the person and not the condition. I will put people at the centre of their care and always ask who matters and what matters to them.

Danielle Fensom – Nursing Student.

I pledge to always be kind, compassionate and caring.

Louise Graham – BSc Mental Health Nursing

I pledge to give a little more time to listen to my patient’s life stories.

I pledge to understand and listen to patients and family stories.

Conor Kevin McQuaid – Student Nurse 1st Year

I pledge to try to make a difference. How to consider the person behind the conditions and always think how they would like to be cared for.

I pledge to help people and make a difference.

I pledge to always care for people because it is human nature to care

Laura Crook – Student Mental Health Nurse

I pledge to pay attention to the individual. To learn about them and to tailor my care to their needs.

Leanne Patrick – Student Mental Health Nurse

I promise to make it through nursing school and be the best palliative care nurse I can be *in my memory George*

Janet Thomson – Care Assistant/Student Nurse

I pledge to be a voice for, those who are now voiceless. Dedicate my life to caring for others, listening to patients with dementia and showing them they are loved and cared for.

Thuthukile Khumalo

I pledge to make the time to get to know patients and what matters to them.

Megan Welsh – Student Nurse

I pledge to get to know the person/their lives. Know what matters to the person and their family/loved ones. Love and listen.

Claire Paris – Student Nurse

I pledge to always listen and learn all my patient’s lives before dementia. Always look beyond the patient’s diagnosis.

Robyn Kennedy – Stirling University Student Nurse.

 I pledge to always treat patients as people with stories and not as people with a condition.

Alex Godfrey – Stirling University Student Nurse

I pledge to learn something about every patient I meet and never define them as having dementia.

Katie Dickenson – Student Nurse 

I pledge to understand the story and personality of every person I care for.

Rachel M Kerr – Student Nurse

I pledge to make a difference in each patient’s life. For them and their families.

Michelle Paton – Stirling University


I pledge to make a difference, giving people a voice.

Violeta Deans

My pledge is to always take the time to listen, to help, and support families hopefully fulfil a dream of becoming a community nurse and support families.

Vicky Gilmour – Student Nurse

To be caring, compassionate, show respect, while getting to know the person and not the disease. I will be their voice.

Vicky Allan – Student Nurse

I pledge to see someone for the person they are and remember everyone has a story.

Laura McLean – Student Nurse

My pledge is to always show support and kindness to everyone that needs me. Not only as a nurse but as a friend, mum, daughter and sister and wife..

Chanade Elliot – Nursing Student

My pledge today is to make a difference and continue peoples loves stories.

Cheryl Wright – Student Nurse

I pledge to always listen and take time, and to provide the best care I can.

Victoria Gordon – Student Nurse


I pledge to give the best care possible throughout my nursing career

Claire McCourt – Stirling University


I pledge to treat every patient the way I want my grandma to be treated. To treat every carer the way I want me and my mum to be treated.

Vanessa Saunders – Student Nurse (Mental Health)


I pledge to see the person for what she/he was, rather what condition they are suffering with. Our past matter. To see me as I matter, to make me feel like I matter.

Oksana Gill – University of Stirling


I pledge to see the person and not the illness.

Peter Gallagher – Student Nurse


I pledge to always think of things from a patients/carer perspective and be non-judgemental. To always realise there is a bigger picture to everything.

Peter Gallagher – Student Nurse

My pledge is to be a flicker of light in the darkness of hopelessness by regaining faith in humanity.


I pledge to care for others with empathy and kindness also to listen and be someone to turn to at all times.

Hannah Libby Jennings

I pledge to be the best nurse I can be, to be there for patients and their families and give time. To always treat people how I would like my loved one to be treated.


I pledge to listen and always care. Also, take the time to be there.

Susan – Student Nurse


I pledge to make a difference. I will take the time to listen, care and support those who need it. To always make sure that the person I care for knows they are important and that they matter. That they matter to their friends, family and to me.

Laura Grant – Student Nurse


I pledge to be the best most caring nurse I can be, and always see my patient as the person they were, are and want to be.

Laura Graham – Student Nurse Year 1

I pledge to always give patients and their families the best care and support I can and to always listen to them.

Kate Stapleton – University of Stirling




Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

Dementia Carer Voices Annual Report

The last year has been a particularly busy time for Dementia Carer Voices, who have now engaged with over 60,000 people over the course of 500 talks. Our You Can Make a Difference campaign has now collected 11,000 pledges from health and social care professionals, students, and members of the public who are committed to making a difference to people with dementia and their carers.

As part of this work we have launched pledge trees in colleges, universities, hospitals, and care homes up and down the country promoting value based reflective practice and culture change. In partnership with Glasgow Clyde University and Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and Islands, Dementia Carer Voices have recently launched a community pledge in Pollok, giving constituents the chance to reach out to their neighbours and help reduce isolation and loneliness. This has seen the work of the project promote person centred care and communities,

It is also pertinent to the project’s work to collect the voices of a range of people including carers, people living with dementia, and staff. To assist with this, a range of multi medium case studies have been collected, using the framework of ‘what matters to you?’ We have now collected ten case studies, which can all be found on our website.

Much of Dementia Carer Voices work also requires excellent partnership working, this year we have endeavoured to forge strong links with other organisations such as Age Scotland and NHS NSS. Working in partnership, Dementia Carer Voices and NHS NSS aim to produce a report which analyses the pledges generated from our ‘You Can Make a Difference Campaign.’ This will explore the pledges made and the potential barriers identified to fulfilling them in order to promote learning and improve practice across Scotland. It is envisioned that this work will take into consideration occupation and location in order to identify specific areas of need. This work can be used as a tool to identify best practice and also provide support to enable health and social care professionals to overcome barriers whether they be structural or personal.

Some of the projects highlights include:

  • Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw’s keynote address at the RCN Conference
  • Director Irene Oldfather bringing Scotland’s good practice to Europe, by leading in a debate in Brussels.
  • Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw and Director Irene Oldfather in collaboration with the Glasgow University School Nursing have published an article in the academic journal The International Journal of Aging and Society.

The team is also excited to start work in the new year as agreed by the Chief Nursing Officer Directorate, who have given the programme additional funding to work alongside Healthcare Improvement Scotland to assist with their specialist dementia work in four pilot hospitals. This will be a priority in the upcoming year where will continue to champion the voice of lived experience, ensuring that it is at the centre of support and services.

Posted in News