Pledges from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Massive thanks to Gail Naylor, Nursing and Midwifery Director for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTH) and all the wonderful team for inviting Tommy to speak at the trusts Dementia Awareness Conference on 18 May.

Tommy has had the great honour to speak for Gail before and are friends in person and on twitter.

We are truly inspired by the people we met on the day, the dedication and desire by all to care for each other.

The trust are really doing some great work, including, for every bed to have a “What Matters To Me” board above every bed in the hospital after Tommy`s session.

Thank you for inviting us along and for creating the pledges trees.  A few people handed Tommy personal pledges that you can read below.

Thank you from all the team at DCV  🙂


I pledge to continue to ensure dementia has a high profile with our trust board so that we can ensure we do our very best for patients, their families and cares every day, every time and all the time. And to invite Tommy back to LTH so more staff can hear his story.

Gail Naylor – Nursing and Midwifery Director


I will aim to visit wards to identify patients who don’t have visitors and offer a visit from me 😊

Lisa Hulme – Divisional Director


I will train my dog `Dexter` to be a PAT dog and giver back to the care home where my mother in low received care when suffering from dementia.

Alison Haughton – Divisional Director Surgery


I pledge to promote the message that kindness is the key to good care.

Catherine Silcock – Divisional Nursing Director


I will insist on kindness always!

Sarah Cullen – Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery


My pledge is to be a voice for everyone who needs me. And make sure nobody is lonely and make sure people feel safe.

Cathy Chapple – S.N LTH NHS Trust


My pledge in my busy role I will take time to stop and listen to the patients I care for and I mean really listen from their heart to mine.

Shirley Almond – Ward Manager


I pledge to listen to each person individually. To talk ad listen when I am needed.

Laura Burgess – Staff Nurse


I pledge to continue being alongside people and their families. Remembering to ask what matters and who matter to you.

Catherine Burke – Volunteer with Royal Volunteer Service


I pledge to remember that “little things” can be big and ask, “what matters to you”

Pauline MacDonald – Specialist Nurse


I will ask everyone I work with and care for, about what matters to them and continue to talk to them about it every time we meet.

Rachel Sansbury – Divisional Director





Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

Glasgow Housing Association and #WMTY17

This weeks guest blog comes from Gregory Hill-O`Connor, Our Voice Co-ordinator at the ALLIANCE.  Greg tells us about his visit to Glasgow Housing Association and What Matters to You Day.


As a keen student of social policy, and in particular how societies look after their most vulnerable, I have always been interested in the notion of housing as the ‘wobbly pillar of the welfare state’. So when Tommy asked me to come along to visit the Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) office in Cardonald to speak to them about What Matters To You Day I had to say yes.

What Matters To You Day is about people taking a bit of time to ask the people they are working with ‘what matters to you?’.  It seems like a simple, obvious question but it is a fiercely important one.  This initiative has been very popular in recent years among health and social care staff. However, I was delighted to hear that GHA is the first housing association to be involved in this amazing day.  And I was further delighted when I had a chance to go and visit and art group set up by residents in Cardonald.  Costing a grand total of £60, this group gave me an opportunity to see the impact of people doing things that matter to them – I even got to experience the pleasure in creating a simple piece of art!

Firstly, it has been a long time since I have received such a warm welcome.  Immediately people were talking to me about their art works – including some incredible watercolour sunsets (which I unashamedly plagiarised for my own pastel work) and a particularly intricate pen drawing of a ship in a bottle.  These conversations were interspersed by the self depreciation of two people who were new to the group, comments that were immediately shut down by the rest of group who launched into praise for the brightly coloured patterns being completed by the two novices.

The draw to a group such as this and its impact was clear.  Here was a relaxing, creative space full of mutually supportive people.  All of the people there spoke of the transformative impact of the group – many pointing towards how relaxing and calming it is.  The group is now working on a What Matters to You tree that will allow other residents to share the things that make them happy.  Hopefully this will spawn many more groups such as this that offer something simple, that people want and that matter to people.

Housing is such an important part of peoples’ lives as it is the bricks and mortar of housing that are literally the foundations of communities. Even more important then, for Housing Associations to always be asking ‘What Matters To You?’.

Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges, 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts

@CombinedNHS Launch What Matters To You Pledge Trees

Big thanks to Maria Nelligan @Nell1Maria – Director of Nursing and Quality, Julie Anne Murray @JulieAnneM2016,  Colin Burgess @StaffsOatcakes and all at @CombinedNHS  Trust for inviting Tommy to speak at their Annual Conference and help launch initially 25 what matters to you pledge trees across all areas of the trust and community.

Maria and Julie Anne helped support 4 talks at Keele University with Tommy and Colin and invited tommy to speak at the trust conference.

The day was truly inspiring.  We are looking forward to watching the trees grow and to returning later this year to meet the teams again, to capture the story of pledges, what matters to staff and what matters to people across the trust areas.

After the morning sessions the conference broke out to a safari quick fire 15 minutes sessions, sharing ideas then moving on to the next table.

A massive thank you to all for such a wonderful day, for having the passion to listen, support each other and make a difference for all.

We can’t leave without sharing Colin’s  ‘people make Glasgow’ badge he proudly wears and people most certainly make Combined NHS Trust.

You can read below a few personal pledges some staff handed Tommy on the day.

I pledge to remember to take the time to learn about these: I care for as people and not just their clinical needs.

Paige Stoodley

Staff Nurse, Harland Hospital


I pledge to every way act as a patient voice, and advocate.

Clare Mounlfad Tone

Clinical lead Complex Team


I pledge to remember what it was to be a carer for my wonderful mother with part of her life filled with dementia not feel inadequate in providing and aiming for the best for other families.

Sonia Beech

Community MacMillan Nurse


I pledge to ensure my practice is kind caring a compassionate, also that my knowledge is up to date.

M. Wilson

Specialist Health worker


I pledge to continue to always listen and help with what matters to the person.

Abbie Jones

Staff Nurse, outreach team NOAP


I pledge to promote health through humour.

Time Boland



I pledge to continue to look beyond the illness and see the person.

Carly Stanford


I pledge always to look at the person not the illness.

Karen Stone



I pledge to always be led by the person and never lose my values.

Sonia Goodwin

Team Header NSCHT.


I pledge to take more time to listen.


I pledge to provide as much support as possible to my new team once I am in post.


I pledge to keep my compassion and caring nature throughout my career.

Ange Wilkinson

Student nurse IST


I pledge to listen to people’s stories, see the person.

Deborah Scragg

North staff combined healthcare


I pledge to listen more to what people want and need to try to give 100% and always be caring and compassionate.

Nena Williams

Norse/ NOAP city CMHT


I pledge to care for my mum as I have just done for her brother for 2 years. He died 10/4.11, mixed dementia vas and Alzheimer.

Lynn Glasby


I pledge to ask every family I meet, what matters to you and what can I do to help?

Andre Slinn

Community nurse


I pledge to go on.

Sue Slater

Education development manager and LD Nurse


I pledge to always ask service users “what matters to you” and take the time to learn and care.

Jessica Cooper. CPN – NSCHT


I pledge to always be kind and find time.

Laura Jones

Ward Manager


I pledge to remember the person and not the illness.

Robert Sillito

Physical Health and IPC Nurse


I pledge to take time to hear people’s love stories.

Wendy Mountford



I pledge to never walk past.

Zoe Grant

Quality Assurance and improvement manager


I pledge to always have time when it is asked for by all, never say “I have not got time”. Care for other as I would expect to be cared for.

Suzanne C


I pledge to always listen to the love story.


Senior practitioner


I pledge to keep on caring/ smiling/ person centred.


Diversional Activity Worker


I pledge to ensure and continue developing perfect equisence, base my practice in order to deliver compassionate, collaborative and person centred care.

S. Thomson


I pledge to continue embed dementia friendly, empathetic, honest, compassionate care to other’s in general hospital setting offering education and support to others colleagues.

Leanne Heath

Clinical Head Raid Team

Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

Dementia Carer Voices attend Focus on Dementia Conference

On the 10th May, ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather, Project Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw and Policy and Information Intern William Griffiths attended Focus on Dementia’s conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.

Tommy and William manned our stand and engaged with lots of people about the work of Dementia Carer Voices and the ALLIANCE. We were visited there by, among many others, Tom McCarthy from Health Improvement Scotland and the team from Hatton Lea Care Home that Tommy visited last month.

Hatton Lea - Plaza   

We brought the DCV pledge tree on which people wrote reflections about what caring a person with dementia means to them. Please see below for some of the inspiring pledges we received on the day.

pledge cards - Crown Plaza

Irene spoke at the ‘on the couch’ session about the importance of person centred care, and shared some reflections on what barriers carers face in providing high quality care.

Irene - FOD

It was a good day, and great to meet many unpaid carers, people with dementia and policy professionals on the day.

Take some time to read the inspiring pledges below.

Thanks team DCV 🙂


I pledge to be going to look at how the ALLIANCE can work with NHS Lothian.


I pledge to ensure that we work to look after to explore the potential of every day, and emerging technologies to make a difference to health and wellbeing of carers.

Sandra S.

Tec. Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland.


I pledge to focus on the person not the condition.


I pledge to be an effective agent of change, and make a positive difference to all affected by dementia.


I pledge to celebrate at every opportunity the value of my patients with dementia.


I pledge to bring a bit of dementia friendly communities into my village and raise awareness of dementia in local primary schools.


I pledge to have my aim to place people with dementia at the centre of all decisions about their care, taking into account their wishes through interactions with the person, their relatives and carers.


I pledge to continue to focus on keeping dementia an issue within the wider community.


I pledge  not to be overwhelmed some times by it. I might to talking to a friend about my husband and suddenly I realise I am speaking about my husband it is humbling disease.


I pledge to continue to support my staff in delivering person centred care.


I pledge to do dementia friends training.


I pledge that Age Scotland’s early stage dementia will continue to raise awareness of the sign and symptoms of dementia and the benefits of early diagnosis.


I pledge to continue to work for carers and people with dementia and their carers. Advocating for them when needed.


I pledge that with my family, husband and two sons, dad and mum in-law, all of us will become dementia friends.


I pledge to make a difference listen more at work/home with friends and strangers.


Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

North West Non-Medical Prescribers Pledge to Make a Difference

Thanks to David Reddy Admin and Clerical Support Officer the Association of Non-Medical Prescribers for kindly inviting Tommy to speak at their Annual Conference at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on April 25th 2017.

 Also, a big thanks to Dr Debbie Robertson, of Chester University, to suggest Tommy as one of the speakers.

 Over 200 delegates from across the North West attended and made personal pledges that you can read below.

Thank for the kind invite opportunity and pledges.

Team DCV 🙂


I pledge to always see the person and all they have experienced, i.e. “what matters to them, and to provide patience and time no matter what else presents”

Louise Hough – Practice Nurse Prescriber.


I pledge not to be the person who stops others to fulfilling their pledges, ever! And I pledge to help others fulfil their pledges.

Charlotte Smith – UCLAN.


I pledge to show that I care and promote continuity of care.

Sue Brooks.


I pledge to remember that I can make a difference! No matter how small it, all matters.


I pledge to refer patients as their name and not their diagnosis and bed number.

Nicola Jones – St Helens and Knowsley Trust.


I pledge to make a bigger effort to support the families of patients suffering with dementia.

Natalie Walker – Advanced Nurse Practitioner.


I pledge to know the person.

Lynn Bates – Community Matron, East Cheshire NHS.


I pledge to try not to stereotype patients with dementia and to listen more.

Amanda Wilson, Amy, Cassie Holmes – Leads Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.


Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

“It Isn’t Joy in Work; Joy IS the Work”

Todays blog comes from Hans Hartung from NHSAA. He talks about the power and importance of connectedness in experiencing joy in your work.  Linking nicely with #WMTY17

Kate Hilton of the IHI Open School, Helen Bevan of the NHS England, Hans Hartung of the NHS Scotland, and Marianne McPherson of the IHI 100 Million Healthier Lives team describe how leaders can embrace their role as facilitators of joy in work.

Improvement guru W. Edwards Deming had a clear vision of a leader’s role: “Management’s overall aim should be to create a system in which everybody may take joy in his [or her] work.” Studies have shown that joy in work leads to higher service user satisfaction, better staff engagement, more cooperation among staff, higher productivity, and more efficiency.

But what exactly is “joy in work,” and how can we, as leaders, elicit it? We tackled that question during a unique session at the 2016 IHI Nationanl Forum.

As we prepared for the session, we wanted to develop a shared understanding of joy from our work as leaders of large-scale change efforts. We believe joy is a lived experience, not a theoretical one. While we may possess strategies and methods for creating joy, they must pass the “sniff” test: we know when we feel “joy” — and when it is inauthentic or forced. We experience joy as a feeling of pleasure, happiness, and wellbeing that results in energy, connection, a sense of purpose, meaning, and fulfilment. In other words, we all have an internal “joy calibration system.”

We took that knowledge and challenged ourselves to teach about joy with joy at the Forum, where we gathered with 20 frontline leaders of change in health care. As pre-work, we asked participants to submit “personal anthems of joy,” which played throughout the session. As participants entered the room, we welcomed, acknowledged, and thanked each one of them for their presence. We asked them questions about themselves, helped them find their seats, and introduced them to one another. We shared pictures and stories of who we are and what brings us joy. We ignited the senses in small groups around smell, touch, taste, sound, and breath. And during our break, we conducted a “Randomized Coffee Trial” to deepen authentic connections.

Our workshop’s aim was to create a Joy Manifesto that explored how we experience joy from within, together, and across a system. The following seven design principles for joy emerged from the group’s work. Central to these principles is the understanding that while joy is a lived experience at personal and interpersonal levels, creating the sustained conditions for joy is a system responsibility. These system conditions, then, lead to personal and interpersonal joy at work:

  1. Create conditions for people to identify sources of joy from within. We cannot give what we do not have. Because joy lives within, we must identify the personal practices and habits that connect us to our internal sources of joy, like journaling, being in nature, exercising, meditation, and singing. Test to Try: Notice for yourself: what makes you joyful?
  2. Encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. This is about moving from knowing what brings you joy to living it at work. How might you bring other joyful parts of your life into the workplace? Participants offered examples like writing thank-you notes to others at work, building a quiet walk into each work day, and sharing a joke, personal stories, or pictures. Test to Try: By next Tuesday, what one joyful life practice can you integrate into your work day?
  3. Create conditions for human connection. To live is to be connected to — and helpful to — each other. Human connection is an organic process that emerges whenever people meet. Workshop participants noted that connections amplify collective learning by building on one another’s strengths and recognizing weaknesses. The quality of our connections is a predictor of our happiness. Sharing stories and facilitating a social environment help to build authentic connections. Attentive listening without interruption, humble inquiry, and genuine curiosity are human ways to build empathic bridges. Test to Try: In the next week, listen to someone without interruption and with curious interest in what they want to share. How is it different?
  4. Make it safe to be joyful. Deming also said, “Drive out fear, create trust.” Trust and absence of fear are the foundation to go beyond “safe space” to “brave space” where people can try new things and be vulnerable, honest, and light-hearted together. Joy lives at the edge of taking risks and knowing that it is okay to fail forward. Ask “open and honest” questions, demonstrate acts of kindness, greet everyone within a 10-foot radius, adopt an “eyes up, hearts open” hallway culture with no smart phone use, and celebrate courage. Be nice, consistently. A culture that values recognition and respect encourages trust. Leaders have a particular responsibility to create these conditions by modelling these behaviors. Test to Try: Put away your smart phone for one day and acknowledge those around you. See what happens.
  5. Create a space for others to lead. Be authentic. Don’t give power and take it away; instead, help others see and use their agency. Ignite people’s autonomy by asking them to break the rules when the rules stop serving the intended purpose. Empower people to refine and redefine measures that don’t make sense. Replace micro-management with mutuality by spending time at the front lines to speak with and listen to people. Test to Try: This week, make rounds on the floor or in the field with the intent of unleashing others’ capacity and will to solve their own problems.
  6. Build systems for joy: When we think about joy, we typically think about intrinsic motivation: connecting with people’s internal motivation, linking with their values and the things that matter to them at the deepest emotional or spiritual levels. But we can also create systems of extrinsic motivation to support joy. By this, we mean introducing levers or system drivers that encourage specific behaviors or “prod” people to engage in particular activities. Examples include:
    • Defining joy as a stated value of the organization, developing metrics around joy, making joy a deliverable to which all staff dedicate a percentage of time each month, and including joyfulness as a qualification in job descriptions
    • Creating conditions for joy to emerge, as Swedish leaders do with “FIKA,” a break with coffee and cake
    • Backing off if incentives are experienced as “compliance for joy,” making them inherently un-joyful

Test to Try: By the end of the month, explore one concrete step for your organization to take to design for joy.

  1. Create conditions for people to learn, improve, and innovate. Having fun designing joy in work, actually enjoying the process, was one of the most exciting insights from the workshop. Improvement and innovation stimulate creativity and intrinsic motivation, resulting in joy. As Deming noted, “Innovation comes from people who take joy in their work.” Co-ownership, playful improvisation, experimentation, valuing failure, the appreciating of stories behind the data, and a focus on collaboration make change come alive. Joy in improvement work results from the knowledge that any improvement contributes to the bigger picture and is connected to others’ learning. Joy builds confidence, and confidence builds intrinsic motivation for continuous learning. As Deming stated, “We are here to learn, to make a difference, and to have fun.” Test to Try: Have fun! (Really!)

All in all: It isn’t “joy in work”; joy is the work. Being an improvement leader who creates the conditions for joy means knowing it, being it, sharing it, and designing for it. For Deming, there was no doubt that the experience of joy in work was a prerequisite for any high-performing organization. Joy must be how we do business — within ourselves, together with others, and across our systems.

Sources and additional reading:


Posted in 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts

Dementia Carer Voices tours the Western Isles for Dementia Awareness Week 2017

The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland’s (the ALLIANCE) Dementia Carer Voices Project Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, will be holding a series of talks in conjunction with NHS Western Isles from 31st May to 3rd June. The talks are aimed at raising awareness for people with dementia and their carers.

The programme highlights the role of carers as experts and how they should be recognised for the value that they bring to the life of their loved ones and society.  It empowers carers by providing information based on the Charter of Rights and Carers Strategy about caring for someone with dementia, and captures experiences of carers across Scotland to help inform future policy and service provision.

ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather said,

“We are delighted to be invited back to give talks in the Western Isles. This project reaches out and touches the hearts of so many people, not least the health and social care professionals who attend the talks and make their pledges. These interactions are an ideal opportunity for staff to pause and reflect on what is really important to the people in their care. Make a pledge, make a difference.”

Tommy said,

“My motivation as a carer came from the love I had for my mum and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, but my experience has shown me just how tough it is to live with dementia and how many struggles it can bring. I felt passionately that no one should have to face the confusion, loneliness and isolation and my passion to raise awareness of dementia and its impact on families has grown even stronger since my mum’s passing.”

Further information

Talks and events:

Barra: Wednesday 31st May – Meet and Greet Carers and people with Dementia.  1.30pm-2.30pm at Cobhair Bharraigh, Castlebay.*

Uist: Thursday 1st June – Carers Morning Tea.  10.30am-11.30am at Sacred Heart House, Daliburgh.

Harris: Thursday 1st June – Staff and Carers Tea.  7.00pm-8.00pm Harris House, Tarbert.

Lewis: Friday 2nd June – talk followed by Ceilidh 1.00 pm-2.30pm in Erisort Ward, Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway.

Lewis: Saturday 3rd June – A Memory March, hosted by Alzheimer Scotland, will be held to take place from 2pm at the Bridge Centre, Stornoway.


*Due to the tragic circumstances of the attack in Manchester, we have decided to cancel Tommy’s talk in Barra. Our thoughts and condolences go to those affected.

Posted in Events