Dementia Carer Voices would like to say a huge thank you to NHS Ayrshire and Arran for their commitment to the Make A Difference Campaign. The whole team have reacted so strongly to the You Can Make a Difference message, and it’s been inspiring to get such a positive response. We are delighted to say that from these events, together we have collected a total of 236 pledges so far! We’d like to say a massive thank you to all those who have taken the time to listen, and to make a pledge – we really can make a difference.
The tour would not have been possible without the help of Derek Barron, Fiona McQueen, Janice McAlister, Amanda Johnson and Lynne McLaughlin from NHS Ayshire and Arran. They not only invited Tommy to share his experiences, but have shown their commitment to listening to the experiences of patients and carers, and supporting staff to make a difference. This support has been from every level within NHS Ayrshire and Arran, as Tommy was invited by the Chief Executive to lead off his ‘staff talks’ by giving a talk in a formal Board meeting, where they started off the process of making a pledge. This enthusiasm has been reflected throughout the organisation, with Senior Charge Nurse Lynsey Renfrew encouraging staff to attend and even taking a pledge tree for her ward so that all of her colleagues there can reflect on the difference that they can make to the lives of the people they work with.
Each pledge that we have collected represents a huge milestone not just for the campaign but for the people of Ayrshire and Arran. The team at NHS A&A have aligned the pledges to their 10 Key Action Points to showcase how both the pledges and the Action Points can be fulfilled, giving meaning and context to each other.
At the talks, the staff were encouraged to make a pledge and hang it on one of the pledge trees, which are now being displayed in dining rooms which are open to both staff and the public.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran have an intranet site which is now going to display all of the pledges that have been made during the tour so that staff can view them. In six months, these will be re-circulated and staff will be asked to review their pledges and say if they have met their pledge. This feedback will be gathered anonymously to promote honesty and open up a dialogue as to how staff can be supported to keep their pledges.
Tommy has spoken to 424 staff at 8 talks, ranging from nurses, allied health professionals, medics, students, administration and support staff, social work, fire and rescue and police colleagues. We are delighted to say that there are already more talks being planned for August, and look forward to continuing to work together.
Fiona McQueen’s ‘Viewpoint’ blog piece spoke of the NHSaaa experience has had over 5000 hits, with over 900 retweets on Twitter. The use of social media in particular has been a great tool for sharing information and creating an easy way for people to get involved and to speak to others who are keen to make a difference. From tweets to wordeo clips, the campaign has really been strengthened and accessible to staff and members of the public alike.
Thank you again to everyone involved – we really can make a difference.