Today, Friday 12th December, sees the launch of the ‘Make a Difference’ film which captures the journey of the You Can Make a Difference campaign from the Health and Social Care Alliance’s (the ALLIANCE) Dementia Carer Voices project. The campaign has travelled across Scotland to highlight that everyone has the potential to transform the lives and experiences of people with dementia and their carers, no matter what their role.
The film, made in partnership with the ALLIANCE, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and the University of the West of Scotland, follows the journey of some of the 300 staff members at University Hospital Ayr and Crosshouse Hospital who have pledged to make a difference in the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers. Dementia Carer Voices has worked closely with NHS Ayrshire and Arran as part of the project’s extensive outreach programme spearheaded by Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw, who shares his own personal experiences about caring for his late mum, Joan, and those of others who have shared their stories with the project. The campaign provides people with the opportunity to reflect on these personal stories and to contribute with their own pledge to make a difference.
The campaign has been hugely successful, gathering over 2,600 pledges from people across Scotland, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Paul Gray, Chief Executive NHS Scotland, both of whom feature in the film. They are joined by staff from NHS Ayrshire and Arran, who share their motivation for making a pledge and the difference they wish to make. NHS Ayrshire and Arran have demonstrated their commitment to the campaign throughout 2014, and will continue to support staff as they work to make a difference in the lives of people in their professional and indeed personal lives.
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw said: “It has been fantastic to see how many people in Ayrshire and Arran have gotten behind the campaign and pledged to make a difference in the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers. The pledges have been inspiring and we are so grateful to everyone who has made a pledge, and to NHS Ayrshire and Arran for their commitment to the campaign.
“It has been and continues to be a privilege to work with staff in Ayrshire and Arran as people work to fulfil their pledges and to make a difference.”
ALLIANCE Director Irene Oldfather said: “The ALLIANCE is delighted to partner NHS Ayrshire and Arran and the University of the West of Scotland in this collaborative piece of work. Our mission is to ensure that the lived experience of people with dementia and their carers influences the policy and practice of health and social care professionals.
“We have taken the message across Scotland and beyond and were delighted when NHS Ayrshire and Arran chose to make a film with us to promote the work. In doing so we give a voice to unpaid carers and ensure that dementia is everyone’s business. Congratulations to NHS Ayrshire and Arran and the University of the West of Scotland for the fantastic way in which they have embraced the You Can Make a Difference Campaign.”
Derek Barron, Associate Nurse Director – Mental Health Services, said: “As part of our commitment to promote the voice of carers in dementia care, we encouraged our staff to make one personal pledge which could help improve the care they provide.
“I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by our staff to embrace this concept and record their pledges. As health professionals we are often focussed on providing care to the patient, that we can overlook the patient’s loved. By listening to the patient’s carer we can help provide improved care which is tailored to each individual and is person-centred.”
The team are absolutely delighted to launch this new film, and would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved and for all your continued support. We can make a difference!