Carer’s Journey – pledges by health and care professionals and students

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Dementia Carer Voices attended a 4 day tour of Healthwatch Essex on the week of 12th October 2015.  Thanks to everyone of you who attended each event and the team for arranging the few days.  Below is a blog post by the team and the pledges made to the Make a Difference Campaign each day.

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We hosted Tommy Whitelaw, a tireless campaigner for carers’ rights, for a speaking tour of Essex hospitals, carers groups and Anglia Ruskin University. He shared his story of being a carer for his mum, Joan, who had dementia, and asked health and care professionals to make pledges of how they will make a difference to the lives of patients and services users, and their carers. These are small actions they can take back to their own practice to improve the experiences of carers and the people they care for.

Find out more about the Carer’s Journey and about Dementia Carer Voices and Tommy Whitelaw’s ‘You can make a difference’ campaign.

Here are the pledges…

Princess Alexandra Hospital

I pledge to take time to get to know the person behind the patient  Chris Tucket, Physiotherapist

My role is a carer hospital support and liaison worker. My aim is to support carers whilst the person they care for is in hospital.  I pledge to listen to carers, to their fears, concern anxiety and loneliness. I pledge to find ways to provide consistency in my work and to remember the issues carers face – Deborah Rhead, Carers Hospital Support

I will support the improvement of care of dementia in hospital and always lend a listening ear to the carers and patients in need – Anon

My pledge is to listen to the patient and carers and to remember Joan and Tommy’s story – Anon

I want to empower the carer to feel confident for their voice to be heard and I want carers to feel listened to – Anon

I pledge to find new ways to listening to carers in our plans – Shahid Sadar, AD Patient Experience Team

I pledge to ensure as a team leader that my staff and I acknowledge and care for the carers who look after our patients –  Val Paddick, Ward Manager

Local Professional Network

I will make time for tea with carers and loved ones…anyone who needs it – Sam Glover, Director of Healthwatch Essex

I pledge to share my own experiences of living with a person with dementia and help healthcare professionals in adopting a better approach towards our/their own dementia patients, especially with regard to issues with medicines – Beenish Ali, Oncology/haemotology pharmacist at Colchester Hospital

To continue to urge people with dementia diagnosis to seek dental assessment, especially at admission to care homes – Angela Falconer, Senior Dental Officer, NELFT Community Dental Service

I will thank my Nan for all the love and care that she showed for my grandad during such difficult days. I will always remember him and not the dementia – Anon

Broomfield Hospital

To treat all individuals with dementia with respect and dignity and provide them with person-centred or individualized care – Anon

To care for my patients the way they would care for themselves – Anon

A repeat of my June 2015 pledge: to continue to call people by name, to listen to a patients story and to honour that person and their loved ones and their faith.  Give them dignity, respect and quality of life and continue to educate people to do all of the above – Allison Cline-Dean, Chaplain

I pledge to make a difference however little, whenever possible – Trish Hunter, Healthcare Assistant Urology Centre

To speak to more patients  Jonathan Wright, Patient Experience

To hold my patients’ hand when they’re scared – to be the difference – Rob Lumsden, Bank Business Partner, Emergency Care Assistant

I will try to better understand my patients and will provide dignity when I care for them. I put patients preferences first and will respect their spirituality – Shaiby Paulose, Pre-Registered Nurse

I pledge to be the listening ear, the shoulder to cry on and the person to say everything will be ok – Jade Sainsbury, Braxted Ward

To try to make a difference however small and to be kind and caring – Mandy Wade, Healthcare Assistant

To show compassion and dignify patients with dementia – Anon

I pledge to always take time to listen, to hear and to react and to take action…and to hug my mum just a little tighter – Bev, Learning and Development

To always listen to patients, carers and relatives no matter what work pressures I have – Vicci Martin, Healthcare Assistant 

To try and make a difference and get some training to be able to care for people with dementia and their families – Alba Plasencia, Healthcare Assistant

I plede to be nice and polite to everyone I come into contact with because everyone has a story and a smile can change everything – Terence Large, Patient Experience

To ensure that every patient who I feel is vulnerable or is having a bad day I will go and say hello and introduce myself – Anon

To ensure patients and relatives feel cared for and loved, and listened to! – Kayleigh Drury, Registered Nurse

I pledge to ensure that every dementia patient is treated with dignity and as an individual. Every person has a story – Grace Holt, Registered Nurse

To continue to empower the patients and family. Be an advocate of the patient’s whole being. To continue to give patient care with dignity and respect – Rhea Mae Chaves, Pre-Registered Nurse

To ensure person-centred care is delivered at all times – don’t just do what is convenient for the ward eg, ask patients to sit down all day. Stay by the bed. Allow the person to be who they are and feel reassured – remove the fear factor from dementia – Emma Jackson, Staff Nurse

Provide more time to listen to them; provide dignity, respect for their needs – Cristine Torres Moya

To treat each dementia patient with understanding, empower them, make them feel safe, make them realise they are OK – Anon

To be a bit kinder to the next person – Anon

To give more time to listen, value their experience, to be a voice for others – Jean Seerson, Chaplain

I will continue to provide my services with respect and to provide holistic care to all service users – Tristan Tumang

Basildon Hospital

I pledge to continue growing our tiny charity: Lewy Body Dementia Iles Association (LBDIA) to educate / share our experience with health care professionals through prepared presentation and support families affected by the terrible disease of Lewy Body Dementia – Liane Iles, Founder of LBDIA

To encourage all staff to know their patients, who they are? What they like? Where they come from and what makes them happy – Jackie Cullen, Staff Training Facilitator

To always see the individual and help others to do same – Jayne Toplis, Associate Director Organisation Development

I think peace of mind, remembering the person: a mum, a dad, auntie or uncle. Loving care – Michael Daley, Dementia Lead – Southend Hospital

I pledge to educate people I meet that when someone with dementia is ‘challenging’, they are scared – Angela Allum, Dementia Day Centre Manager for Carers Choices

I pledge to remember Tommy’s message about love, kindness and being with the person not the dementia. Taking this message into any appropriate training I plan or deliver to spread further – Christine Pearcy, Learning and Development Manager

To have more understanding of a dementia patient. To listen and take time to find out about the person. To be patient, not to judge – Christine Collins, Housekeeper

I pledge to listen to carers and offer them support and update them regularly on their relative’s care. I pledge to spend time with both carer and patient, getting to know their background – Charlotte, Staff Nurse

As a manager, I pledge to lead as a role model to my staff to make some time to spend/update families. I pledge to support staff and continue to facilitate the best care as I am very lucky to have such amazing staff – just wish I could make miracles and clone staff – Elizabeth Chapman, Senior Sister

More understanding on the telephone when a carer does ring and are a bit angry, don’t assume they are being rude and challenging, understand that they are scared and just listen – Michelle Wood, Ward Clerk

When I recognise someone could do with even a few minutes of my time (and I’m busy!) I will stop and give my time, even if it’s just to listen – Anon

I pledge to listen and always be kind – Diane Sarker, Director of Nursing

I pledge that the services we give to patients living with dementia will be dementia friendly at all times. Make sure that my nurses and the other staff will have the training and understanding on how to care for people living with dementia – Cathering Bituin

I pledge to ensure I act kindly to colleagues, patients and carers and celebrate those staff who act kindly. I will ensure this is covered within the training and education we provide to all staff – Dawn Patience, Corporate Head of Nursing

To make all my patients smile and for me to smile more – Jane Gillbe, Healthcare Assistant

To continue to ensure ALL staff care with their hearts and soul and to always make a difference – Tracey King, Learning Development Facilitator

I will continue to ‘respect’ those with dementia and those around them. To share a little bit of me and my dementia journey (personal and professional). In my role I will strive to drive improvement in dementia care – Anne Hendry, Advanced Nurse Specialist – Falls and QI

To always smile and offer support and listen to their stories and understand their lives better. To hear the carer’s story – Kay Saxton-Lea, Learning & OD Business Partner

Anglian Community Enterprise

To improve dementia care in the community hospital ward by making all staff dementia aware and providing more activities for dementia patients – Sue Stratton, Ward Manager

I pledge to always ask: what matters to you? How can I help? This gives direction that is meaningful, supportive and worthwhile to the individual person I’m trying to help – Anon

To always find out about who the person is (if they want me to) to help with the holistic care I provide – Naomi Burke, Learning Disabilities Dietician

To always go into an appointment asking the person how they are, how and their carer are managing, have a chat about their life and then move onto their health after. Never just go in, assess, carry out therapy and leave – Anon

To take time and listen. To treat every person I come in contact with as how I would want my family to be treated – Nicola Shergold, Student Health Visitor

I’ll always provide Tommy’s 5 ‘must dos’, and do the best I can do – Valerie Toland, Staff Nurse, Clacton Hospital

I pledge to try to and understand the impact on family and carers, to do my best to provide helpful and useful information, to be available and contactable when people need to ask questions – Sarah Cochrane, Speech and Language Therapist 

To actively involve patients and carers in all discussions and decisions and to find out more about the patient as a person so I can make rehab more person-centred – Denice Brannan, Physiotherapist

To take time to get to know the children and families that I work with to ensure I give the best care possible – Naomi Havard, Student Healthvisitor

To take time to talk to people that need my help at work or in my work situation that may have dementia – Sharon Penfect

I pledge to ensure all our staff are equipped to support carers in the right way to make their lives less lonely, afraid, and more supported – Jayne Hiley, Director of Clinical and Corporate Governance

Anglia Ruskin University

I pledge to always stop and help people with dementia anytime I come across one. To be patient and always make a difference, especially in Africa where dementia is not known – Monsurat Taiwo, student

To never treat someone with dementia simple as ‘dementia’ but as the person they really are – Aimii Vaughan, student

I pledge to listen and talk to patients and their family members to ensure they do not feel alone and know that there is always support available – Abby Graham, student

To go back to the basics – care, listen, spend time – Anon

Not to lose sight of why nursing care is important, remembering the individuals I meet as individuals, not as part of my job. Remembering that no two people are the same and something as simple as a smile or having the patience to listen can make a difference. Thank you for this experience – Kate Barham, student

To always have time to listen and hear what is being said, to always show compassion and commitment to help and support patients and families. Time!! Is precious – a gift above anything – Lisa Conway, student

To try not to lose sight of the people involved, to do my best to make a difference to the lives of the people I look after and to do the best I can  Jessica Wright, student

I pledge to always try to find out what my patients chose as their career and what drove them to thrive in their interests and hobbies  Charlotte Lomas, student

I pledge to treat everyone as an individual and respect their dignity and respect of life  Kemuh Sesay

I pledge to love and help people with dementia, listening to their stories and always being there for them Bukola Ajala

I pledge as a nurse to alleviate people’s suffering from dementia and other illness by giving them most of my time, listening and communicating with them and always reassure them that help is at hand  Antonia Okoro, student

I pledge to take time to ask about people past lives so that I can make a connection to them.  To listen to people, especially every patient I encounter – Fuivimbo Mutsotso, student

I pledge to take time to listen to patient and their families or carers about their life and experiences which have created their life,  Also to offer support when someone is feeling lonely  Aimee Newton, student

I pledge to get to know people on a personal level and not just medically. To find out about them as an individual, their life story  Hannah Devenish, student

To get to know and understand how each individual patient feels through communication.  To know their past and what makes them happy  Abigail Holmes, student

To respect, cherish the people in care for to maintain their dignity, supporting them and to enable the care for them.  Will like to know their past especially what matters to them most – especially what makes them happy  Levelyn Anonio, student

I will always put myself into the patients shoes. Treat them the way I would like to be treated irrespective Anon

I pledge to refer to patient by name, treat them with respect and dignity as an individual  Eghomware O Ongloenudia, student

I pledge to treat and care for all patients and their loved ones as I would my own family respecting their decisions, feelings and identities in everything I do surrounding their care  Francesca Sapio, student

To be that nurse who has listening ears to listen to my service users and their carers as well as go the ‘extra mile’ to help meet their needs  Lady Blay, student

I pledge to understand them and their feelings – Daniya Sebastian, student

I pledge to treat everyone equally, but as an individual – Anon

Always put patients and families first at all times – Clare Lempriere, student

I pledge to always communicate with patients and their families and ensure the patient and family is at the heart of any decisions and care plans that will effect them and help them  Anon

I pledge to never assume that those caring from someone with the same condition are struggling with the same issues  Lucy Williams

To treat everyone I encounter with dignity and respect and to treat each person as an individual  Aminet Lawd, student

I will try to understand the patient, carer and dementia  Anon

To treat my patients with respect, dignity and understanding they deserve  Anon

To treat dementia patients like they have not go dementia  Charlette Smith, student

To listen, be kind and to do my best to make positive difference to peoples lives  Anon

I pledge to listen and talk to carers so that they don’t feel so alone / isolated  Bryony Hooper, student

I pledge to make sure I treat every individual with dementia as the person they are and not the person / disease they have become  Dana Wood-Norman, student

I pledge to always care and listen. I pledge to try to understand and put myself in all my patients shoes. To love and care always  Angela Obrien, student

I pledge to always exhibit kindness and empathy in caring for people living with dementia acknowledging that they were once normal and suddenly their world changed  Alban Kalu, student

I pledge to be committed to all patients. I will treat all patients with dignity and respect, whilst delivering the best possible care. To treat all patients like I would love myself and family to be treated – Anon

I pledge to be a better nurse and to give a fair understanding to all patients and to speak out if I see something that is not right and not to walk away and to put the patients life first in all I do  Funmi Ebietomire, student

I pledge to try my best to support families, relatives and friends. It’s so important to care for our patient, but those around them must not be forgotten  Jackie Jarvis, student

To have more time for people with dementia, try and understand them.  I will try to make a difference (Tommy you are not alone) :)  Blessing Office Nyoka, student

There is a lot of people who do not know what to do, where to go and get help. In life you can be in a situation where you need someone to help.  As a nurse I pledge to be the one people will come tom and ask and I will be able to try by all means to help and be the one to listen  Florence Nyamuchina, student

To take time to listen to and to learn more about service users in order to do those little things that matter to them and positively affect their lives  Michael Uzugbo, student

To always listen and care for my patient and assure them that I am always for them  Zahra Ahmed, student

I pledge to listen and communicate more to my patients  Freddie Acosta, student

I pledge to care and listen to the patients – Anon

To do my absolute best to care for individuals with dementia just as much as I would care if my parents or family had dementia.  Care, and time for compassion being the centre of it all  Emma Janavicius, Child Nurse

Make sure that with every patient that I not only know about them medically, but treat them with the respect and care by getting to know them personally as everyone deserves that respect  Sarah Lenton, Child Nurse

I pledge to listen and take the time to ensure I know exactly how patients and their families feel and support in the best possible way I can  Kellie Castille, student Child Nurse

Refer to patients by name, treat them with respect and as individuals. Promote patients dignity at all times Windy Mensah, student

To take time to listen to patients and their families. To listen to life stories and find out who the patient was Claire Brazier, student

I will ensure to ask my patient their favourite thing, place or memory so that whenever they are scared or afraid I have something to talk to them about  Emma Edwards, student

To respect patient with dignity and respond to their needs and treat them with kindness and love  Sandra Asante, student

I pledge I make a difference in people’s lives with compassion and good care  Seenya Sony, student

I will continue take my time to listen to people  Sumol Bhatia, student

To be attentive, to listen, to support.  I have been around individuals affected by this disease and do feel over the years that more should be done for carers – Anon

I pledge to make a difference and be the best nurse I can be for patients and loved ones  Amy Newton, student

I pledge to care for my patients and be the best nurse I can be; always being supportive and listening to them  Anon

To be a caring, loving and friendly nurse – Anon

To be a good and caring nurse – Anon

I pledge to be caring and helpful in anyway I can to service users and those who might need help and also to listen to people’s concerns and worries and take it into consideration before I take any action towards their care  Wema Enehizena, student

Call people by their names and not by their illness  Stacey Plange-Tabil, student

To ensure I treat all patients I care for as individuals and not what they have been diagnosed with  Lauren Yearwood, student

I aim to always consider the likes/dislikes, wishes and goals of the patient and their family/carers.  I will treat people how I would want my children, parents and grandparents to be treated with respect and dignity Shannon Byrne, student

I pledge as a student nurse that I will consider the individual needs and wishes of patients and their carers and fulfil my responsibility as a nurse to support and endeavour to achieve the best for every patient and family  Constance Brown, student

I pledge to support HWE any way I can.  Pledge to not stand by and to speak up in cases where needed Anon

I pledge to support the emotional needs of suffering individuals, I personally have experienced severe mental health and if I can I pledge to support anyone with such issues so that they can look positively on life and fulfil the greatness they have  Shannon Dodson, student

We also visited Essex Carers Network and the Dementia Cafe in Maldon. After Tommy had shared his experience, he asked carers what would improve their experience as a carer. Read what they said.

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Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges, 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts
One comment on “Carer’s Journey – pledges by health and care professionals and students
  1. […] Dementia Carer Voices where proud to tour with Healthwatch across Essex back in October 2015.  You can view the blog post and pledges from the few days here.  […]

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