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.