Today`s guest blog and viewpoint comes from Yvonne Manson, Dementia Consultant from Balhousie Care Group. Tommy visited Balhousie on the 10th Jan 2017, stay tuned this week for the pledges going live. Now in the meantime lets see what Yvonne has to tell us…
Workforce development is something that has always been very important to me and I believe that if we value people we will get the best from them. It is people who make the difference. I joined Balhousie Care Group just under a year ago and along with residents, families and staff across the group; developed the dementia strategy which launched in July of 2016. For me it was important that the strategy was not simply written by me as a policy and put out but that everyone who would be impacted by the strategy had the opportunity to be involved and that it met the needs of the people who it impacted mainly: residents, staff and families of Balhousie care group.
Theme one of the dementia strategy identified that ‘each of our care homes will have at least two active dementia ambassadors’. These ambassadors would be supported to ensure the dementia strategy was implemented within the homes and working to support the residents, families and staff within the care home.
Dedicated ambassador meetings
We launched our bi-monthly dementia ambassador meetings to provide a platform for ambassadors to come together, share ideas and provide support for one another. It also offers an opportunity for shared learning with great training and development opportunities.
We recently held our first meeting of 2017 and we were lucky to have two guest speakers attend. Heather Edwards, dementia consultant at the Care Inspectorate and Tommy Whitelaw, project engagement lead at Health and social Care Alliance Scotland.
Heather and Tommy are both very approachable, inspiring, positive people and an asset to have as part of our meeting. Their passion, knowledge and captivating personalities drew our ambassadors in and inspired them with their stories and understanding of living with dementia and supporting those that do so I am delighted that both came along and I am looking forward to seeing how our ambassadors take the information Tommy and Heather delivered and fit it into their homes.
Supporting people to deliver excellence
What I love about our dementia strategy and about Tommy’s ‘You can Make a Difference’ campaign, is that although there are core themes on how to deliver excellence in care, they can actually be delivered in personalised ways which are adapted to individual environments. Once someone has the knowledge on how to deliver, my role is to give autonomy and support them to develop something that works best for them and their residents.
This takes me back to my starting point that if we work together to learn, develop and inspire, we really can be part of something great. I regularly say that awards are amazing, but ‘if you get up each day, to go to work to do something you love, then you’re already a success’. I am proud of the work I do and the people I work with, and hope that we can celebrate the passion, talent and achievements that many of the people working within the care sector in Scotland demonstrate.
Balhousie Care Group