Are you a carer?

Please watch my short film, which includes families and carers reading from the letters they sent me.

If you're a carer and you'd like to send a letter in, you can post it to Tommy on Tour, 39 crosslee street glasgow g521sl. You can also email it to

Monday, 26 January 2015

Speaking A positive approach to Improving Patient Care- ICO Conference Centre- London March 24th


With great thanks to Clare Gallager and Kerry Tarrant  - HC-UK Conferences for the kind invite to speak at A positive approach to Improving Patient Care Venue: ICO Conference Centre. London on March 24th 

I look very much forward to attending ,speaking,learning and meeting everyone 

Pleas see info on the event below 

We are pleased that Tommy Whitelaw has accepted our invitation to speak at the forthcoming Always Events (r) conference on 24th March 2014 at the ICO Conference Centre, London.

This national conference focuses on Always Events(r). Always Events(r), first introduced in the US by IHI and the Picker Institute, focus on ensuring events that matter to patients happen every time for every patient. Always Events(r) can be tailored to your service and should be developed in consultation with your patients learning from what your organisation or service does well and what elements of care your patients value most. The aim of Always Events(r) is to create a positive approach to improving patient care. 

Chaired by Steve Fairman Managing Director NHS Improving Quality, Tommy will open the conference speaking on learning from what matters to patients and involving patients to identify Always Events for your service. 

The conference will provide a guide to Always Events(r) methodology and learning from case studies of those who have successfully implemented Always Events(r) in their service. There will also be an update on national developments in developing a national set of Always Events(r)

NHS England recently stated; "we want to develop a set of events that patients should expect of all health care professionals and in any NHS setting, events that we are proud of and that we recognise as vital to improving patient experience. We would like this set of core events to support what you think should always happen in practice".  

For further information and to book visit or email

Kerry Tarrant
Healthcare Conferences UK


Saturday, 24 January 2015

2 talks Care Companions Sutton Coldfield Birmingham February 12th

With great thanks to Gillian Christie (Manager) and Sushila Patel for the kind invite to give to talks February 12th at Care Companions Sutton Coldfield 

I met Karen at a previous talk in Birmingham and Karen has kindly invited me down to speak to staff in the afternoon and then an open talk 5pm - 8pm in the evening with other speakers and information stands including information on Power Of Attorney 

I look forward to attending meeting everyone and speaking 

For more information or to attend please see contact details below  

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Honored Speaking Greater Manchester Police Force Carers support Group February 9th


With Great thanks to Chief Constable Peter Fahy and   Catherine Barlow Internal Communications Officer
Greater Manchester Police for the Kind invite to speak at the Greater Manchester Police Force Carers support Group 

I am very honored to be invited to speak at such a positive initiative ,supporting staff and their families and cant wait to meet everyone and hear more about this great initiative 

well Done GMP 


Dementia is one of the biggest issues of our time affecting more than 800,000 people in our society. It has a huge impact on someone's life, as well as on their families and carers.

With this in mind Greater Manchester Police realized that there are undoubtedly many of their own officers and staff also affected by this illness - as they find themselves with caring responsibilities for members of their family or loved ones 

The Force was keen to understand how it could help and support  people with caring roles, as many staff will be finding it hard to balance work and family responsibilities. Therefore, they have invited  officers and staff with caring responsibilities to a staff support group.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy has personal experience of this as his own mother has dementia and therefore he appreciates some of the pressures this creates.

By gathering people together who are facing similar challenges the Force will be able to learn how it can offer further support to staff and provide an opportunity for caregivers to share their feelings, problems, ideas and information with others who are undergoing similar experiences.

Tommy Whitelaw will speak about his experience of caring for his mother at the second GMP carer’s support group meeting on 9 February.

Catherine Barlow
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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My mums name was Joan Whitelaw - our 8 short films

Tommy’s speech, providing a carer’s perspective,  on the theme of “No – one ever asked >” highlighted the transformational impact that listening, kindness and understanding made to his journey as a carer, and the importance of looking beyond a person’s diagnosis to engage with them as an individual.

If you would like to access further information about the Collaborative and to view presentations from the latest learning session, please click here.

In 2011 Tommy produced a short film in conjunction with Alzheimer Scotland. The video, which was later shown at the Scottish Parliament, includes families and carers reading from the letters they sent him during his dementia awareness tour of Scotland’s towns and cities. To view the FILM

  Interview for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Patients’ Stories Library
The NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde's Patients' Stories Library for Hospital Staff aims to use patients’ and carers’ experiences to look at how acute services can be improved.
Tommy shared his story with frontline staff working across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, including the Ward staff that cared for his mother at the Southern General hospital. His film interview was also shown across a number of NHSGGC hospital sites during Carers Week 2013 to help raise awareness amongst staff about the importance of supporting carers in contributing to delivering person centred care.

 It’s Ok to Ask for Help!

The It’s Ok to Ask DVD produced by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Glasgow City Council, The Alliance and Alzheimer Scotland uses carers’ experiences to highlight the benefits of using carer support services in Glasgow, and encourages people to ask for help. Tommy Whitelaw, Alliance Scotland, shares experiences of looking after a partner, parent, relative, friend or neighbour with dementia. Other carers tell us about help they get from support services in Glasgow. FILM

Speaking Care Inspectorate Seminar 

Published on 7 Nov 2013
Tommy recently spoke to our inspection team to talk about his experiences of caring for his mum Joan Whitelaw, who died last year after living with dementia for several years. He spoke about the difficulties he had getting the right services for his mum at the right time and how this led him to take his dementia awareness campaign "On Tour"

National Dementia Awareness Week 2014 (England) – NHS Employers Nursing Times - my Filmed interview

To mark National Dementia Awareness Week which runs from 18 to 24 May, NHS Employers the Nursing Times are working with the Alzheimer’s Society to promote resources available to NHS organisations and the NHS workforce.
As part of this activity, they have specially commissioned a short video of an interview with Dementia Carer Voices’ very own Tommy Whitelaw.

You can get more information here on NHS Employers 
This video was made to mark this year’s Dementia Awareness week 

You can click on the image Below to preview the  trailer for a longer film which will be launched on 12th December in NHS Ayrshire and Arran University Hospital Ayr lecture theatre.
make a difference film

Full version of Make a difference with the staff nhsaaa 
Nicola Film Still 2

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

3 talks Families - Well-being Directorate Warrington Borough Council -Monday - Tuesday

With great Thanks yto Teresa Dawson, CEO and Sandra Boldison, Head of Adult Services Support Team Families & Wellbeing Directorate in Warrington Borough Council for the invite back to give talks 3  to staff across the area January 26 & 27th 
The talks will be open to all and including Dementia Action Alliance Steering Group which is made up of people from various agencies eg Warrington Council, Alzheimer’s Society, residential homes

I had the great privilege to give two talks at The Werburgh’s Development Centre Warrington on 24th October 2014 at the end of last year  The two talks were to an audience of Social Workers, Care at Home Support Teams and Adult Services Support Team Families & Wellbeing Directorate
Thank you  Teresa ,Sandra and all concerned for the kind invite back  and here are the wonderful pledges from both talks in Warrington that day
I also had the  great privilege to speak in Warrington last year at the Warrington Hospital Dementia Conference 

Tomorrow Great honor to attend- speak MAKING A DIFFERENCE IS #6Csy

With great thanks to Joan Pons Laplana Proud Nurse, NHS Change Day Hubbie Care maker and friend for the kind invite ,honor to attend and speak at MAKING A DIFFERENCE IS #6Csy Leicester Racecourse January 23rd 

Joan had put together a very exciting and inspirational day and I am very honored to be invited to speak alongside such inspiring people 

I have followed Joan on Twitter for a log time now and you can too @thebestjoan 

Joan has also kindy put together a post about the day along with details on how to register 

The Booking system for the event has gone live!! Hurray!!
As a East Midlands Care Maker Coordinator I want to take the 6cs to the frontline and inspire them to adopt them as a values and inspire them to become a better healthcare worker.

For that reason Maria Davison, Emma Pownell and myself have organized with the support from NHS England East Midlands and the 6cs Live office and conference design specifically for frontline staff.

We have design an event that hopefully will reignite their passion for the 6cs and the NHS. The event will take place next Friday 23rd January at Leicester Race Course and the speaker line up is absolutely amazing.

Here is the final programme:

My aim is for every delegate to encourage to take an action before leaving the event and I thought to encourage to join one of the fantastic opportunities that delegates will have the change to take. Will be plenty of stands at the foyer. The Leadership Academy, Health Education East Midlands, Patients Opinion, NHS Change Day, NHS Employers, 6C live, Mary Seacola Statue Appeal, and many more...

Let´s make the NHS 6Csy!!

Many thanks.

Joan Pons Laplana
Proud Nurse, NHS Change Day Hubbie and Care maker 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Speaking at Community connectedness: Systems and stories at TheGathering 2015

Community connectedness: Systems and stories at The Gathering 2015.
GP practices often mark the beginning of a person’s journey towards wider NHS services and yet it isn’t always a medical problem that brings a person to see their GP. 
Assets within a person’s local community can often enable people to overcome challenges that they are experiencing and support them to live well, for example, befriending organisations and hobby clubs such as gardening clubs can have a direct, positive impact on health and wellbeing.

In this workshop participants will explore the opportunities available to people in their local communities and the systems for example ALISS and the Links Worker Programme, that help to broker these important relationships. You will hear first-hand, the stories of several people who have benefited from connecting in to their wider communities.
The workshop will also feature our very own Tommy Whitelaw speaking about the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign, which highlights the role that everyone can play in building positive relationships and connecting their own communities.

Click here to book your place.
For more information, please contact:
Lorna Prentice on 0141 404 0231 or email

You can follow all the @ALLIANCEScot teams on twitter @DementiaCarerVo @LWPmakeslinks @alissproject @pphwscot

Alliance-logo-(L)-web Dementia Carer Voices

The Health and Social Care Academy - Citizen Bloggers -share your views


The Health and Social Care Academy is a project within the ALLIANCE. The Academy will keep a finger on the pulse of new developments in health and social care and bring the voice of people with lived experience (and others who are affected by issues) to the fore in order to drive and spread innovative ideas and transformational  change.

To support this, the Academy are recruiting a number of ‘Citizen Bloggers’ to share their views on health and social care.  The aim of our ‘Citizen Bloggers’ is to provide an opportunity for a range of interesting, thought provoking content on the future of health and social care. This will be shared with a wide audience through the Academy’s social media channels.

Contributions could take the form of:

·         Written blog articles

·         Creative approaches including poems, photographs, etc

·         Short (1-2 minute) video or audio inputs

You can find examples of previous ‘Citizen Blogger’ contributions here.
If this is something you would be interested in please get in touch by emailing . We would love to hear from you.

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2832 People Have Now Made A Personal Pledge To Make A Difference


 I have had the great privilege to meet so many amazing, caring, inspiring people IN PERSON on my tour across the country on twitter via our Dementia Carer voices Blog and my own TommyOnTour blog.

I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of people and have had many emotional journeys home late at night from talks thinking back to all that happened each day; the people I have met,the pledges that have been made , the stories I have heard and the great initiatives so many people have shared.

There are far too many people to mention in person - this blog piece might never end if I tried!
For me caring is truly all about people and relationships - it’s always people who make the biggest difference of all. I have met so many amazing people and witnessed the greatest relationships of care over the last year.

Thank you for bringing a smile to my heart over the last 12 months, thank you for making such a difference to my life BUT more importantly thank you for the amazing pledges to make a difference for others. 

Thank you from my heart and  from my amazing team mates Irene, Laura and Sarah.

You can view our NEW PLEDGE  FILM launched for 2014 with the staff of NHSAAA, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon CEO NHS Scotland Paul Gray and Chief Nursing Officer Fiona McQueen    here. 
                                            Nicola Film Still 2
                               You Can Make A Difference            

                              The Amazing People and 2832 Pledges (and Counting )

We began the campaign by asking “What does caring mean to you?”
19.02.14 NHS Fife
(08 -10).04.14 NHS Dumfries & Galloway 
3/4.06.14 NHS Conference
27.06.14 BCDA Birmingham

NHSAAA The People The Pledges The tour - 13 talks July - August 

01.09.14  Teesside University
13.10.14 More Pledges
03.11.14 Online pledges
07.11.14 Burton Hospital
13.11.14  Pledges of the week
24.11.14 The Retreat York
15/16.12.14 Norfolk and Suffolk


Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short films here!  

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