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

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Speaking Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Post Graduate Centre, City Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham June 18th



With great thanks to Estelle Greenwood Project Facilitator  Nursing Division City hospital Birmingham 

For the kind invite to speak On Wednesday 18th June 2014 - Wolfson  Lecture Theatre, Post Graduate Centre, City Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham



Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust recently submitted a bid to the Department of Health and secured funds from the Improving the Environment of Care for People with Dementia”.  


Since September last year, and in line with the Kings Fund, the Trust has undertaken major works and refurbished 12 of our wards and public areas across all our sites including Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre, City Hospital, Sandwell General Hospital and Rowley Regis.



The aim now is to ensure that we provide the right care for patients with dementia within  the Trust and community.  We are therefore pleased to invite you to:-


“The Dementia Theatre”

On Wednesday 18th June 2014

Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Post Graduate Centre,

City Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham, B18 7QH

8.30 am – 11.30 am




Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Make a Difference Tour -New Talks Added 92 talks


You can make a difference!  

                            That’s what I want people to know and is the theme of my tour 2014

Time, listening and understanding can make an unimaginable difference during what can be a very difficult and lonely journey. Over and above policies, strategies or reports it’s people who have the potential to transform the lives and experiences of others.  It makes me smile to think about the special people who helped me whilst I was a carer, the thousands out there helping others in the same manner, and the students who make up our next generation of caring professionals.

At the end of  my talks I will be asking peolpe who attend to think about what they could do to make a difference to others. 
This will be a new theme going forward and the basis for talks in 2014  -  No matter what your role,

“What difference can YOU make to the lives of others?”

Since my walk to collect life stories I have been receiving letters life and love stories therefore will you help me answer those letters, will you help with a pledge to make a difference. 

If you do my promise is as with the letters I received to take those pledges across the country raise awareness and I hope inspire others to make a difference. 

Will you make a pledge to make a difference as part of our tour 2014? 

You can make your pledge at

visit the " you can make a difference " pledge page

Some confirmed dates for talks for the "You can make a difference tour " 2014 pledges

             20.01.14  Letters, Life and Love Stories Concert    
·         21.01.14  Spoke at Peace Hospice, Watford    
·         22.01.14  Spoke at 6C's Live Event, London  
·         27.01.14  Spoke at Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham  
·         28.01.14  Spoke at BCDA dignity event, Birmingham 
·         03.02.14  University of Edinburgh - Nursing Students 
·         04.02.14  Stow College - Health and Social Care Students   
·         05.02.14  St Andrew's Hospice - Airdrie  
·         06.02.14  Presentation to Crosshouse Hospital NHSaaa  
·         06.02.14  University of Abertay    
·         17.02.14  Royal College of Nursing  
·         18.02.14  8 Pillar Test Sites Learning Session 1  
·         19.02.14  NHS Fife - Dementia Champions  
·         20.02.14  University of Edinburgh - MSC Integrated Service Improvement  
·         24.02.14  NHS Highland Palliative Care Event 
·         25.02.14 NHS Grampian/ Robert Gordon University NHS Grampian - Presentation  to board and 4 talks at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to medical students in ARI.
·         26.02.14  NHS Grampian / Robert Gordon University - Moray College Elgin and Acorn Centre Inverurie
·         27.02.14  NHS Grampian / Robert Gordon University – 4 talks to nursing students 
·         03.03.14  NHS England Expo Manchester
·         04.03.14   NHS England Expo Manchester
·         05.03.14  Inverary Talk - Caring Connections and the focus is on creating a person centred network in Argyll and Bute, across health, social care and third sector 
·         07.03.14  Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh  
·         11.03.14  Senior Charge Nurses event – Beardmore Conference Centre  
·         12.03.14  Monklands Hospital, Airdrie  
·         17.03.14  Reid Kerr Collage Nursing Students
·         17.03.14  NHSGGC Tour Western Infirmary 3rd Floor Function Suite 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)
·         18.03.14  NHSGGC Tour Inverclyde Royal IRH Education Centre Upstairs 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)
·         19.03.14  Year 1 addiction sessions - Glasgow Caledonian University  
·         20.03.14  NHSGGC Tour Royal Alexandria Hospital Medical Education Lecture Theatre 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)
·         21.03.14  Gartnavel General Hospital Lecture Theatre Post Graduate Centre 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)
·         24.03.14  NHSGGC Tour Western Infirmary 3rd Floor Function Suite 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)
·         26.03.14  Dementia Post-Diagnostic Support HEAT Target Event - Beardmore Conference Centre  
·         28.03.14  James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough  
·         31.03.14  NHSGGC Tour Royal Alexandria Hospital Lecture Theatre 2 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)   
·         01.04.14  NHSGGC Tour Gartnavel General Hospital Boardroom 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)   
·         02.04.14. NHSGGC Tour Western Infirmary 3rd Floor Function Suite 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)
·         03.04.14  OT forum East Renfrewshire (morning)
·         08.04.14  NHSD&G Tour - Waverly Medical Centre Open session x2 and Palmerston Football Club Closed Session (Invite only)
·         09.04.14 NHSD&G Tour - Conference Room Crichton Hall Open session x2 and Alzheimer Scotland Resource Centre, Gordon Street meet and greet with lunch.
·         10.04.14  NHSD&G Tour - Tribunal Room Midpark Hospital Open session, Conference room Crichton Hall Session with dementia champions and Howgill Centre, Treastaigh, Annan Open session
·         10.04.14 Masterclass Caledonian University
·         21.04.14 Maple Villa Livingston Dementia unit for challenging behaviours
·         22.04.14 speaking Sandywells NHSGG staff conference
·         24.04.14 Speaking opening of Dementia Friendly Kent
·         28.04.14  NHSGGC Tour Glasgow Royal Infirmary Boardroom 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)    
·         29.04.14. NHSGGC Tour Victoria Infirmary Practice Development Classroom 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks) 
·         30.04.14. NHSGGC Tour Vale of Leven MR1 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)
·         06.05.14 Hosting Webinar NHS England Leeds International Nurses week  
·         06.05.14  NHSGGC Tour  Glasgow Royal Infirmary Boardroom 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)    
·         01.05.14 speaking Sunshine    House Wigan
·         07.05.14 Speaking Care Inspectorate Conference  
·         08.05.14 NHS Borders Dementia Awareness Event 
·         09.05.14  NHSAA Crosshouse Hospital
       09.05.14 Attending Scotland's Heroes Awards ( Nominated ) 
·         14.05.14  Scottish Practice Nurse Association Conference – Perth
·         15.05.14  NHSAA Ayr Hospital
·         19.05.14  ALLIANCE Annual Conference – Pollock Halls Edinburgh
·         21.05.14  NHSGGC Annual Mental Health Clinical Governance Event - GTG Conference Centre, South St
      22.05.14 Ardeer Centre Stevenson 
·         22.05.14  NHSAA Crosshouse Hospital ( afternoon ) 
·         27.05.14  NHSAA Ayr Hospital
·         03.06.14  NHS Annual Conference
·         04.06.14  NHS Annual Conference
·         06.06.14  NHSGGC Podiatry Development Day
·         11.06.14  NHSAA Ayr Hospital 
      12.06.14 Brooksby Medical Center Largs  
·         18.06.14  Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and Rowley Regis Hospital
·         19.06.14 Meeting Cabinet Secretary for Health Parliament
·         19.06.14  NHSAA Crosshouse Hospital
·         26.06.14  NHSAA Ayr Hospital
·         30.06.14  NHSAA Crosshouse Hospital
·         02.07.14  Dementia CafĂ© with Croy, Ayrshire
·         08.10.14  6Cs Live conference in Birmingham NHS England

·         31.10.14  Citizens Advice Direct AGM

Monday, 14 April 2014

Great honour to give 6Cs’ webinar part of International Nurses week for NHS England May 6th link and Info


With great thanks to Jen Keward Patients experience manager and Jennifer Ribbands
Project Officer – 6Cs Live!Nursing Directorate NHS England for the kind invite privilege and amazing opportunity to host a live Webinar May 6th in Leeds for As part of International Nurses week 

I have the great privilege to do a webinar talk and then a Q&A session 

Thank you Jen ,Jennifer ,NHS England and 6Cs'Live for this privilege to part of a very special week 

6Cs Live! is celebrating International Midwives Day and International Nurses Day 2014 with a series of webinars where patients, families and carers will share their stories and what the 6Cs mean to them.  Through these webinars we will also be celebrating and highlighting the wide context in which care is delivered by nurses, midwives and care staff.
Tommy on Tour and the 6Cs
In this webinar, Tommy Whitelaw will share his experiences of caring for his mum, Joan, whom he lost to vascular dementia.
He will also be sharing a selection of stories from other carers highlighting how the 6Cs can really make a difference in the care for those living with dementia and in supporting their carers.
Tommy launched the 'Tommy on Tour' awareness campaign, collecting stories from people across Scotland caring for a loved one with dementia.
Tommy currently works on the Dementia Carers Voices project with the Health and Social Care Alliance building on his ‘Tommy on Tour’ campaign by engaging with carers, collecting their life stories and raising awareness amongst health and social care professionals on both dementia and caring.
If you care for someone with dementia, know someone with dementia, or would like to know more about this topic, please register and join us on this webinar.
You can read more about Tommy and his work on his blog: and can send him your experiences via
Are you new to webinars and not sure what to expect?  It really is simple, all you need to join is access to the internet and a telephone. Upon registering you will be sent an email that contains a weblink.  When it comes to the time of the event, simply click on the weblink and follow the onscreen instructions. Please note the teleconference part of the webinar is free of charge. However, if you would like any support on webinars, please contact us at

- See more at:


next Wednesday speaking Sandyford (nhsgg caring about sexual reproductive & emotional health ) conference


with great thanks to Dr Rosie Ilet from the Sandford for the invite to speak at their Staff seminar about "Making A Difference "

The Sandyford is part of the  NHSGG&C highlighting and supporting  Sexual  reproductive and emotional health

I look forward to attending ,learning and speaking you can get more information on the work they do here 


Saturday, 12 April 2014

NEW - Our story from IN Film from Third National Learning Session, held atthe SECC

The Dementia Carer Voices team was proud to participate in the Person Centred Health and Care Collaborative’s Third National Learning Session, held at the SECC in November 2013.
The aim of the event was to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to share learning about the values, behaviours and approaches that will help to ensure that people are always at the centre of their health and care. Over the course of the two days, delegates had the opportunity to listen, observe and share examples of person-centred approaches to care that support the five “Must Do With Me” elements of care. These include;
1. What matters to you?
2. Who matters to you?
3. What information do you need?
4. Nothing about me without me
5. Personalised contact
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.

Meeting Cabinet secretary for Health & Wellbeing June 19th #reports #project



My next meeting with Alex Neil Cabinet secretary for Health & Wellbeing has been confirmed for June 19th 

As part of my Dementia Carer Voices Project we have a commitment from Scottish Goverment to meet twice yearly to hand in reports and discuss our work and outreach 

I look forward to the meeting and I am grateful for the opportunity to meet and for the Cabinet secretaries on- going interest in my project 

I will post detail of my report after we meet 



Friday, 11 April 2014

Power of Attorney my filmed interview - information - guidance - advice - website


last week I was filmed for a short interview about our experience whilst  caring for my mum and power of
attorney - you can view the interview below

  along with more films and advice on the website here 

 If you would like to find out more about the campaign, 


 twitter @starttalkingpoa

A new campaign is being launched across Glasgow City to raise awareness about the importance of having power of attorney granted to a trusted relative or friend.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Glasgow City Council have joined forces with Alzheimer Scotland, Scottish Care and local law firms to highlight the need to ‘Start the Conversation’ with family members on putting a power of attorney in place.

The campaign aims to encourage people to talk to their loved ones about establishing a power of attorney so that if the person takes ill and is unable to make decisions someone can step in.

Having a power of attorney in place really can make a difference and can ensure that people’s wishes are carried out quickly without prolonged legal negotiations.  If a loved one is in hospital and there is no power of attorney this can delay the patient’s discharge and have them remain in hospital longer than necessary. 

The campaign includes three TV adverts to be shown at peak view time from Sunday (December 1st) featuring the actor/director Johnnie Beattie and his daughter Maureen, and acting/broadcasting brothers Sanjeev and Hardeep Kohli. 

The campaign has a dedicated website
which provides valuable information and highlights the case of three families and their experiences in putting a Power of Attorney in place.  Additionally, the campaign has utilised the power of social media to reach people with a Facebook page and a twitter feed.

Jill Carson, Adult Services Manager, North West Sector, Glasgow City Community Health Partnership, said:  “A lot of people don’t know that if they become ill or injured and are unable to make decisions for themselves no-one else can do this for them unless legally they have been given power to do so.

“There is also a misconception that Powers of Attorney are for the wealthy or elderly but anyone over the age of 16 can grant a Power of Attorney as accidents or illness can happen at any time.

“A Power of Attorney is not just about looking after someone’s financial affairs.  It also allows for welfare issues to be decided if someone is unable to make a decision about medical treatment or about where to live.  This can be the biggest problem facing someone in hospital.  For example, if no-one is appointed to act in the patient’s best interests, then a legal process is required before the patient can be discharged to an appropriate setting such as a care home.  

Ann Cummings, Glasgow City Council Social Work Planning and Performance Manager added:  “Social work services fully supports this campaign to promote advanced decision making through Power of Attorney with the citizens of Glasgow. 

“Social Work is in a difficult position where someone lacks capacity and there is no Power of Attorney in place - in terms of the law we are unable to move someone without their consent and this can often mean that older people need to remain in hospital for long periods of time when they have no medical needs.  Guardianship needs then to be pursued by families or the Council,  this can be costly and lengthy. 

“A few years back up to 60-70 older people in any one month were unable to leave hospital and at this time guardianship applications were taking up to 300 days.  Last months figures show Adults With Incapacity delayed in hospital over four weeks is 33. While there has been progress, there remain high numbers of vulnerable older people who whilst being medically fit cannot leave hospital”

What is a Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a written, legal document giving someone else (your Attorney), authority to take actions or make decisions on your behalf (the granter). You choose the person(s) you want to act as your Attorney and what powers you want the Attorney to have. A Power of Attorney is intended to ensure that your financial affairs and personal welfare can still be dealt with/protected in the event of you being unable to act on your own behalf.

Are Powers of Attorney not just for elderly people?
No - anyone over the age of 16 can grant a Power of Attorney. Accidents or illness can happen at any age.  The sooner a Power of Attorney is completed, the better. The deed does not need to be registered straight away – it can be stored in your solicitor’s safe and only registered when your attorneys are required to commence acting.

Are Powers of Attorney not just for the wealthy?
No – a Power of Attorney is not just about looking after your financial affairs. It also allows you to choose who should decide personal welfare issues (e.g. where you live/who looks after you etc).

What sorts of powers can be included in the Power of Attorney deed?
The deed can cover both financial and welfare provisions or you can have separate deeds to cover your financial affairs and welfare matters.

The financial provisions can include power to purchase and sell heritable property (i.e. your house), power to operate bank accounts, power to claim and receive all pensions, benefits, allowances, etc. There are many other powers which can be included or left out as appropriate, depending on your circumstances.

Welfare powers can include power to decide where you should live, to have access to your personal information, to consent or withhold consent to medical treatment. There are many other powers which can be included to ensure that all appropriate powers are available to meet your needs.

Who should be appointed as an Attorney?
You can appoint anyone you wish to be your attorney, e.g. a family member, friend, solicitor
or other professional adviser. It is up to you whether you include the same person(s) as
both financial and welfare attorneys, or if you have separate attorneys to carry out the different function.

It is better to appoint more than one attorney in case your attorney is unable to act for any reason – you can appoint joint attorneys with similar or different powers, or one or more substitute attorneys to take the place of an attorney who dies, loses capacity or resigns.

Week today Speaking St Johns Hospital Lecture theater


With great thanks to Jacqueline Ball & Gillian Henderson. Maple Villa Livingston Dementia unit for NHS Lothian for the kind invite and for arranging a talk at  St Johns Hospital Lecture theater April 21st

looking forward to attending and speaking to staff as part of my make a difference tour

thank you


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Final day - mini tour with NHSD&G final 3 talks - a wonderful three days


Today was the final day of my mini tour with NHSD&G and time with my team mates Linda and Gladys 
We had three talks today starting off at Midpark Hosptial Dumfries ,before my talk I has a wee tour of the wards and have to say I was very impressed by the staff and surroundings 

We then travelled to the Conference room Crichton Hospital  for a talk to NHSD&G dementia champions before heading over to Annan for the final talk of the day 

Once again we had a great turnout at each talk and each time meeting more kind caring peolpe 

I will do a blog post over the weekend looking back at the three days and talks with a full list of thanks 

I have to say it Was very emotional getting on the train to return to Glasgow as I had the most amazing 3 days surrounded by good peolpe 

Thank you Linda ,Gladys NHSDG and all the peolpe I met over the last three days ,you have brought a smile to my heart 

Thank you for the kindess 


Thur 10th April 9.00-10.00 Tribunal Room Midpark  Hospital

Conference room Crichton Hall Session with dementia champions

Howgill Centre, Treastaigh, Annan Open session

Saying goodbye - Gladys & Linda

Link - NHSDG Tour day one        Link  NHSDG Tour day Two

Thank you - to everyone who took time to attend MasterClass GlasgowCaledonian University


I was very proud to have the opportunity this evening to give one of the Caledonian University 2014 Masterclasses 

I woul like to say a big thank you to everyone who took time to attend 

Thank you for the kindness ,thank you from a son 

Thank you Chris  and my good friend Andy for looking after me