Are you a carer?

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

If you would like to share your story or make a persoanl pledge to make a difference please email

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Speaking Queens Hospital BHRUT Feb 24th



With great thanks to Jo Barrett | Specialty Manager Care of the Elderly, Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals University Trust for the kind invite to speak at the education center Queens Hospital on February 25th 5:30pm

I have had the great honor to speak at the trust before and feel very honored to be invited back 


Monday, 8 February 2016

Speaking Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Annual Nursing Conference March 2nd

With great thanks to Zoe Rowe Acting Director of Nursing & Quality And Associate Director of Nursing & Quality , Kath Burke and Pete Rochford  for the kind invite to speak at the  Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Annual Nursing Conference March 2nd 

I am very honored to be invited and look forward to meeting everyone on the day 

you can get more info on the event below 

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Annual Nursing Conference

Wednesday 2nd March 2016 at Lincolnshire Showground

We are pleased to confirm that our 2016 Annual Nursing Conference will be held on Wednesday 2 March 2016 at the Epic Centre, Lincolnshire Showground.
Building on the success of the last few years, this year will concentrate on safety and involvement in our services.
We have once again invited a wide range of speakers, including a senior representative from the Royal College of Nursing; professionals from other industries and experts by experience.

The following keynote speakers have confirmed their involvement:

  • JP Nolan, Head of Nursing Practice at the Royal College of Nursing
  • Trevor Dale, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Atrainability icon
  • Tommy Whitelaw, Dementia Carer Campaigner - 'Tommy on Tour' icon
As well as our keynote speakers there will also be a wide range of workshops to choose from, led by our own LPFT professionals.

Concurrent Session 1

Maternal mental health matters
Stephanie Hodds, Team Coordinator Perinatal Services & Wendy Summerton, Perinatal Community Mental Health Nurse
Autism ChampionsCatherine Keay, Autism & Physical Healthcare CQUIN Lead
Physical Healthcare
Angela Billings, Head of Physical Healthcare and Infection Prevention Control & Jane Lord, Associate Matron and Infection Prevention Control Lead
Q&A with Director of Nursing & Quality
Anne-Maria Olphert, Director of Nursing & Quality

Concurrent Session 2

‘Sharing the Journey together’ (Recovery College & peer support)
Emma Bristow, Recovery College Coordinator & Jane Tuxworth, Trust Lead Occupational Therapist
Physical Healthcare
Angela Billings, Head of Physical Healthcare and Infection Prevention Control & Jane Lord, Associate Matron and Infection Prevention Control Lead
Suicide prevention strategy and risk tool
Mark Halsall, Head of Quality and Safety
Q&A with Director of Nursing & Quality
Anne-Maria Olphert, Director of Nursing & Quality
The conference is open to all members of LPFT staff, but we particularly encourage people in nursing and healthcare support worker roles to join us.
When completing the booking form you will be asked when which concurrent sessions you would like to attend and these will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Some workshops will have limited spaces available.

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224503

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Its people who change lives,listening,understanding,Working together,never forgetting the person.

It ispeople who change lives, listening and understanding.   Working together and never forgetting theperson.

After my walk round Scottish towns and cities I was contacted by a family who asked me to come and collect their story in person, as their story about their mum was taking its toll on all.
I got the train through one day to collect and hear their story. One member of the family was strong so tense with all that had happened and the other was broken,head and shoulders down and eyes full of heartbreak and tears.

I witnessed the impact this was having and had on both of those people. At different times and days whilst caring for my mum. I WAS BOTH  of those sisters ,sometime in the same say ,angry ,agitiated ,strong ,brokenhearted  Their story was tragic, a family trying to care and get the best for a mum they loved.  With a dining table full of correspondencea bout their mum, her care, life and struggle  full of missunderstandings and lack of understanding.
I left the house that day wondering how does this happen how can this be a ,few months later Iwas taking my letters to the Scottish Parliament to meet with the then CabinetSecretary for Health Nicola Sturgeon, who I have to say has given this campaign and life stories the greatest respect. 

A week before going to Parliament I received another letter from this family and It was glorious, but how can this be, same family a mother facing this challenge of dementia, what had changed? .  The answer was a person, a new consultant who took the time to be involved in all aspects of this journey, who listened, discussed, advised and gave this family the chance to do the thing they wanted to spend their time loving and cherishing their mum and for their mums whole life to be given the respect and dignity and help deserved.

No longer written off, no longer a strain on services, no longer just a woman with dementia but mother who was many great things to many people.  Same services same help but in the hands of an understanding person and we should celebrate Consultants, Doctors,Nurses, Social Workers and anyone involved in our care who like this consultant took time added value and gave the best of advice and chance.  If we celebrate them then this will encourage others to follow as it is PEOPLE who change lives.

I remember the ones who helped us through this and  that makes my heart smile. I also remember the ones who had no desire or care and they add to the pain of the struggle we faced.



Wednesday, 3 February 2016

My mums name was Joan ,my Mum Had Dementia - our Story 9 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.

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. 
Thanks to every one of you who attended each event and the @HWEssex team for arranging the few days.  Below is a new film about the tour with some of the Nurses who attended sharing their pledges made to the Make a Difference Campaign each day. 

 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

'On the Couch' with Tommy Whitelaw filmed interview NHS Scotland Conference June 2015

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

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Speaking NHS United Lincolnshire Hospitals March 1st


With Great thanks to With great thanks to Pauline Pratt @pmjp97  Associate Director Portfolio Improvement/Assistant Director of Nursing at ULHT, and  Samantha MacCarthy @mccarthy_ph  for the kind invite to speak at NHS United Lincolnshire Hospitals @ULHTNews   on March 1st

The talk will be in the  Conference  room, Robey House.  ULHT at 3:30pm staff can contact Sam to book a place,All are welcome

I had the great privilege to speak at ULHT last year at a Conference Sam organised and look forward to returning and and meeting more inspiring people

you can read about last years conference below along with the inspiring pledges made on that day

Thank You Pauline,Sam and all at ULHT for the kind opportunity to return


image1  image2
With great thanks to Samantha  MacCarthy @mccarthy_ph for the kind invite to speak at Embedding Compassion in Practice at the New life Centre Sleaford Lincolnshire on April 15th. The event was truly inspiring and we are very privileged to have received so many wonderful pledges, which we are displaying with pride below.
image3 image4
A BIG thank you to Sam for putting this event together to Claire for the kind introduction to Pauleen, Paul, Joan and all for the great kindness support and inspiring pledges. We can make a difference!
Team DCV :)
compassionate care
I pledge to treat each person as an individual and make time to learn their story.  To encourage carers relatives to share information including this is me documentation – Rebecca Pridmore
 I pledge to listen and learn from cares of people with dementia.  That I will always try my best, no matter how hard it maybe.  To be your voice when you are unable to speak yourself, with kindness and dignity – Kelly Richmond
 I pledge to treat each person as an individual and a human being, to ease their burden, feel their pain, hear their woes and dry their eyes.  Where God doesn’t hear their cries, May I – Vince Rippin
 I have become a dementia friend.  I pledge to take time to listen, to the person, family, friends and carers to be able to help care and have a better understanding of the individual their likes needs and wants –Lisa Norris
 I pledge to listen, to encourage staff I come in contact with via training to be the hand on the shoulder, to make a difference.  Remember the little things matter.
 I pledge to always make sure I say hello who I was and speak to the patient and the family.  Always ask the patient questions first then ask the family – Josie Lee
 I pledge to continue to realise that the appointment that patient and their carer has with me, maybe the only other contact they have with the outside world that week.  I will take the time to listen to them –Sam Rea
 I pledge to listen and share their stories so others can learn and enhance care they deliver – Paul Jebb
 I pledge to keep caring and following the 6Cs.  I do this already and cannot understand anyone working in a caring setting that doesn’t automatically do that.
 I pledge to continue to provide excellent dementia care and encourage others to do the same.
 I pledge to listen, digest and act! – Ben Waring
 I pledge to take the time to listen and hear what is being asked of me and endeavour to ensure person and family leave me in a better place than when they met me – Pete Rochford
 I pledge to be kind and more supportive to the patient and their carers.
 I pledge to talk to the patient and carer with patience and clarity.  Treat them both with respect and dignity and do my utmost to make their experience as pleasant as possible – Tina Dale
I pledge to use 6Cs
 I pledge to remember that everyone has a story and to make sure I listen to it – Claire Kent
 I pledge that I will actively listen and give that friendly reassuring smile, hand on shoulder or gesture to show I care.
 I pledge to give them more time to listen and to find out more about them (there background) and history – Clare Warne
 I pledge to listen and find out there stories – Robert McKendry
 I pledge to care.  To listen. To be there when they need someone.  To reach out to someone who needs help.  To treat everyone the same way I would want to be treated – Tina Smith
 I pledge I will take more time to listen and try my best to understand.  I will also try and make a positive difference to each of my patient’s day.  I will continue to implement the 6Cs within my practice –Amber Mulcahy
 My pledge is to leave a positive impression on the patients and carers in my care.  I pledge to make people feel like I truly care – Kimberly
 I pledge to ensure that all my staff have an understanding of dementia. That patient’s and carers feels safe on my war – Jo McCall
 I pledge to continue to give of my time, caring and understanding.  I have to believe always in my mind there but for the grace of god I treat others how I would like to be treated.
 My pledge to people with dementia and their carers is to take the time to listen, ask questions reassure the people involved and offer support to give encouragement.  To keep regular contact – Abi Lilley
 I pledge to take the time to learn the lives and values of my patients. Their daily struggeles and what I can do to make even one day better – Bernadette Hughes
 I pledge to hear their story, try to have time to listen. Try to make a difference everyday. Ask carers how they are doing as well as the patients – Angie Judd
 I pledge to complete a ‘Life Story’ for every dementia sufferer and heir family/carers that I work with as previously done this and I found it to be very beneficial for all involved including myself – Stacey Ford 

  I pledge that I will always try to remember that the person I am caring    for had a ‘different’ life before their dementia (a job, hobbies, children). I    will try to support their family/carers by asking if they need any  support/help, anything I can help with, I will talk to them and their loved  one about everyday things other than their illness/situation – Julia Grigg
I pledge to always LISTEN!!
I pledge to always introduce myself, a6cs bignd communicate with the patient on a level that they understand, I will give the carers as much help and advice as I possibly can. I pledge to always try and make my patients be the best they can possibly be – Jamie Denman.

I pledge that I will continue to offer support groups to patient relatives I see in my day to day work. Open new groups to reduce that feeling of isolation, fear and guilt. Continue as a Dementia Champion – Mary Pickland
 I pledge to truly ‘listen’ and ‘consider’ other people’s feelings, needs, expectation of me. I refuse to be distracted by other things… I WANT to be the person who is remembered – Kay Gilman
 I pledge to make the ‘all about me’ patient held booklet a must have for everyone that wants and needs one. Know the person behind the condition. ILLNESS – replace I with WE = WELLNESS – Pauline Mountain.
 I pledge to speak to my mum and dad (who has early onset dementia) and to my uncle and family who look after my other uncle who has vascular dementia, more regularly – Alf.
 I pledge to continue being my smiling self, talking to the patient as an individual and finding out their stories. Supporting their family and ensuring I take the time to listen and ensure they have everything they need – Claire Cole.
 I will treat that person with respect and compassion. They should not be defined by dementia, they have an identity and a life. My granddad has severe vascular dementia and us (the family) fought and fought for him to get the care he deserves. At the same time my nan was dying from cancer so we cared for her also. I will always fight for those who need that voice and will never stop till the day I die! My granddad deserved better!! – Mandy Davis
 My pledge is to remember that we are all part of the human family and that we all care and understand issues. That we belong to this earth as a tribe that we all need support, care, love and understanding – Gena Chapman
 I pledge to be the listening ear, the gentle hug, the kind words, the gentle smile. The person you can sound off at and tell your troubles to. I want to be there for the carers who devote their lives to the ones they love, day in and day out – Doreen Johnson
 I pledge to promote dementia awareness, care, compassion to ensure communication is a vital part of the care needs and history information, finding out about the patients to enhance good practice on the ward – Tracy Johns
 My pledge is to take the time to listen to patients and carers, to make a difference to their life. When I am busy and feel there isn’t the time, make time. 5 minutes could make all the difference – Sharon Baker
‘I pledge to be kind’
‘I pledge to apply 6Cs – smile – be kind –be helpful’
‘I pledge to make a new member of the team welcome by showing them around the department and explaining the daily routine’
‘I pledge to give as much help/information to a new member on their first day as possible’
‘I pledge to –smile – apply 6C’s – Listen – Understand new members background – to be helpful in anyway I can – to be kind’
‘I pledge to smile and be welcoming and to also offer support and help where I can if they need it J’
‘I pledge to be friendly & treat them with respect.  Ensure they have support  & guidance to do their job effectively.’
‘I pledge to offer some extra time to new members of staff and students to ensure they feel welcome and show them around the building & team’
‘I pledge to show agency staff around the building’
‘I pledge to ensure an agency worker is welcomed and not ignored.  I pledge to let them feel part of the team as they arrive.’
‘I will continue to support all staff that I meet with the upmost respect and be mindful of their problems and supportive of their needs’
‘I pledge to be supportive, helpful and encouraging’
‘Be more supportive & understanding.  Provide information & guidance,’
‘I pledge to be more supportive’
‘I pledge persiverance’
‘I pledge to introduce them to staff, self and show them around the hospital.  Be welcoming. Make sure they have all they need/require to carry out their role’
‘I pledge to carry on’
‘I pledge to make agency staff feel part of the team & support the hello my name is… campaign’
‘I pledge to support the hello my name is… campaign’
‘I pledge to always be mindful & make everyone feel wanted & appreciated’
‘I pledge to see the person and always say thank you’
‘I pledge to make agency staff feel welcome, say hello an dmake them feel part of the team’
‘I pledge to ensure I am welcoming and approachable for all’
‘I pledge to smile and welcome new staff and make sure they know you are their buddy for the shift’
‘I pledge to treat new staff as you would want to be treated yourself’
‘I pledge I will be welcoming & supportive to all’
‘I pledge to introduce myself & smile J’
‘I pledge to find out about new staff e.g name, where they are from, background to make them feel welcome onto the ward and part of the team’
‘I pledge to help and support and agency staff that come onto my ward.  During the shift I will ask if they are ok or need anything’
‘I will make all new staff feel more welcome’
‘I pledge to introduce myself, ask who the new person is an welcome them to the ward.’
‘I pledge to treat Agency staff as I would wish to be treated myself if I was in their position.  Using the 6Cs model’
‘I pledge to smile, be welcoming use hello my name is, to be helpful and to say thank you!’
‘I promise to remember how I felt when I started, and to treat them as I would like to be treated.’
‘I pledge to support hello my name is campaign…’

‘I pledge to be nice, welcoming friendly  introduce myself to all new staff/agency’
‘I pledge to be more welcoming & supportive’
‘To be helpful & show new staff round and treat them as I would any other member of my team also to thank them for their help’
‘I pledge to thank others as I would wish to be treated myself’
‘I pledge to introduce myself to every new member of agency staff’
‘I pledge to say hello and introduce myself to new staff and introduce them to the rest of the team’
‘I pledge to be welcoming and friendly and to support my colleagues in any way that I can’
‘I pledge to always introduce myself, show people around the ward, show people where everything is, introduce them to all the patients and always say thank you at the end of the day.’
‘I pledge to always smile & say hello, to introduce myself and encourage staff to ask me for help’
‘I pledge to always smile and to be courteous, and to empathise with the member of staff.’
‘I pledge to always be welcoming’
‘I pledge to be welcoming and helpful’
‘I pledge to remember the  6Cs are not just for patients they are for staff also – ‘happy staff makes happy patient’ Be kind to each other’
‘I pledge next time an agency staff comes to work in my department I will say ‘hello my name is….  And welcome to our department’’
‘I pledge to allocate time to get to know staff members and buddy with them as a source of support’
‘To welcome and listen to the individual who joins our team’
‘I pledge to make bank/agency staff welcome by being friendly and helpful’
‘I pledge to support hello my name is campaign…’
 ‘I pledge that next time I work with an agency staff member I will support them in any way I can’
‘I pledge to be welcoming to new/bank staff and to orientate to the routine 7 department on arrival’
‘I pledge to induct new/bank/agency staff, make them a drink, show them around, check on them and support them during their shift’
‘I pledge to introduce myself and say welcome’
‘I pledge to always smile & welcome staff and to find out the story behind the person before anything else’
‘I pledge to remember to think about ‘one team’ no matter how long they have been together’
‘I pledge to listen, Learn & share, to learn from experiences, strengthen the tram to support all.  The patient is a person #LincsCiP ~6Cs’
‘I pledge to ensure to provide a personal touch, to make every person I meet feel they valued and appreciated.  To provide time for them without feeling rushed’
‘I pledge to expand my own evidence base & that of my team in order to deliver the best care for my patients & people in our care #empowerment #evidence #makeadifference #6cs