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 tommy.whitelaw@alliance-scotland.org.uk

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Speaking HFMA West Midlands Branch Annual Conference Wolverhampton Racecourse


HI

With great thanks to  Georgie Callaghan South West Skills Development Manager, hfma  West Midlands for the kind invite to speak at the HFMA West Midlands Branch Annual Conference Wolverhampton Racecourse 

I have had the great honour to speak at previous HFMA branches conferences and look forward to attending,meeting everyone and speaking at the West Midlands annual conference 

Tommy 





                                  

                           

                                  

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Speaking Belfast - Quality Improvement IN social work Conference June21st






Hi 
With great thanks to Shaun Maher @s4maher Strategic Advisor for Person-Centred Care and Improvement Health Quality and Strategy Directorate  Scottish Government for the kind invite to speak with him at the Quality Improvement IN social work June 21st in Belfast 


The programme  provides a unique opportunity    for Social  work in Northern Ireland to lead improvement focused practice across the region 



I have had the great honour   to speak with Shaun In Scotland on a few occasions and I am very much looking forward to speaking with him in Belfast 


Thank you Shaun for the Invite also a massive thank yo to Pat McAuley Social Care Governance and Sean Holland Chief Social Services Officer Northern Ireland for this kind opportunity ,looking very much forward to meeting everyone and learning more about the work in Belfast and across Northern Ireland 




Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Monday, 16 May 2016

Honoured to be invited to give one of the Keynote talk at the RCN Congress 2016 #rcn16

      

Hi 
I am truly honoured to be invited to give one of the Keynote speeches at the RCN Congress 2016 #rcn16 Wednesday 22 June, 12.30 – 13.15
This years Congress will be held in Glasgow my home town and at the SECC,In my previous life I worked many times with bands at the SECC whilst on tour,This will be a more emotional,important visit for me than any I may have made there in the past 
I would like to thank the RCN ,Janet Davies Chief Executive  and General Secretary,Michael Brown,Chair of Council and Stuart McKenzie, Chair of Congress  for this great Honour
You can find out More about the Congress at the link HERE along with the RCN  home page Here 
Thank You RCN for this kind and incredible opportunity
you can follow  on twitter for more info congress via  #rcn16
RCN @thercn
Stuart McKenzie @stueymckenzie
Janet Davies N
Michael Brown @mickbro07

RCN Students  
                           
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Sunday, 15 May 2016

June 6th - 5th Anniversary of campaigning and Friendships

                              

June 6th will be 5 years to the day since I began walking around Scotland’s towns and cities to collect the life and love stories of people across Scotland who care for a loved one with dementia. This will also be the 5th year of my friendship with my now Director and mentor Irene Oldfather. 

At the time of my walk, I was a full-time carer for my beautiful, kind, and caring mum- Joan, who had Vascular Dementia. My kind mum passed away in September 2012. 
I felt passionately that no one should have to face the confusion, loneliness, and isolation that we felt. On 6th June 2011 I began my tour, collecting hundreds of life story letters, detailing the experiences of individuals caring for a loved one living with dementia.
You can view the video about the walk below which was later shown at the Scottish Parliament. It includes families and carers reading from the letters they sent during my dementia awareness tour of Scotland’s towns and cities.

An issue that struck me during my journey caring for my mum was the lack of awareness and understanding of dementia, and the way in which we perceive this illness as a wider society.  My door was always open but no one walked through it, people didn’t come to visit us anymore, and I truly believe that was down to the stigma surrounding the illness.
Everyone affected by dementia has a unique story to tell, and by sharing our experiences we can help to tackle the misunderstandings surrounding dementia and offer hope to people in the same situation.


Since then, I have met with thousands of carers, health and social care professionals, and students through my original ‘Tommy on Tour’ blog and now as Project Engagement Lead with the Dementia Carer Voices Project at the Health and Social Care Alliance. Trying my best every day, working alongside my friend, Director, and mentor Irene Oldfather, my friends & team mates Laura and Ashleigh, and colleagues at the ALLIANCE in taking the life and love stories of carers who have written to us, carers we have met in person, spoken to on the phone, heard from through email or through our online survey and shared these with health and social care professionals, students, MSPs and members of the public to raise awareness of the impact of dementia on families and the importance of empowering carers in carrying out their difficult but vital role. You can view 10 films documenting this story at the link here


Our work continues,You can read more about the work we do below 
                   

I feel so Honured  to have met so many inspiring people along the way in fact I meet incredible people every day dedicated to making a difference for others 
There are so many people to thank for all the support over the years ,Irene Oldfather,Ian Welsh OBE my team mates present Laura and Ashlegh and Past Chris and Sarah my wider Colleagues at the ALLIANCE amazing people who have shared their stories with and the incredible families,Carers and health and social care professionals  I have been so lucky to meet in person 

Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for the amazing kindness and support over the last 5 years  


I would also like to thank First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for Holding My Mums Hand In the last months of my mums life and for encouraging me to take our voices across the country    

Together we can make a difference.
Tommy 

Make a Difference campaign update 

We have engaged with over 50 ,000 people in person over the last 2 years, collecting over 10,000 personal pledges from health and social care professionals and we’d like to share some of their inspiring words, and help celebrate the work they do to make a difference to the people they care for.
You can read every pledge here athttps://dementiacarervoices.wordpress.com/pledges/
Read our case studies of how hospitals, universities and care homes are putting people at the heart of their work at: https://dementiacarervoices.wordpress.com/case-studies/
Listen to Director Irene Oldfather and Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw update the Community Chanel about the pledges and the You Can Make a Difference campaign: http://www.communitychannel.org/video/6BvGx7iqymw/do_something_brilliant_series_2_episode_6/


Friday, 13 May 2016

Leading Change, Adding Value A framework for nursing, midwifery andcare staff

Hi

              
                    



Last week I was so very  Honored to be  invited to speak and introduce Professor Jane Cummings @JaneMCummings  The Chief Nursing Officer for England at the launch of NHS England’s

Leading Change, Adding Value: a framework for nursing, midwifery and care staff 

This was one of THE  proudest days I have had as a Campaigner and Project engagement lead

The launch was broadcast live around the country and as far and wide as Australia,New Zealand and America



With Great thanks to Jane Cummings@JaneMCummings   Chief Nursing Officer for England for this kind Invite and great Honour I am so very proud to do so both as a son who cared my mum Joan and as Project Engagement Lead at  the ALLIANCE Dementia Carer Voices Project 


With thanks also to  Hilary Garret @HilaryGarratt  Deputy Chief Nursing Officer Susan Aitkenhead  @SAitke  and Ruth Holt  @Ruthholt800 


                               





 Tommy 
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Look out for Dementia Carer Voices stand at the NHSScotland Conference June 14 -15 #nhsscot15

Look out for Dementia Carer Voices at the NHSScotland Event at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre, Glasgow, 14-15th June 2016.  #nhsscot15

Team photo April 2016

The theme this year of the event is ‘Transformational Change for Health and Social Care’ and is a chance to find out more about what health and care services have been doing to improve care for people in Scotland.

We’ll be around on both days at stand 60A, and you can also visit the main ALLIANCE stand at stand 65. Make sure to say hello and find out what the team has been up to lately on our You Can Make a Difference Campaign and our work around What Matters to You day.


                                

Friday, 6 May 2016

Celebrating People and 10,000 Pledges to Make a Difference

                            

                                



                                







I thought I might share a wee update on our ‘Make a Difference’ Campaign and tour as we reach 10,000 Personal Pledges to make a difference

(This number will higher as pledges are added also after we visit)


We have engaged with over 50,000 people in person over the last 2 years at over 450 talks and events , collecting pledges from health and social care professionals and we’d like to share some of their inspiring words, and help celebrate the work they do to putting pledges in to practice make a difference


We are very inspired by the different ways Individuals, Hospitals Universities Care Homes and Care at home teams have been putting pledges in to practice

We have a short film to celebrate people and pledges 

Dementia Carer Voices - The story so far https://youtu.be/HQNgbIVimOs

You can read every pledge here at https://dementiacarervoices.wordpress.com/pledges/



NHS Ayrshire and Arran made a film in partnership with the ALLIANCE and the University of the West of Scotland which shares the journey of the campaign and the impact it has had on the staff. 

The video is available to view at www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGLwzE8YAyM.


Read our case studies of how hospitals, universities and care homes are putting people at the heart of their work at: https://dementiacarervoices.wordpress.com/case-studies/  


Thank you to all who have pledged and supported the campaign to date .We look forward to more meeting more people  who are making a difference for people living with dementia, Families and carers 

Thank you from all the  Team 

Dementia Carer Voices


Tommy












Tommy Whitelaw, BCAh
Project Engagement Lead
Dementia Carers Voices
Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)
349 Bath Street
Glasgow G2 4AA
Tel: 0141 404 0233
Mobile: 07921395712
Charity No. SC 037475 
Company No. 307731
dementiacarervoices.wordpress.com
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

My Name is Tommy,I cared for my wonderful mum Joan

My name is Tommy Whitelaw, and for five years I was a full-time carer for my mum Joan, up until she sadly passed away in September 2012.
At the time my Mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia, I looked at her and thought to myself “it’ll be okay, we’ll get through this.” What I soon learned as her carer, was that dementia was an unpredictable illness which brought many challenges and forced us to adapt to ever-changing routines. Many days we would wake up to discover that everything we had grown accustomed to have suddenly changed again.I wondered whether the struggles I faced were mine and mine alone, and how other carers who had been through the same journey as I was embarking on, had managed to cope. This was the basis behind my first venture in to the world of awareness raising – the‘Tommy On Tour’ campaign, which involved collecting life story letters from people across Scotland caring for a loved one with dementia.
The hundreds of letters I received let me know that the challenges I faced were far from unique to my own situation and I have to say meeting and speaking to others in the same situation was one of the most beneficial things I could have done.
An issue that struck me during my journey caring for my mum was the lack of awareness and understanding of dementia and the way in which we perceive this illness as a wider society.  My door was always open but no one walked through it, people didn’t come to visit us anymore and I truly believe that was down to the stigma surrounding the illness.
Everyone affected by dementia has a unique story to tell and by sharing our experiences we can help to tackle the misunderstandings surrounding dementia and offer hope to people in the same situation.
This is something I am passionate about promoting as I build on my previous awareness raising work, as Project Engagement lead of the Health and Social Care ALLIANCE’s Dementia Carer Voices Project.
The project provides a platform upon which carers can express their views and experiences of caring for a loved one living with dementia, with a view to raising awareness among health and social care professionals, and wider society of its impact on families and the importance of empowering carers in carrying out this difficult but vital role.
A key focus of my talks through the project is to highlight the impact that inspirational health and social care professionals can make to the journeys of carers across Scotland. People who appreciate and understand the unique challenges that dementia brings can be there to prop you up, and I absolutely believe as a carer if I was propped up a little bit with the right help and support, I could have given my Mum the best care and support in the world.
The experience of caring for my Mum undoubtedly brought great challenges, stress, isolation and sadness, but it was a role carried out through love and we enjoyed many touching moments of joy and satisfaction. Those special moments live long in my memory, and gave me a real boost of strength to get through the difficult times, and continue to do so now.
Dementia Carer Voices pledge background
Dementia Carer Voices has now gathered over 4500 personal pledges as part of the “You Can Make a Difference” campaign. The campaign encourages people to listen to the experiences of people who have cared for a loved one with dementia and to think how they can make a positive difference in people’s lives. The team are delighted to have gotten such a strong response, and would like to take this opportunity to reflect on our journey up until now and how we have gotten to this point.
A fundamental aspect of the campaign has been about involvement. Throughout the UK tour, we have engaged with many thousands of  health and social care professionals, students, MSPs and members of the public, and have noticed a distinct increase in the number of pledges we have received when people are encouraged and supported to do so by colleagues and friends. We would therefore like to ask you to share this campaign, to encourage people you know to get involved and make a pledge to make a difference in the lives of people who have dementia, their families and carers. Through our own dedicated blog site, twitter account and website, the campaign is easily shared, and links people to a range of information.
Pledges can be submitted via email, twitter @DementiaCarerVo or on the blog site, and are also collected at every talk. We would very much appreciate it if you would promote this campaign; the talks and our films and encourage people to reflect on what they can do and how they can make a difference.
Resources
Dementia Carer Voices took the Make a Difference campaign to the Scottish Parliament in October 2014. View the pledges from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Paul Gray, DG Health and Social Care and Chief Executive, NHSScotland.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the University of West Scotland  (UWS)  were key partners in the ‘#make a difference’ pledges and dementia awareness campaign.  This video includes interviews with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Paul Gray, DG Health and Social Care and Chief Executive, NHSScotland, Fiona McQueen (Executive Nurse Director NHS Scotland), Professor Paul Martin (Deputy Principal UWS), Derek T Barron (Associate Nurse Director – Lead Nurse North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership), Janice McAlister (Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant), Lynn McLaughlin (Senior Charge Nurse).
Newsletter
View the May/June 2015 Dementia Carer Voices Newsletter.  Subscribe to the newslettermailing list.





Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

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 http://tv.enterprisescreen.co.uk/watch?v=347



  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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36_Y_3y0yXM

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. 
HWlarge




 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 http://youtu.be/u2BAxSCcic0




'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