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

Friday, 24 April 2015

Speaking Senior Leadership Development Programme

With great thanks to  Jackie Barringer

Senior Consultant - Prospect for the kind invite to speak at  Senior Leadership Development Programme

You can view a Guiding Agenda for the two day event below 


May 2015 

12th and 13th May 2015  



Day one

09-0009-30Arrival, registration and coffee

09-3009-45 Welcome, aims and expectations

09-45   10-15 Reflections from master class two and progress to date using peer coaching style 

10-15 11-15Mapping  environment for the NHS and Social care system 


11-3012-00What do we mean by business acumen and entrepreneurialism? 

12-00 -12-45  Business tools for scanning, assessing and planning (Jackie to lead and prep)



12-4513-30Lunch and networking

13-3014-00Spot the gap presentations (DB lead)

14-00    14-30 Understanding others Motivation / Motivation exercise


15-00 15-45 Ego defences and leading others (DB Lead)

16-1516-30Debrief, checking out for the day


18-001900Before Dinner SpeakerTommy WhitelawProject Engagement Lead


 DINNER 7.30









08-4509-00Arrival and coffee

09-0009-15Recap day one/ Reflection on leadership implications from yesterday

09-15 10.15Speaker– Paul McKevitt, Deputy Chief Executive Wigan Borough Council 


10-3012-00Burn out in leaders and how to develop your resilience 


12-3014-30Resilience and Mindfulness as a leader 

14-3014-45Personal development action planning

14-4515-00Debrief and close


Add in Tommy and Pauls bio




Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Dementia Carer Voices was named Charity of the Year by the Hospital Caterers Association

Taken from the ALLIANCE Fortnightly  bulletin read more  HERE  

Dementia Carer Voices was named Charity of the Year by the Hospital Caterers Association at their Annual Conference which took place in Glasgow this year. The project, managed by the ALLIANCE, was awarded the honour at the Gala Dinner, where the team was presented with a very generous cheque for £4,100 raised by the Hospital Caterers Association.


Earlier in the day, Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw spoke to delegates about his experiences in caring for his late mum, Joan, along with the experiences of carers who have shared their story with the project in order to raise awareness of the issues people face in caring for a loved one living with dementia. He received a standing ovation for speaking so movingly about he and his mum's loving relationship, whilst deepening people's understanding of dementia and of caring.
Later in the evening, ALLIANCE Director Irene Oldfather addressed the audience at the Gala Dinner and introduced a new short film on the project which is now live on their YouTube channel >. She spoke of empowering individuals to make a positive change to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their carers, sharing the key messages from the You Can Make a Difference campaign > and encouraging delegates to get involved.


The evening was a great success and the team would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Hospital Caterers Association for their generosity and hospitality on the evening, and for making Dementia Carer Voices their charity of the year. The team will continue to work to raise awareness and champion rights and the carer voice.
To find out more about the project, please visit their wordpress site at >, or follow them on twitter @DementiaCarerVo >

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

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

NEW Guest Post via Theresa Douglas -Promoting Excellence in Dementia VCare, Treatment and Support


With great thanks to Theresa Douglas Project Lead for Dementia and Leadership Consultant  NHS Education for Scotland for this latest guest post and update on Promoting Excellence

Since my last blog in May 2014 there has been further progress in Promoting Excellence in Dementia Care, Treatment and Support across NHS Scotland and Social Services. I can’t quite believe it’s been a year (they say time flies when you’re enjoying yourself!) however it has, and a great deal has been achieved and I would like to share that with you
For those of you who haven’t seen our previous blog here is the link

Reading it will give you important ‘foundation’ information which I don’t want to repeat here, rather, I want to build on that and let you know about all the exciting developments since.  So, if you haven’t read it yet, go on, do that now!

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) have continued to work together in partnership and have developed more education and learning resources to support you, colleagues and staff generally across health and social services to achieve the level of the Promoting Excellence education framework appropriate to their role.

All the resources can be accessed, free, HERE 

 This includes the NEW ones which cover
• Delirium 
• Promoting Excellence in supporting people through a diagnosis of dementia 
• Scottish Ambulance service dementia learning resource 

This guide is now available for trainers working with newly qualified social workers (NQSW), social workers and other professionals who work in adult care and community settings, particularly as frontline practitioners and team managers. The guide shows how the online resource can be used to enhance dementia practice across teams or organisations. 

If you are looking to connect with other people who are interested in dementia and remain up to date with what is happening, visit the Dementia Managed Knowledge Network at 

Over and above creating additional learning and education resources, NES and the SSSC have been working with the Scottish Government, the University of the West of Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland to continue to develop the capacity and capability of the dementia workforce.  On the 28 January 2015a further 100 health and social services professionals,from all parts of the country, graduated to become the latest additions to Scotland’s pioneering Dementia Champions Programme.  The graduates are the fifth cohort to complete the programme and will bring the number of Dementia Champions in Scotland to over 500.  Each Champion is dedicated to bringing about improvements in the experiences and outcomes of care and treatment for people with dementia.  Cohort 6 of this excellent programme has just started and soon we will have more than 600 of these highly trained staff, from a range of disciplines working around the country,
Click the link to see a video from the graduation event to hear what its all about
No doubt 2015 will fly past just like 2014 and much will once again be achieved – good luck with playing your part in this national movement for change and improvement.
Theresa Douglas
Project Lead for Dementia and Leadership Consultant 
NHS Education for Scotland

Guest Post via Elaine Samson, Senior Policy Advisor at the Care Inspectorate

From our Dementia Carer Voices web site  
It is with great pleasure that we are able to introduce our very first guest contribution to the Dementia Carer Voices blog. Over the coming weeks and months, these articles will give an insight into the work being undertaken by our partners across the sector to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their carers.
In this entry, Elaine Samson, Senior Policy Advisor at the Care Inspectorate takes time out to tell us about their ‘Hub’ – a new website providing access to a range of resources aimed at supporting improvement in the services they regulate and inspect.
The key message from the Dementia Carer Voices Campaign is “you can make a difference” and we hope that The Hub, recently launched by the Care Inspectorate, will have an important role in supporting people’s personal commitment to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
The Hub offers ‘one-stop-shop’ access to a range of resources aimed at supporting the social care and social work workforce, including students who will be responsible for ensuring the best possible care of Scotland’s ageing population.
Find below some of the key features of The Hub that can help you keep up-to-date with all the latest policy developments and resources available to support your everyday practice, and help make your personal pledges become a reality.

Hub cover for Dementia Carer Voices blog
Knowledge – a central library, wherever you are
Also available as a mobile version on mobile phones and tablets, The Hub’s Knowledge section is a portable online library for when you are out and about.
It provides a visual library of good practice and policy documents, with a user-friendly search function and detailed tagging options that allow you to search the library for the publications most relevant to your work. The Hub includes a series of portals with information on the latest policy developments currently impacting on the social care sector, including dedicated policy portals ondementia and carers.
The Knowledge section also features the weekly Adult and Health Bulletin to keep people up-to-date on the latest news in the sector, and has a built-in newsfeed from the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS).
This complements a range of research tools to help you carry out your own research, including an embedded Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) search portal and a series of IRISS resources to support evidence-based work practice.
It also has lots of useful links particularly relevant to people with dementia and their carers and families.
Innovation – hear the voice of people using services
The Hub’s Innovation section features a collection of video case studies that showcase innovation and good practice taking place in care services across Scotland, highlighting the positive experiences of people using these services. These videos will be regularly updated over the coming months.
Anyone who has experienced excellent care or services that believe they’re delivering something innovative can submit their story to The Hub for consideration.
Improvement – supporting continuous improvement
Aimed at supporting continuous improvement in the delivery of care services, The Hub’sImprovement section features information on Centres for Excellence courses and training, including links to the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), based at the University of Stirling.
It also has toolkits and resources produced by the Care Inspectorate, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES). This includes links to our resource Make Every Moment Count aimed at improving the quality of life of older people receiving care services and NES’s resource The Pharmaceutical Care of People with Dementia.
What’s next?
We’ve just launched The Hub but we’re already looking at how we can make it bigger and better. This includes initial plans to develop a dedicated area on the site with practical resources on dementia, making them more interactive and accessible.
And as part of this work going forward, our Hub Team makes the following pledge as part of the Dementia Carers Voices Campaign:
To make a difference by aiming to make The Hub the best possible resource for informing and supporting services to deliver the highest possible care for people with dementia in Scotland.
Take a visit to today to start taking action to deliver the pledges you have made to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
Elaine Samson
Senior Policy Advisor
Care Inspectorate

Monday, 20 April 2015

Speaking at Celebrating Florence Nightingale conference Hertfordshire NHS Trust May 14th


With great thanks to Carolyn Fowler Assistant Director of Nursing, Education and Research East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust for the kind invite to speak at the ' Celebrating Florence Nightingale conference on the 14th of May 

I had the great honor to speak to nursing students for Carolyn last year and I am very honored to be invited back to speak at the conference 

Below is a draft agenda for the day with some speakers to be finalized 


Key note speakers
• Jane Cummings 
– Chief Nurse, NHS England
• Dr. Peter Carter OBE
General Secretary, RCN
• Tommy Whitelaw, dementia carer
(British Citizen Award 2015) 

                                    For further information or to book your FREE place, please contact:

For any administration queries call 01707 285984

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust – East and North HertfordshireNHS Trust  West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust 

Sponsored by Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Workforce Partnership

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Friday - talks County Durham



With great thanks to Michael Curtis  @curts217 Jude brown @judebrown79 and Dr Sidhu  @sidhuGP and all the team  at @TEWV  for the kind invite to give to talks County Durham on April 24th

We have been friends on Twitter for quite a while and I am very honored to be invited to speak 

The  first talk is with Easington Mental health services older people (MHSOP) which is a part of Tees Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV) NHS Foundation trust. Who are a community team Supporting with carer education / support groups from  as well as monthly memory caf├ęs to get everyone together inc carers, patients, local police, council, local shops etc to build a community hub type network. 

The second visit is in Blackhall Colliery community centre with Dr Sidhu who is a GP and with   his  team works jointly with in building a memory pilot where people can be assessed and treated in their own surgery at Blackhall Colliery community centre Doing the   upmost to build a dementia friendly community Hub network. 

I am very much looking forward to meeting everyone ,learning more about the work they do and giving the two talks 



Have your say on the Carers (Scotland) Bill

The Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Parliament are looking for views from carers on The Carers (Scotland)  Bill, which was introduced to the Scottish Parliament last month. The Committee’s role is to scrutinise the Bill and make recommendations to the Scottish Government on how it should be strengthened.

They have set up a dedicated website to hear from carers, which can be found here, and have a facebook page where you can post your comments here. The closing dates for carers to submit their views is the 22nd of April.

The National Carer Organisations put together a briefing paper on the Bill to highlight some key areas which can be found here.