Sunday, 1 December 2013

ALLIANCE Dementia Carer Voice Celebrates Carers Rights Day -summary - thank you

ALLIANCE Celebrates Carers Rights Day

To mark Carers Rights Day on 29 November, the ALLIANCE held an event to recognise and celebrate Scotland’s 670,000 carers and the indispensable role that they play.

Guests heard from representatives of the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network, who explained their role in enabling high quality research into the causes and consequences of dementia. By joining their research interest register, people living with dementia and their carers can have their say on what is important to them and what needs to be done.

Tommy Whitelaw, Dementia Carer Voices Project Engagement Lead, shared video of an interview he gave for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Patient’s Stories Library, highlighting aspects of his journey as a carer. In the film, Tommy described how he didn’t recognise himself as a carer until he reached a crisis situation and how he didn’t know where, or how to access support.

Jim Martin, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, spoke of his office’s role in handling complaints about most public services in Scotland and spreading learning from these cases to inform improvement. He noted that as the final port of call, his office sees only “marathon runners”, people who have the energy to take complaints further, not “sprinters”. He outlined his commitment to harnessing the knowledge of carers and others to simplify complaints processes and is bringing together advocacy groups and third sector organisations including the ALLIANCE, to plan how to make this journey easier.

Commenting on the event, ALLIANCE Programme Director Irene Oldfather said “the theme the day was ‘rights, advice and support’, focusing on ensuring all carers understand their rights and get advice and information that can help them and the person they look after.”

Jim Martin, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman said “It was a pleasure to hear first-hand from carers and those receiving services about where and how we can do better.”

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