Sunday, 30 March 2014

Tomorrow morning Great privilege giving presentation to Board NHSaaa



With great thanks to Derek Barron Associate Nurse Director, Mental Health Services NHSaaa and the board for the kind invite to give a presentation at the next Board meeting March 31st. 

I  will also be doing a a series of talks at Ayr Hospital and Crosshouse hospital this April in partnership with Derek and the team. 

I am truly grateful for this opportunity and  look forward to speaking about my wonderful mum the letters I receive and people I meet on my tour along with discussing our Dementia Carer Voices Project 

Thank you Derek for the opportunity for inspiring me on twitter in person and for arranging both the presentation and introduction to the great team Janice, Amanda and Lynn who I will be working with on the talks. 

I have been working closely with Carers and carer centers across Ayrshire for the last 2 years and this is a wonderful opportunity to bring us all together. 

I / we, Derek and the team have some ideas and I hope we can make them work. 

Make a difference Ayrshire sounds special and I hope coming together we can make it happen. 

Thank you to the board, Derek ,Janice, Amanda and Lyn 

The kindness of people


Presentation board - NHSaaa March 31st - open presentation details below on how to attend 

Talks across NHSaaa -  April      


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Busy week 7 talks 2 presentations & filming - make a difference tour



I have another busy week this week as part of my " you can make a difference tour

Monday Morning  - Presentaion to the board NHSaaa

Monday Afternoon  - Speaking  Royal Alexandria Hosptial 1pm and 3 pm

Tuesday Morning - Filming -  Start the conversation Power Attorney Campaign

Tuesday Afternoon  - Speaking   GartnavelHosptial   1pm and 3pm

Wednesday Morning  Meeting healthcare Improvement Scotland

Wednesday Afternoon  - Speaking western Infirmay 1pm and 3pm 

Thursday Morning -   Speaking OT Forum East Remfrewshire 

Thursday afternoon  - Stand and Meeting councillors Glasgow City Council 

Thursday late Afternoon Meeting NHSGG and PPWB 


Friday, 28 March 2014

2 talks today Gartnavel Infirmary 1pm & 3pm #MakeaDifference tour2014



Today is day  8 of my 28 talk tour across NHSGG with two talks at the Gartnavel Infirmary  
With great thanks to Margaret Connolly Lead Nurse Specialist & Advanced Practice Practice Development GGC ,Chris and all the team for putting this tour together 

I met Margaret a fees months back when I was the guest speaker at a conference she hosted at the Beardmore conference center 

I look forward to taking our You Can Make A Difference tour across NHSGG in partnership with Margret    The team and NHSGG 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Today speaking-Dementia Champion’s Celebration Event Middlesbrough March 28th



With great thanks to Helen Robinson Clinical Educator DementiaNursing & Patient Safety South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for inviting me to speak at the Dementia Champions event Middelsbrough 

I look forward to attending and speaking about ,my mum Joan ,the letters I receive ,dementia ,caring and the people I meet on my tour 

Thank you Helen and all the team for the invite and opportunity to be part of the day 

Dementia Champions’ Celebration Event

March 28th 2014, 08:30-1600 hours,
(Registration from 08:30, Event Starts At 09:00)
The David Kenwood Lecture Theatre and the Ian Haslock Lecture Theatre,
The Academic Centre, James Cook University Hospital,
TS4 3BW.

This is a FREE OF CHARGE event

For more information and full timetable ple see link


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

You can make a difference tour 2014


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
       24.04.14 Speaking at the 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  NHSGGC Tour  Glasgow Royal Infirmary Boardroom 1-2pm and 2.30-3.30pm (2 talks)    
·        08.05.14 NHS Borders Dementia Awareness Event 
·        09.05.14  NHSAA Crosshouse Hospital
·        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  NHSAA Crosshouse Hospital
·        27.05.14  NHSAA Ayr Hospital
·        03.06.14  NHS Annual Conference (attending only )
·        04.06.14  NHS Annual Conference  (attending only )
·        06.06.14  NHSGGC Podiatry Development Day
·        11.06.14  NHSAA Ayr Hospital 
·        18.06.14  Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and Rowley Regis Hospital
·        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

Thank you

Mothers Day - my mum how I miss you so






                                                             love - story


                                                            Love story 


                                                                         Mother -





I just miss my mum so much .I have been pottering around the house all morning as I do most weekends and evenings and ther is a feeling of great emptiness in this house and in my heart 

I don't miss dementia - dementia does not define my mum.My mum was magnificent kind and caring but there is no escape from all dementia brought to mums life and mine as a son to witness 

I miss both mum and Dad  ,over twenty years ago I started a life touring the world and making great times and great mistakes and even from a distance shared the great times with my parents.I am absolutely greatful for the support,advice and help they gave to the msitakes and struggles I personally faced along the way. I was a lucky boy to have such parents 

Never imagining that 20 years later my mum would be diagnosed with dementia and I would become  a carer.Now there is a description that's sits slightly uneasy .people keep saying " you cared for your mum " that is only half the story .even with all mum faced she always cared for her son.on the days we where both struggling on the days I was falli apart .on my knees and broken,this wonderful mum could make it all better with a squeeze of my hand or the love from her eyes 

That's what mums and dads do no matter what they face they make it better for their children ,no mater how young or old their children are ,no matter how far or close they May be 

And I miss that so much.I miss the support ,kindness that squeeze of the hand the love and care in mums eyes 

You took much away dementia but never the love and care a mother had for her children and for all

My mum I just miss you so 

Tomorrow 2 talks Royal Alexandria Hospital - The Medical Educational Lecture Theater


Tomorrow is day 7 of my 28 talk tour across NHSGG with two talks at the Royal Alexandria Hospital 
in THE Medical Educational Lecture Theater 

With great thanks to Margaret Connolly Lead Nurse Specialist & Advanced Practice Practice Development GGC ,Chris and all the team for putting this tour together 

I met Margaret a fees months back when I was the guest speaker at a conference she hosted at the Beardmore conference center 

I look forward to taking our You Can Make A Difference tour across NHSGG in partnership with Margret    The team and NHSGG 


Sunday, 23 March 2014

"It's not that I'm not grateful " Jon Bruton a song for dad

Hi Tommy-great work. 
Link to a song I wrote

imagining what my Dad might have said if he could have spoken 

Jon Bruton 

 - you can follow Jon on twitter @jonbru 

It's not that I'm not grateful

I feel waves are breaking on a distant shore.
I hear the echoes of a time that went before.
It seems as though the wind has changed, clouds cover the sun.
It seems that as the daylight fades my walk is almost done.
Places once familiar are now unkindly strange.
Signs are playing tricks on me, so many names have changed.
Faces move toward me and then they turn to go,
Who they are or where they're from I'm never sure I know.
It's not that I'm not grateful
For all the love we've shared,
It's just that I can't tell you anymore.
I'm living in this goldfish bowl but can't see in or out.
This world was turning with me, but now it turns without.
So now my fragile kingdom of dust has blown away,
And that of which I'm certain is of another day.
It's not that I'm not grateful
For all the love we've shared,
It's just that I can't tell you anymore.
I'm sorry things turned out this way, I couldn't say goodbye
I can no longer grasp the words, no matter how I try,
They're slipping through my fingers like silver grains of sand
As each day I fall deeper into this shadow land.
So as my chapter closes, the final page is turned,
Hold fast to all the good times, the lessons that we learned.
And as tomorrow's sunrise falls warm upon the ground,
I hope you will remember the treasure that we found.
It's not that I'm not grateful
For all the love we've shared,
It's just that I can't tell you anymore

Today speaking Scottish Government DementiaPostDiagnostic Support(PDS) One Year on conference

Dementia Post Diagnostic Support (PDS) One Year On

Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The Beardmore Hotel & Conference Centre, Beardmore Street, Clydebank, Glasgow, G81 4SA

Plenary Session (Chair Douglas Philips, Joint Improvement Team Lead for Dementia)
Scottish Government overview of PDS HEAT Target

Post Diagnostic Support  The Five Pillars

Scottish Dementia Working Group
Q&A session
Geoff Huggins, Head of Mental Health and Protection of Rights Division, SG
Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, AlzheimerScotland
Brian Malone
Chaired by Douglas Philips, Joint Improvement Team Lead for Dementia
1045 – 1115
Break / Networking (Tea / Coffee)
Plenary Session 2 (Chair Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland)
1115 – 1230
National Dementia Carers Action Network
The Role of the Link worker  Experiences so far

Post Diagnostic Support Data – The Story So Far

Q&A session
Ann Pascoe
Susan Chandler, Inverclyde AlzheimerScotland Link Worker
Lorraine Faulds, Nurse Team Lead,Shawmill Resource Centre, Glasgow
Stephen Halcrow, NHS Information StatisticsDivision (ISD)
Chaired by Henry Simmons
1230 – 1315
Lunch / Networking
Plenary Session 3
1315 – 1330
Dementia Carers Voices Perspective
Tommy WhitelawDCV Project Officer 
Parallel Workshop Sessions 1, 2 & 3
1330 – 1440
Please choose one workshop
Personal planning
Service Redesign
Later stage diagnosis (including care homes)

Parallel Workshop Sessions 4, 5 & 6 (Tea / Coffee will be available in workshops)
1440 – 1550
Please choose one workshop
Exploring the role of the link worker
Promoting Excellence - Exploring workforce development needs
Data, Data Sharing & Using data to driveimprovement

1550 – 1600
Closing Remarks
Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, AlzheimerScotland

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 ...