Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Guest Post -Joining the dots through wonderful people working in health and social care around the world


with great thanks to my friend  Claire Kilpatrick @claireekt for this months Guest post 
Joining the dots through wonderful people working in health and social care around the world,I am very honored  to share on my blog 

Working in healthcare is amazing. Over time you meet so many wonderful people. Don't get me wrong, you won't hit it off with everyone, but when I stop and think about it, I feel that a career in healthcare is actually all about wonderful people.

As a nurse I realised my strengths, and weaknesses, early on! The type of care I could provide was suited to particular settings (ICU) and then for me it was always about moving on, making a difference at different levels, influencing away from the bedside. I remain in awe of people who provide hands on care every day to patients and other service users.

Since 2008 I have worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on aspects of global patient safety  
Since 2012 this has been as a consultant under the auspices of the registered company my colleague Jules Storr and I set up, @S3Global
When people ask me what I actually do though it can be hard to explain...

When Tommy and I connected through Twitter it was for a different, personal reason, not about what I did for a job. It was because as a carer I was reaching out for some help and support and didn't know where to look, despite knowing the health and social care system so well! Tommy and I met a few times in 2015 and the words of wisdom imparted have changed how I see the world; vital if you are to cope as a carer. For me this was another example of meeting a wonderful person because I happened to work in health, and because I happened spend a lot of time on Twitter!

Anyway when Tommy finally asked me ‘what do you actually do, can you write a blog about it?’, I wanted to try to explain it in a way that connected our different worlds, connected all the wonderful work that goes on around the world every day. I, like many others I am sure, believe that what I do can makes the lives of all those being cared for, and for carers, ‘feel better’ and most importantly safer.

To quote from a recent @S3Global blog written by my business partner Jules, ''…debates on quality of healthcare usually, at some point or other, inevitably drift towards the topic of the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (HAI).” “Integrating {infection prevention and control} IPC as an holistic component of efforts to strengthen the entire health system is logical…”

I have spent these last years being privileged to talk to civil servants, policy makers, academics, managers and frontline workers to tell them how important infection prevention and specifically 'safe hands' are when providing care, and to explain that hand hygiene is a key indicator of overall quality of care in any health system. Not only do I truly believe this but this has been noted in the literature
The fact that achieving improvements in IPC, including hand hygiene at the point of care, means understanding behaviour change, psychology, human factors means we can understand so much about the overall behaviours of health workers which is invaluable learning for any aspect of health and social care and for achieving quality universal health coverage in every country

‘A day in working my life’ - might include:
- shaping the future of global IPC for WHO
- writing various evidence-based documents and communications, for aspects of IPC including hand hygiene and injection safety
- listening to colleagues and the challenges they are experiencing so that strategies can be adapted and presented in context, this includes for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), hand hygiene in a range of settings and in support of the antimicrobial resistance agenda
- discussing and preseenting the best strategies to ensure documents aren’t just pieces of paper on a web site but are used in practice
- connecting people to ensure they can learn from each other and share country experiences and ideas for capacity building for example through Webber teleclasses and Private Organisations for Patient Safety
- campaigning to create and maintain social movements and sustainable improvements for patients, health workers and carers

Working now as I do in global health means that I continue to meet wonderful people. My closest colleagues are English (given I am Scottish!), Italian, Iranian, American, Japanese, Romanian, Belgian, Canadian, Pakistani, from Oman. But I also get to talk to people from so many other countries every day.

I also have lots of wonderful and inspiring health-related connections on Twitter, including Tommy.

Author: Claire Kilpatrick @claireekt is Director @S3Global - providing consultancy to the World Health Organisation
#evidence #behaviourchange #ptsafety #infectionprevention #UHC #globalhealth #implementation #communication
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Friday, 18 December 2015

GUEST BLOG Christy Ringrose, - The Heart OF The Matter ( songs For Caring )


Christy Ringrose, a student at the University of the West of Scotland and some of her classmates have taken inspiration from the Dementia Carer Voices Campaign and produced an album of songs from the pledges made to the campaign so far. Christy shares her blog now with the Academy.
Since the moment I met Tommy Whitelaw from Dementia Carer Voices on the train, I felt like he genuinely cared about ME, and was interested in who I am. This is caring. It makes you feel special and valued. Everyone should feel like this, whether they are losing themselves in an illness, or using all of their time caring for others.

One way of caring for people is to listen to them. This is why Tommy encouraged people around Scotland to write to him about their experiences of knowing or caring for someone with dementia. Tommy wanted us to make these letters sing through our songs.

The day we read the letters, a world of feelings and stories was strewn across a table. There were statements, bold and true: “I feel lost”. There were prayers “Sweet Jesus get me through another day”, and words of encouragement to Tommy “mate, you’re doing great”*. Letters from sons, daughters, mothers, sisters, neighbors and care-workers. Each letter powerful because it was written because someone passionately cares about someone else.

How can a multitude of voices be compressed into a song? One way is to find out something that ties all the letters together. Tommy himself said that they are all “love letters”; love letters written in a time of difficulty. The struggles that come with dementia, bring feelings of sadness, perhaps even anger and irritation – but amongst this despair, love persists in being heard.

How can we ensure that our songs express these feelings? We can ensure that the feelings themselves are involved at every stage of the creative process: From the crafting of lyrics and melody, to the practicalities of recording and performing, it is important to come back to the heart of the matter, without which no song would exist.

When we care about someone, we put them first. Similarly, if we care about something, we put that something before everything else.

For example, when someone suggested to me during a recording session that I add computer crafted violins to my song, “Romeo and Juliette”, I thought that this is not an option because only a musician who knew the story behind the score
would be able to echo the fear of losing someone, or the sweetness of wanting to be with someone you love.
In this way, songwriting is constant collaboration with the subject matter. The songwriter can quite easily forget this, especially in thinking about how to entertain their listeners, or even how to make money or popularity from the song. What I enjoyed about this collaborative songwriting process, was that the material was so strong, so beautiful, that I felt it taking precedence. It was more important to find that balance between desperation and love, than to find a skillful melody.
Hopefully this shift of priorities will inevitably result in good quality
you can listen to one of the songs and interview with the songwriters from STV News at Ten Here 
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dementia Carer Voices December Newsletter is Available to read here

Thank you for the great Kindness and support over the last year, wishing you all a Merry Christmas  and Happy New year 

Please see our final Newsletter for 2015 at the link here

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Monday, 7 December 2015

today Speaking NHS Leadership Academy Leeds


With great thanks to Lisa Oldfield Programme Co-ordinator  NHS Leadership Academy and Chris Lake for the kind invite to speak at  the Aspiring Chief Executive programme which is a new programme  NHS Leadership Academy are launching in December 

I am so very honored to be invited to speak and then facilitate  a workshop on  'Making a Difference'  The session will be delivered at the NHS Leadership Academy  

You can learn more about NHS Leadership Academy at the link here Web:  or follow the great work they do on twitter Twitter: @nhsleadership

The NHS Leadership Academy's purpose is to develop outstanding leadership in health, in order to improve people's health and their experience of the NHS

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

Monday 2 talks Bolton NHS foundation trust


With great thanks to Ben Roberts @ben_m_roberts_1 and Grace Langton @gracie_langton 
From Bolton NHS foundation trust @Boltonnhsft for the kind invite  to give two talks across the trust on December 14th,along with visiting the new dementia friendly wards 
I met  Ben and grace whilst speaking for Sam Sherrington @SamSherrington at a #Valuemaker event for finance teams across the NHS and I am very proud to be their friend,grateful for the support they give and truly inspired by the passion and work they all do to make a difference 

I am so very honored to be invited and looking forward to making more new friends across Bolton NHS trust and finding out more about the great work they do 


Timetable for the day will be:

10:00 to 12:00, talk to staff and stakeholders
12:00 we'll then head over to officially open our Dementia friendly  ward
13:30 will be a talk to finance, procurement and business  intelligence teams
- We were also going to ask if you would draw the prizes for our Chrsitmas Raffle at our time out, this one of the many things we've doing this year to raise money for Dementia,.


Friday, 4 December 2015

Dementia, Collecting, life and love stories, to raise awareness - can you help ?

Dementia, Collecting, life and love stories, to raise awareness

The campaign started in my bedroom whilst caring for my magnificent mum was never a petition or protest Now par of the Dementia Carer Voices project at the Health and social care alliance (THE ALLIANCE )

It was and still is based on life stories.To truly understand or find the right  help someone ,we have to know about them we have to know

what matters to you

who matters to you

We reached a crisis through a lack of understanding from within and to often towards us .My mums life was a love story,Mums  love for family, friends and ability to care for and about all she met

Dementia was allowed to play to big a part .it certainly has the power if not supported with the correct support ,advice and understanding  to veer across the family .

this project  is about life and love stories ,our experiences good or bad can help inform policy   raise awareness ,understanding and help with the greatest gift and right for all to keep our lives as close to a love story as possible

we  have taken the life stories received to date to Government, local authorities, motions at councils, to talks,helping with reports across the care sector, Universities, Colleges, Carer Groups, the voluntary sector all based on our lives in our words


You can help by sending your life story, thoughts, and experiences good or bad to 

MY promise to you is the same promise I made to my mum to try and bring a  better understanding on dementia and caring to the best of my ability across the wider society
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Honored to be a community advisor for the MindMate App


with great thanks to Gabriela from MindMate for this months guest blog post on all that has been happening with the MindMate App and team 
I am so very glad to know  the inspiring team at MindMate and and feel inspired by the work they and so very glad to have them as friends 

What a month!

It has been a crazy and exciting month for the MindMate team! A lot has happened since we did our trial in summer and a lot more is to come.

We are happy to share that many of our testers are still using the app and the feedback has been very good so far. We are very grateful for their support and input. But we have grown a lot since our testers joined. The MindMate App is currently being used by almost 5,000 people all over the world and the numbers are constantly increasing. 

Some other important milestones have been:

Tommy and MindMate on tour J
One important development that is especially close to our hearts is the announcement of Tommy Whitelaw as our community advisor. He has given us indispensable insight into the world of a dementia caregiver and has amazed us with the connection he has to the community. His support has been especially important to Rogelio, who found strength and encouragement in speaking to other caregivers. 

The NHS gives it a try
What is also very exciting is the trial that is planned together with the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Trust. The Dementia Support and Development Lead, Stephen Lithgow has been an incredible support and will lead the trial with 60 IPads that will be used by the line workers in the “Post Diagnostic Support”. We are meeting them in a week to give an introduction into all the features of the app. 

MindMate is beneficial for care homes too!
This week’s highlight was probably our great visit in the Cranlea Care Home in Newcastle. The care home is lovely and we really enjoyed the tour we got. Together with the Anchor’s Community Partnership Manager David Wood, the Home Manager Lynn Day and Activities Co-Coordinator Michele we looked at all the benefits the MindMate App can have to care home residents and their carers. We are excited to see where this can go!

Prizes and Recognition
Susanne and Gabriela from MindMate travelled to Denmark a couple of weeks ago to participate in the European Telemedicine Conference and pitch for the Global Young Innovators Competition. We got the second prize and are incredibly proud to have convinced the Jury despite the international competition. 

Also, last but not least, we are one of the happy winners of the Young EDGE Scottish EDGE Awards. We have been awarded 10,000 pounds and are working hard on improving the app further and have something else coming up that will, together with the MindMate App, make a huge difference for people who care for someone with dementia.

If you haven’t downloaded the free App yet, do it here:

And please give us feedback and a good review if you like it! 
If you have any questions, you can always contact us via e-mail: and visit our website:

All the Best, 
Gabriela from MindMate

Speaking health and social care students. West Lothian College


With great thanks to Marion Darling and all the team at  West Lothian College for the kind invite to speak to health and social care students and staff on December 8th in  lecture theater West Lothian College at 1:30 pm 

Marion and I are both friends  on Twitter and i am very looking forward to us meeting in person on December 8th 


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

3 talks across NHS Forth Valley December 9th - Forth Valley Royal &Falkirk Community hospital


With great thanks to Dr Linda E. Wolff Consultant Psychiatrist - Old Age Falkirk Community Hospital
For the kind invite to give 3 presentations  at 2 hospitals accros  NHS Forth Valley 

Forth Valley Royal Infirmary 

at     11.00-   12.15
and   13.30 -  1445

 Falkirk Community Hospital 

1515- 1630

I had the great privilege to speak with Linda a few weeks ago at an event at NHS Fife and was both inspired by the presentation and passion to bring ' Make a Difference ' to NHS Forth Valley 

I am very much looking forward to the 3 talks,meeting everyone and working with Linda again 



Speaking Inspire and Learn study day for specialist Nurses December 10th


With great thanks to Stefanie Seal Event and Education lead at Coloplast And my friend  Dr Terri Porrett @gbtpo for the kind invite to speak At the  Inspire and Learn study event that is taking place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydo on Thursday, 10th December. For specialist nurses 

I have been invited to speak about  'making a difference ' followed by questions and answers alon with Dr Terri as part of the days learning sessions 

I am very honored to be invited and look forward to the day and teaming up with Terri 

DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

2 talks Nottingham - City Care Nottingham December 7th


With great thanks to Emma Self Head of Professional Standards CityCare Nottingham 
For the kind invite to give 2 talks at the Park Inn Hotel Nottingham  on December 7th 

The morning session starts at 9:30 for coffee & registration, The afternoon session repeats the AM, with coffee & Registration from 1:30

I had the great privilege to speak at the QNI Annual conference last month that Emma attended and I am very honored to be invited by Emma to give the two talks on December the 7th 

 For more info you can contact Emma here Mail to:


Very Honored invited to The Chief Nursing Officer for England’s Summit2015 #CNOsummit

I am very honored to be invited by the Jane Cummings the Chief  Nursing Officer for England to attend
And take part in a workshop at the The CNO Summit #cnosummit 2015
I have met with jane at many events over the last year and I am grateful for the kindness and encouragement received toward our  ' Make a Difference ' tour and campaign .I am looking forward to a great couple of days of learning and meeting people 
You can learn more below or at the link here

The Chief Nursing Officer for England’s Summit (CNO Summit) 2015 will bring together the most senior leaders from across the nursing, midwifery and care professions to help shape future direction and equip leaders to motivate, inspire and mobilise the workforce with new ideas, ways of working and shared learning.

Leading change and creating value

The focus this year is around how we use our collective strengths to create the value of right outcomes for patients, good experiences for staff and those we care for, and do this efficiently.
The Summit will be held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel between 1 and 2 December 2015.
The CNO Summit programme includes international and national key note speakers, plenary session debates and breakout sessions.
From the afternoon of 30 November, prior to the full Summit, sessions dedicated exclusively to provider Directors of Nursing will consider and address key leadership issues, to acknowledge today’s challenges and discuss how to work together to address these.
On the afternoon of 2 December, the Summit includes dedicated time specifically for Commissioners.
The Summit is an opportunity to share learning with up to 500 chief nurses, patient representatives, academics and other Arm’s Length Bodies involved in shaping the future of health and care.  It will be a great opportunity to network.

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 ...