Sunday, 21 May 2017

Great honour to be speaking sharing the caring event June 13th


With great thanks to Dr Helen Brown CEO Carers Trust Cambridgeshire for the kind invite to attend and speak 

Thank you for the kindness and opportunity 


Join us to celebrate carers at Sharing the Caring 2017

We promise you a bellyful of laughs and many heart-warming true stories about the lives of our fabulous carers at this year’s Sharing the Caring celebratory event where winners will be announced for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s Pride in Our Carers Awards.

Date: Tuesday 13 June

Time: from 9.45am – 4pm. Feel free to join us for as much of the event as you’d like

Venue: C3 Centre, Coldhams Lane, Cambridge, CB1 3HW

Cost: Free, but booking required

  • Sharing the Caring will focus on the carers’ voice, carers’ rights and what to do in an emergency.
  • Dementia Campaigner, Tommy Whitelaw, who travelled the world for the Spice Girls, Kylie and U2, will talk about becoming a full-time carer for his mum, Joan, for six years.
  • Marketplace stalls will provide a range of valuable information and activities, some interactive, for family carers, including Tai Chi and Mindfulness workshops, and the chance to join the Labrynth Singing for Health group.
  • Lunch
  • The afternoon rounds off with the eagerly anticipated announcement of the winners for the Pride in Our Carers Awards, honouring those who go the extra mile caring for family and friends, as well as carer friendly employers, voluntary organisations and social care professionals.
  •  Afternoon refreshments provided by local WI.

To book your place at the event go to  If you would like to attend any interactive workshops you must book these in advance.

Free transport is available from Peterborough.  To book transport from Peterborough, please call our Carer Helpline on 01480 499090 saying you would like to attend the event.

If you would like to find out more about either of the events please call 01480 499090 or email

Hope you can join us.

Please help spread the word by downloading the poster and displaying it in your local GP surgery, workplace, community centre, school, etc..
This is a joint event with Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Guest post via Hans Hartung “It Isn’t Joy in Work; Joy IS the Work”

                           Guest post via Hans Hartung

                          “It Isn’t Joy in Work; Joy IS the Work”

Kate Hilton of the IHI Open School, Helen Bevan of the NHS England, Hans Hartung of the NHS Scotland, and Marianne McPherson of the IHI 100 Million Healthier Lives team describe how leaders can embrace their role as facilitators of joy in work.

Improvement guru W. Edwards Deming had a clear vision of a leader’s role: “Management’s overall aim should be to create a system in which everybody may take joy in his [or her] work.” Studies have shown that joy in work leads to higher service user satisfaction, better staff engagement, more cooperation among staff, higher productivity, and more efficiency.

But what exactly is “joy in work,” and how can we, as leaders, elicit it? We tackled that question during a unique session at the 2016 IHI Nationanl Forum.
As we prepared for the session, we wanted to develop a shared understanding of joy from our work as leaders of large-scale change efforts. We believe joy is a lived experience, not a theoretical one. While we may possess strategies and methods for creating joy, they must pass the “sniff” test: we know when we feel “joy” — and when it is inauthentic or forced. We experience joy as a feeling of pleasure, happiness, and wellbeing that results in energy, connection, a sense of purpose, meaning, and fulfilment. In other words, we all have an internal “joy calibration system.”

We took that knowledge and challenged ourselves to teach about joy with joy at the Forum, where we gathered with 20 frontline leaders of change in health care. As pre-work, we asked participants to submit “personal anthems of joy,” which played throughout the session. As participants entered the room, we welcomed, acknowledged, and thanked each one of them for their presence. We asked them questions about themselves, helped them find their seats, and introduced them to one another. We shared pictures and stories of who we are and what brings us joy. We ignited the senses in small groups around smell, touch, taste, sound, and breath. And during our break, we conducted a “Randomized Coffee Trial” to deepen authentic connections.

Our workshop’s aim was to create a Joy Manifesto that explored how we experience joy from within, together, and across a system. The following seven design principles for joy emerged from the group’s work. Central to these principles is the understanding that while joy is a lived experience at personal and interpersonal levels, creating the sustained conditions for joy is a system responsibility. These system conditions, then, lead to personal and interpersonal joy at work:

  1. Create conditions for people to identify sources of joy from within. We cannot give what we do not have. Because joy lives within, we must identify the personal practices and habits that connect us to our internal sources of joy, like journaling, being in nature, exercising, meditation, and singing. Test to Try: Notice for yourself: what makes you joyful
  2. Encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. This is about moving from knowing what brings you joy to living it at work. How might you bring other joyful parts of your life into the workplace? Participants offered examples like writing thank-you notes to others at work, building a quiet walk into each work day, and sharing a joke, personal stories, or pictures. Test to Try: By next Tuesday, what one joyful life practice can you integrate into your work day?
  3. Create conditions for human connection. To live is to be connected to — and helpful to — each other. Human connection is an organic process that emerges whenever people meet. Workshop participants noted that connections amplify collective learning by building on one another’s strengths and recognizing weaknesses. The quality of our connections is a predictor of our happiness. Sharing stories and facilitating a social environment help to build authentic connections. Attentive listening without interruption, humble inquiry, and genuine curiosity are human ways to build empathic bridges. Test to Try: In the next week, listen to someone without interruption and with curious interest in what they want to share. How is it different?
  4. Make it safe to be joyful. Deming also said, “Drive out fear, create trust.” Trust and absence of fear are the foundation to go beyond “safe space” to “brave space” where people can try new things and be vulnerable, honest, and light-hearted together. Joy lives at the edge of taking risks and knowing that it is okay to fail forward. Ask “open and honest” questions, demonstrate acts of kindness, greet everyone within a 10-foot radius, adopt an “eyes up, hearts open” hallway culture with no smart phone use, and celebrate courage. Be nice, consistently. A culture that values recognition and respect encourages trust. Leaders have a particular responsibility to create these conditions by modelling these behaviors. Test to Try: Put away your smart phone for one day and acknowledge those around you. See what happens.
  5. Create a space for others to lead. Be authentic. Don't give power and take it away; instead, help others see and use their agency. Ignite people’s autonomy by asking them to break the rules when the rules stop serving the intended purpose. Empower people to refine and redefine measures that don’t make sense. Replace micro-management with mutuality by spending time at the front lines to speak with and listen to people. Test to Try: This week, make rounds on the floor or in the field with the intent of unleashing others’ capacity and will to solve their own problems.
  6. Build systems for joy: When we think about joy, we typically think about intrinsic motivation: connecting with people’s internal motivation, linking with their values and the things that matter to them at the deepest emotional or spiritual levels. But we can also create systems of extrinsic motivation to support joy. By this, we mean introducing levers or system drivers that encourage specific behaviors or “prod” people to engage in particular activities. Examples include:
    • Defining joy as a stated value of the organization, developing metrics around joy, making joy a deliverable to which all staff dedicate a percentage of time each month, and including joyfulness as a qualification in job descriptions
    • Creating conditions for joy to emerge, as Swedish leaders do with “FIKA,” a break with coffee and cake
    • Backing off if incentives are experienced as "compliance for joy,” making them inherently un-joyful
Test to Try: By the end of the month, explore one concrete step for your organization to take to design for joy.
  1. Create conditions for people to learn, improve, and innovate. Having fun designing joy in work, actually enjoying the process, was one of the most exciting insights from the workshop. Improvement and innovation stimulate creativity and intrinsic motivation, resulting in joy. As Deming noted, “Innovation comes from people who take joy in their work.” Co-ownership, playful improvisation, experimentation, valuing failure, the appreciating of stories behind the data, and a focus on collaboration make change come alive. Joy in improvement work results from the knowledge that any improvement contributes to the bigger picture and is connected to others’ learning. Joy builds confidence, and confidence builds intrinsic motivation for continuous learning. As Deming stated, “We are here to learn, to make a difference, and to have fun.” Test to Try: Have fun! (Really!)
All in all: It isn’t “joy in work”; joy is the work. Being an improvement leader who creates the conditions for joy means knowing it, being it, sharing it, and designing for it. For Deming, there was no doubt that the experience of joy in work was a prerequisite for any high-performing organization. Joy must be how we do business — within ourselves, together with others, and across our systems.
Sources and additional reading:

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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Would you like to share your views on issues such as living with dementia dementia, , unpaid caring

Would you like to share your views on issues such as dementia, mental health, unpaid caring ?

You can by writing a viewpoint for our Dementia Carer Voices blog.

Here are some pointers for pulling together a viewpoint blog.
You can also view other viewpoints below:
Get in touch with the team at:
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Dementia Carer Voices March/April 2017 Newsletter is now available to read or download

Dementia Carer Voices March/April 2017 Newsletter

Dementia Carer Voices launches Facebook Page
Dementia Carer Voices has launched its new Facebook page to engage more widely with people with dementia, their families and carers.
Please give us a like at:
Thank you to the 13,000 people!
The Dementia Carer Voices team would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has made a pledge as part of the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign. We are absolutely delighted to have received 13,000 pledges! This is an incredible milestone, and is only possible due to the commitment and compassion from everyone who has attended a talk or read about the campaign and made a promise to make a positive difference in the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
The team have been taking the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign to 550 talks to date, reaching over 75,000, staff and students throughout the UK to highlight that no matter what their role, everyone working in Health and Social Care Services has the potential to transform the lives and experiences of people with dementia and their carers, often in seemingly small ways.
Irene Oldfather, Director, the ALLIANCE said:
“This work reaches out and touches the hearts of many people, not least Health and Social Care students and professionals. These interactions are an ideal opportunity for staff to pause and reflect on what is really important to the people in their care. Make a pledge, make a difference.”
Tommy Whitelaw, Dementia Carer Voices Project Engagement Lead, said: 
“Carers tell us that a little bit of time, listening and understanding can make an unimaginable difference during what can be a very difficult and lonely journey. The pledges that we have received have been truly inspiring, and we’re looking forward to working with people and seeing those pledges fulfilled.”
If you have been inspired to make a pledge , please get in touch and email us your pledge at
Dementia Carer Voices and Erskine teaming up once again!
Massive thanks to our great friend Derek Barron @dtbarron for the kind invite to speak and give 4 talks at Erskine Hospital @Erskine1916 on 21st and 27th April. Project Engagement Lead Tommy had the great honour to speak at Erskine a few months ago.
We are honoured to be invited and continue our great relationship with Derek. We launched our first pledge talks and trees with Derek back in 2015 at NHSAA along with a short film.
We are looking forward to continue our work together with Derek over the coming years in his new role as Director of Care and linking up with our great friend Janice McAlister @janicemcalister again at the talks.
Erskine is Scotland’s foremost provider of care for veterans and their spouses, Erskine provides unrivalled nursing, residential, respite and dementia care within four homes across Scotland.  An important aspect of ensuring the care we provide is of the highest standard is to ensure our staff have the training, skills and knowledge to support them in delivering compassionate, person and relationship based care.
DCV Administrator, Laura McCulloch, attended the talks on the 21st at Erskine with Tommy, and William Griffiths, Policy and Information Intern, accompanied Tommy for the two on the 27th April.
Dementia Carer Voices attends the National Conference and Graduation for Dementia Champions
ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather, and Policy and Information Intern, William Griffiths, attended the 7th cohort of Dementia Champions Graduation at Murrayfield Stadium on the 15th March. Through poster presentations and concurrent sessions, the event showcased and celebrated the work of Alzheimer’s Scotland Dementia Champions.
It was a good day with interesting posters and informative breakout sessions on informed consent, end of life care and more. Congratulations to all those who graduated as Dementia Champions on the day.
Remembering mums across the world on Mother’s Day
DCV marked Mother’s Day on the 26th March as an opportunity to reflect on motherly love and caring.
Happy Mother`s Day
The days we laughed
The days we cried
The days we shared the loss, the broken heart,
So it was less than half as hard.

The days we smiled,
The days we played ,
The days we danced,
The days we sang
Those were the best days
To remember forever.

The days we loved ……
the flowers, the sunshine, the rainbows, the waves, the birds,
the laughter and the tears of joy.

The memories ……
that can never be let go
That live in our hearts forever

But you – a part of me – and I of you –
so part of me died too.
But still you rescued me through the flowers, and the rainbows and the waves and the birds – for you loved the birds,
And the laughter and the tears of joy –
you wouldn’t let me go
to that too sad place.
And so the snowdrops and the birds and the words –
that was MY mum.
By Irene Oldfather
Caring for Mum
This month’s guest blog came from Alison Tait @Allisonrtait 
Allison is the Co-Chair at the Scottish Practice Nurse Association. Allison wrote her blog as a daughter.
Please read her full blog post here.
Allison with her mum Betty.
Dementia Carer Voices featured in the Danish Parliament 
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw’s talks were the subject of discussion at the Danish Parliament on the 17th March when the organisation Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief held their ‘It Takes a Village’ exhibition in Copenhagen.
Denmark has been keen to learn the experiences from Scottish end of life care, and it was a great honour for Dementia Carer Voices to be one of their learning resources.
Hatton Lea Care Home Launch Pledge Initiative
Thank you to Caroline York, June Sugden and all at Hatton Lea Care Home for inviting Tommy to speak at the launch of their pledge tree on 13 April 2017.
Caroline and some colleagues heard Tommy speak at a Dementia Ambassadors Conference back in December 2016 and got in touch for us to give a talk at Hatton Lea Care launch of the pledge initiative.
You can read more from the care home press release in the Motherwell Times.
Caroline York, unit manager at the home, added:
“Tommy’s commitment to the pledge tree concept is extremely inspirational”.
Thank you all for a wonderful day the great kindness and inspirational pledges and tree
See our latest pledge posts from talks at Glasgow University, Poole Hospital and many more.
Future DCV events
Keep up-to-date with events DCV are attending over the next month. To find out more, see our “Get Involved” page over on our blog.
Dementia Carer Voices to show poster at Alzheimer’s Scotland and NHS Scotland Conferences
Dementia Carer Voices will present our poster explaining our project at the upcoming Alzheimer’s Scotland conference on the 2nd June and the NHS Scotland conference on the 20th – 21st June. If you’re attending either of those conferences, please do keep an eye out for our stand and have a chat with members of the team.
ALLIANCE Conference – Change: The Health and Social Care Integration event
Join the ALLIANCE, our members and partners at our 2017 annual conference on the 30th May. It will be focused on integration and change. What kind of change is needed? Where are the examples of change happening for the good? Is it happening fast enough in health and social care? What are the factors that drive the kind of change that makes a positive difference to people’s lives? How can we influence change?
The event will focus on putting people firmly at the centre of decision making and will cover broad areas that affect people’s lives. The programme and venue will be designed around different zones reflecting many of the key issues that most affect the lives of people who live with long term conditions, disabled people and unpaid carers.
Have a look at our conference agenda. Download your booking form here or call 0141 404 0231 to get support to fill in your form.

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Putting care at the heart of our communities

“Our residents do not live in our work place, we work in their home.” I have been sharing this quote from a care home worker and ...