Thursday, 25 January 2018

Join us In Glasgow February 23rd Give your views on changes to primary care. event for carers

Give your views on changes to primary care. We want to hear how the development of GP teams might impact you and how they can work for you.

We want to capture views on how the changes are likely to impact peoples’ experiences of interacting with primary care.
This might be potential opportunities presented by the new contract to improve services that people want emphasised; or it could be risks/concerns associated with the changes, such as broadening the scope of primary care services, particularly the changing role of the GP.
There is also an opportunity to explore how ongoing engagement can ensure that people are involved throughout not just the design but the delivery of the new contract.
Who should attend?
This workshop is aimed at gathering input from people who access GP services and are interested in giving their views on the new GP contract.
Outputs and recommendations from this engagement will be presented to the Scottish Government for consideration in ongoing discussions around the GP contract. The ALLIANCE will continue to make the case for these outputs in interactions with Scottish Government throughout the development of the GP contract.
We will be holding eight workshops across Scotland, with two being focused specifically on getting views from young people and unpaid carers.

Location:Glasgow - Session for carers
Time:10:00 - 13:00
Address:The Dixon Community, 656 Cathcart Rd, Glasgow, G42 8AA

For more details contact

Name:Gregory Hill-O'Connor
Phone number:0141 404 0231
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Friday, 5 January 2018

Dementia Carer Voices 2017 Newsletter

Many thanks for a great year from the Dementia Carer Voices Team
The Dementia Carer Voices Team would like to say a huge thank you to all the people we have met, spoken with, and received pledges from in 2017. It’s been a great year for the project and it would not have been possible without all the wonderful people who support our project by making and fulfilling their pledges, sharing their stories and reading about Dementia Carer Voices. A massive thank you to each of the over 17,000 people who have made personal pledges since this project started.
ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather and UK Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, reported on 12 December to Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt MSP, at her offices in the Scottish Parliament They shared our latest publication with her and showed her our brand new flyer.
ALLIANCE - DCV - Maureen Watt
Next on the agenda was a catch up with another great friend of the project, Jackie Baillie MSP, who supported our stand in Parliament, our publication launch event and continues to support Dementia Carer Voices and the ALLIANCE more widely.
ALLIANCE - DCV - Jackie Baillie
In this, the final newsletter of 2017, we look back on a busy, successful year for Dementia Carer Voices. There are so many stories we could have chosen and tales we could have told, but we hope the below gives you a taster of all the great work that’s happened in 2017. We look forward to 2018!
Many thanks all from the Dementia Carer Voices Team.
Irene Oldfather, Tommy Whitelaw, Laura McCulloch and William Griffiths

Image 1
Publication and Week in the Scottish Parliament
Dementia Carer Voices launched our flagship publication – Dementia Carer Voices: Rights and the Carer Voice – during a week of events and activity at the Scottish Parliament. With a stand at Parliament we were honoured bring the story of the 16,000 health and social care staff and students the project has spoken to to MSPs.
ALLIANCE - DCV - James Kelly and Irene Oldfather
Our new report was launched at an event in the Scottish Parliament attended by MSPs, people with dementia and their carers, nurses, care staff and policy professionals. In addition, a Member’s Business debate tabled by James Kelly MSP built on the work of the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and Their Carers and linked it to the work of our ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign.
The publication analysed 6,000 of the 16,000 personal pledges the campaign has received to date and explored the key thing people say they will do to make a difference and the barriers they face. The findings revolved around the importance of moving away from a time and task oriented care and emphasising care and compassion in health and social care services.
You Can Make a Difference Campaign
The last year has been a particularly busy time for Dementia Carer Voices, having now engaged with over 100,000 people over the course of 667 talks. Dementia Carer Voices’ ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign has now collected over 17,000 pledges from health and social care professionals, students, and members of the public who are committed to making a difference to people with dementia and their carers.
ALLIANCE - DCV - Nurse and Pledge Tree
Case study from 2017: Glasgow Housing Association
There are so many wonderful case studies we could have chosen from the colleges, hospitals, universities and care homes we have visited, but we have chosen a case study from the Glasgow Housing Association. UK Lead, Tommy Whitelaw attended the GHA head offices in Cardonald and worked with staff, residents and volunteers to create a Pledge Tree encouraging reflection on what matters to them and what they will do to make a difference.
ALLIANCE - DCV - GHA Pledge Tree
Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and Islands and local MSP, attended the launch of the Pledge Tree alongside Dementia Carer Voices. It’s great for Dementia Carer Voices to work not only with health and social care staff and students, but to engage with the wider community to raise awareness of dementia. This follows on from work last year with Humza Yousaf MSP on Dementia Carer Voices’ Friendly Communities Pledge Trees in Pollok.
Working in partnership with CNO Scotland
In partnership with the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland (CNO Scotland), Fiona McQueen, Dementia Carer Voices has engaged all first year nursing students in Scottish universities and colleges. At some of these talks the project has been accompanied by CNO Scotland herself, Shaun Maher, Strategic Advisor for Person-Centred Care and Improvement, Karen Goudie, Excellence in Care Lead for CNO Scotland and Gillian McAuley, Chief Nurse, Wishaw Hospital to highlight the key messages from the Scottish Government.
As part of the work with CNO Scotland UK Lead Tommy Whitelaw has also created a film with NHS 24 to encourage values based reflective practice among their staff and service users.
Through this partnership with the CNO Scotland, UK Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, travelled had a five-day tour of the Western Isles, has returned to encourage further reflection on the pledges from the initial visit and a further visit is planned for the beginning of 2018.
Dementia Carer Voices has also been working closely with NHS Lanarkshire on staff induction days, quality improvement sessions and a series of events across the Health Board in the New Year. Look out for our work in 2018 with NHS Dumfries and Galloway, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire.
Turning pledges into action with Leading Change, Adding Value
UK Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, has been working throughout 2017 to embed pledges into practice using the model of Leading Change, Adding Value – a framework every nursing, midwifery and care professional. Tommy also worked with NHS England to produce a film aimed at driving quality improvement in the health and social care system.
What Matters to you Day?
Dementia Carer Voices was honoured to sit on the ‘What Matters to You? Day’ Steering Group and to interview the Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison MSP about what matters to her to mark the day and encourage person centred care.
Read all about our work on What Matters to You? Day itself on our updated website.
UK and European Engagement Activity
This year has also marked some great work with partners across the wider UK and across Europe. UK Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, spoke at a panel event at the Northern Irish Assembly at Stormont. He highlighted the important role that carers play in looking after people with dementia and how there needs to be greater support available for carers of people with dementia. Films made by UK Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, have also been shared across the UK in order to share good practice and encourage values based reflective practice.
The project has worked with partners across Europe, through Director, Irene Oldfather’s role as Third Sector representative to the European Economic and Social Committee (the EESC), to influence the policy agenda and ensure people with dementia have a central role in a post-Brexit world. On World Alzheimer’s Day, Irene Oldfather raised the importance of working across borders to share good practice in ensuring quality services in a speech in Brussels. She has worked closely with the European Commissioner for Health, Vytenis Andriukaitis, to emphasise the importance of working across borders to combat dementia.
ALLIANCE - DCV - EU Commissioner for health
Office closes over Christmas
The ALLIANCE office will be closed over the festive break. The office closes on Friday 22 December and reopens on Wednesday 3 January 2018.
Should you require support in during the break, please see the help and support page on our website or contact:

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Thursday, 4 January 2018

My Friend Loneliness and Me

My Friend Loneliness and me 

I think I have always been Lonely. This may sound ridiculous to some and looking for pity to others, but loneliness has played its part in my life nearly every day for so long and constantly over the last ten years. 
Looking from the outside at someone being on a tour across the UK for the last three years giving over 650 talks to over 100,000 people, this might be difficult for some to understand.
Since coming home to visit my mum Joan, back in 2007 initially for myself then quickly realising things had changed, and being ill prepared for the changes yet to come, loneliness has been  the only constant since then. We, Mum and I became painfully Lonely over the next nearly next nearly 6 years, people who used to phone my mum stopped phoning, and people who used to pop in for a cup of tea no longer popped in.

Living with dementia and Caring for a loved one, can, and often will, do that to you.

Socially, emotionally and financially, life Changes, understanding changes, everyday life opportunities often disappear or become a distant to difficult and far. 
Looking back the loneliness then, was just a rehearsal for what was yet to come. 
In so many ways, a squeeze on my hand from mum, or a smile from mum's eyes even amongst all that mum was facing took that loneliness away. 
My confidence disappeared as a carer, my personal Social skills are in many ways one of the biggest struggles I face. 
When my mum passed away loneliness wrapped both its arms around me, with the tightest of grips. 

I can stand in crowded rooms and speak to many hundreds and some cases thousands of people about mum, caring, things that made us smile or cry, but that comes from a promise I made to my mum, the amazing people who shared their stores with me,  and I hope the hundreds of thousands across the UK facing the same struggles today, that  we faced then. 

But loneliness has been a constant that I have yet to conquer or shake off. For many reasons, confidence and finance playing leading parts.
I write this sitting at home alone over Christmas for the tenth year in a row (5 with Mum and I alone) with never have been out  socially more than a handful of evenings over the last ten years.
In fact there has hardly been a person walked through my front door over the last ten years that was not related to ( when ) caring for My Mum or my work now since. 

I love doing what I do, I feel so lucky to speak in rooms every day, to meet people with so much Knowledge , Dedication, Passion and Care, I mean how could you not feel lucky to meet so many people who are part of the  greatest Professions ever created. The Profession of care.
I write this not for pity, and not for invites, but I hope to open a door that the people we Work besides, Live beside, Care beside, stand beside and smile beside each day can be lonely. 
So in amongst the sharing of presents this year and resolutions for 2018 share the gift of conversations, listening and kindness. 
Check your family, friends and neighbours are OK.

A few kind words can help a person more than you might think. 
We yet might not have a cure for Dementia, but we can cure and change loneliness, 

Can't we?

Loneliness is Not as this blog post is titled, My Friend, but it has been the only   constant by my side, every evening, and weekend

Tommy Whitelaw, BCAh,

Hon Master, Open University .Health,Social Care & Policy 

667 Talks,100,000 People,17,000 Pledges,Thank You

Thank you,

Our Make a Difference tour and campaign has been the most incredible experience.As we end 2017 reaching over 100,000 People in person at 667 talks and events,With over 17,000 personal pledges received and many case studies shared. I would like to thank you from my heart.


Thank you to the people we have met along the way,for the kindness received ,the great passion and care witnessed along the way.

Thank for for caring yesterday,Thank you for Caring today, Thank you caring again tomorrow and for the wonderful pledges below.

Every Person,Every pledge via the links below to read,support and share 

Thank you 


We would like to say a   huge thank you to everyone who has made a pledge as part of the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign and we are absolutely delighted to have received  over 17,000 pledges
This is a wonderful milestone to reach and would not be possible without the commitment and passion of everyone who attends our talks, reads about our campaign and pledges to make a difference to the lives of people with living with dementia and their carers.

The team have been taking the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign to 667 talks to date, reaching over 100,00  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. 
You can read all the 17,000 pledges on our master pledge page and see our ‘You Can Make a Difference’case studies.
In June, Dementia Carer Voices launched its publication analysing 6,000 of the pledges we have received in the three years running the project. The key messages were around the importance of time in delivering compassionate care for health and social care staff and students.
Every Person Every Pledge 

At The Links Below 

03/11/17 Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust 

06/11/17 Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnerships

07/11/17 New College Lanarkshire

08/11/17  Care at home teams Livingston 

09/11/17 Hospice at Home teams Carlisle and Lakelands 

16/11/17  NHS Lanarkshire Quality Improvement Day

   29/11/17    University of Glasgow, 1st Year Nursing Students, Pledge

October 2017

04/10/17 City of Glasgow College Pledge to Make a Difference

25/10/17  NhHS Borders District Nursing 
26/18/17 Stirling University 3rd Year Nursing

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016
09/03/16 Hairmyers Hospital create their own pledge tree!
22/03/16 Bolton pledges to make a difference!
24/03/16 Hampshire Hospital Trust pledges!
31/03/16 184 pledges from University of Central Lancashire
February 2016

08/02/16 Stobhill Care Home launch pledge trees

January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015

December 2014
15/16.12.14 Norfolk and Suffolk

November 2014
03.11.14 Online pledges
07.11.14 Burton Hospital
13.11.14  Pledges of the week
24.11.14 The Retreat York
October 2014
13.10.14 More Pledges
27-30.10.14 NHS Highland Tour
September 2014
01.09.14  Teesside University
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
3/4.06.14 NHS Conference
27.06.14 BCDA Birmingham
May 2014 
April 2014
(08 -10).04.14 NHS Dumfries & Galloway 
March 2014
February 2014
19.02.14 NHS Fife
January 2014
We began the campaign by asking “What does caring mean to you?”
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

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 ...