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Tommy on Tour spreads word on dementia and leading change

tommy talks 1The Trust were delighted to welcome Tommy Whitelaw, a dementia campaigner, to speak to staff about his experience of care in the NHS gained whilst caring for his late mother, Joan.

Tommy, brought his 'You can make a difference' tour to The Metalforming Centre, hosting three sessions with Black Country Partnership, Birmingham Community Healthcare (BCHC) and Dudley and Walsall (DWMH) staff on Monday 4th December.

During his talks, he spoke about his experiences from a carer's viewpoint; the small changes that would make a significant difference to patients and those caring for them.

Among the many valuable messages Tommy shared with staff was the importance of asking 'What matters to you?' rather than 'What's the matter with you?'. He said it is the small acts of kindness that make all the difference to the care our NHS staff provide.

As part of his tour, Tommy is asking all staff to make a pledge; to consider what we can all do to make a difference. Staff are encouraged to make a pledge by visiting the staff intranet. You can read pledges that have been made by staff across Black Country Partnership, Birmingham Community Healthcare and Dudley and Walsall Partnership by visiting the Alliance Scotland website.

Tommy was also joined by Stacey McCann, Head of Nursing Strategy & Commissioning from the Chief Nursing Office, NHS England, who discussed the Leading Change, Adding Value framework and talked about the link between the framework and Tommy’s campaign.

Having completed his 649th, 650th and 651st tour talks with the Trust, Tommy said: “I visited today to share my experiences of caring for my beautiful mum, Joan, who lived with vascular dementia. I hope that my experience can help those caring for people every day – they do such a fantastic job.

“It has been great to meet staff from across the three organisations. We’ve discussed how we can change what good care looks like to what good care feels like and with the welcome I’ve had and the people I’ve been fortunate to meet, I am excited to see the pledges in action with plans to re-visit the Trust in 2018.”

Joyce Fletcher, Executive Director of Nursing, AHPs, Psychology and Quality said: “Having met Tommy some time ago - I felt compelled to invite him to come to our Trust to share his story about his late mother Joan with our staff. Tommy’s heartfelt passion for caring for his mother and his experiences of the health and care system was such an eye opening and moving experience.

“I believe everyone that attended the event was moved and went away with the key message of changing the narrative to ‘what matters to patients?’ and knowing that we can make a difference for improving the patients experiences and outcomes. Let's all pledge to make a difference every day.

“We are pleased that this event was a joint event with BCHC and DWMH and thank all those who could attend as well as who shared displays on good practice linked to the Leading Change Adding Value – Chief Nursing Office strategy and AHP’s Into Action framework.”

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