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Always EventsĀ®: Learning from what matters to patients

Tommy Whitelaw Carer & Project Officer at The Alliance Scotland spoke at today’s Always Events®: A positive approach to Improving Patient Care conference.  In his presentation Tommy discussed:

  • what matters to patients

  • the little things that make a big difference

  • involving patients and carers to identify Always Events® for your service

Tommy gave a powerful and passionate insight into his experience as a carer for his mum who had vascular dementia.  Tommy emphasised the importance of recognising the patient as the person they are rather than the disease they have saying; "everyone has a unique and remarkable love and life story."  Tommy said; "kindness is the key to caring" and expressed how important it was to him and his mum to be treated with kindness, dignity and respect when he was feeling; "stupid, and lost, and alone...caring for someone you love."  The experience of care and support Tommy and his mum received varied which has inspired him to share his story and work with health and social care professionals to encourage them to always think; "how do you feel about me doing that to you."  Tommy said; “you have a beautiful gift to transform the lives of the people you care for”

Tommy Whitelaw’s full presentation is available to download at the end of this page

Tommy Whitelaw’s biography

For five years Tommy Whitelaw was a full-time carer for his late mother Joan who had Vascular Dementia, and in 2011 Tommy undertook a walk around Scotland’s towns and cities to collect hundreds of life story letters detailing the experiences of individuals caring for a loved one living with dementia.

Since then, he has engaged with thousands of carers through his ‘Tommy on Tour’ blog and as Project Engagement Lead with the Health and Social Care Alliance’s Dementia Carer Voices Project, conducting frequent talks to health and social care professionals and carer organisations across Scotland, to raise awareness of the impact of dementia on families and the importance of empowering carers in carrying out their difficult but vital role.

Tommy's passion for his work and the Dementia Carer Voices Project has not gone unnoticed. He was the winner of the 'Age Scotland Jess Barrow Award' in 2013; Finalist Campaigner of the year 2013 for 'The Herald Scottish Politician of the Year Awards' and won the NHSGGC Chairman’s Ambassador Award 2013.

Most recently, in January 2015, Tommy was awarded the 'British Citizen’s Award for Services to Healthcare' in recognition of his work to raise awareness of dementia and promote a fuller understanding of the carer journey.

Also of interest:

Clinical Audit Masterclass
Tuesday 10 November 2015, Hallam Conference Centre, London


Reducing Medication Errors: Improving Patient Safety: Towards Zero Tolerance
Friday 27 November 2015, ICO Conference Centre, London


Eliminating Avoidable Pressure Ulcers
Wednesday 2 December 2015, Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester


Interactive Masterclass: Are you as LEAN as you could be?
Monday 7 December 2015, Hallam Conference Centre, London


Root Cause Analysis: 2 Day Intensive Training Course
Wednesday 9 December 2015 — Thursday 10 December
Hallam Conference Centre, London


Leading your Organisation to Zero-Harm
Thursday 10 December 2015, Hallam Conference Centre, London


Download: tommy-whitelaw-updated-make-a-diffeerence-slides-new_1216.pdf

22 October 2015


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