#dementiacarervoices Blog – Call for stories! #wmty16

Leading up to, and on the June 6th 2016, Dementia Carer Voices are asking for people to share with their stories and photos with us: What Matters To you ? Who Matters To You ?   We are doing t…

Source: Call for stories! #wmty16


Dignity in a tick box?

I am sharing this post which I have added to the dignity forum because I would like to know how others feel about such standards of management/leadership.

Dignity Doesn’t Come in a Tick Box

I am a dedicated dignity champion myself and therefore am disgusted that such an important cause is still able to fall victim to the all too familiar ‘tick a box and done’ attitude and practices of managers in some areas.


I have recently witnessed an establishment clearly show their apparent lack of respect for dignity or indeed for common decency in my eyes. So they want to say they are dignity champions and maybe even get a press release out of it so they wrote a list and started to tick off what was needed:

  • They introduce a tree and call it dignity.tickbox
  • Print off a resource pack.
  • Register themselves on the dignity site with a single sentence stating their passion, commitment, aims, etc next to their name.
  • They then add several staff names to certificates and off they go to the printer again.
  • Press release written.
  • Line manager informed that the job is done.

All tasks completed. All boxes ticked.

Task masters they may well claim to be but dignity champions they certainly are not.

I am saddened that these managers in their now proudly ‘dignity championed environment’ do not feel it necessary to complete any of the audits to actually action a plan for enhancement or indeed any other steps that would improve standards of care. They do not feel it necessary to engage staff in the introduction of their new practice/pledge/commitment. Unfortunately they hold so little regard for the entire initiative that actually they didn’t even feel the need to ask the staff they have named and certificated if they wanted to champion dignity at all.

So with staff names now proudly advertised in the main entrance they can safely dismiss any actual work to introduce or change anything in their advertised culture change of great compassion and care. The only benefit of this fake show of care being so well placed in the entrance is that the staff they have named as dignity champions have seen it and so at least now they are aware as apposed to being completely oblivious.

Health and care professionals nationwide work so hard to raise awareness and inspire others to also pledge to ensuring their practices are indeed promoting dignity that this disregard really does grate.

Such pride and celebration is held by establishments when they come to advertise their dedication to the dignity campaign that I do not feel that it should be able to be used as a tick box to a press release in such a way as these have done.red-box-cross-square-wrong

It is disrespectful and in my opinion only benefits the marketing department and potentially the companies monetary value at best. With no desire to work towards even a tiny glimpse of any of the aims and objectives of the campaign being even considered this company is surely more proof that we have still got a challenge on if we are to see this country become one of dignified care provision.

It is scary to witness such blatent disregard from those who should be inspiring others through their own care and practices. What further adds to this sad tale is that the actual grassroots staff members would have been fully engaged and passionately taken the concept and ran with it had they been given the chance.

I hope the tree gets chopped down because it certainly hasn’t got the roots to grow in strength.




National dementia concerns solved by a child’s insight…

So there it was stood right in front of us with a definate hint of sarcasm in the tone used. This may actually be the solution we have all been desperately seeking across the world. Well maybe not down to the last detail but there was definitely something in the view just shared by my son to the group of people around our table passionately discussing future woes. It was a familiar sight and unfortunately an all too familiar topic of focus. That was until my son decided to join in and voice his personal opinion on the concerns held regarding the future care provision for people living with dementia.

Like with any solid foundations on which a huge statement is announced with such genuine belief my son started by clarifying his understanding of the topic he was high jacking!


Well we couldn’t really argue with that could we! And actually as his sarcastic tutting and sighs faded into the depths of his bedroom we all realised that at the least he had changed the way we were looking at the issues ourselves. As the initiative was evaluated by each of us in our own minds it became blatantly obvious that potentially my child’s idea could make a difference.

It was at this point of contemplation that my son slammed open his bedroom door ‘bang,whack,thud’ with the usual gentle and careful manner he had come to adopt currently! He had decided not only were us mere adult beings incompetent of reaching such pearls of wisdom as he had but was now deluded I’m thinking we wanted to hear his ‘Reasons why grown ups never sort anything the easy way if at all!’

As the rationale was stated giving excuse to our failings there is no doubt in my mind that every single one of us sat enduring this realised he was actually indeed correct with his proud and loud, and slightly smug, announcement to the world. He said the reason why adults don’t find solutions ever and only seem to manage ‘it will do for now’ results was due to the fact that we waste all our time trying to complicate things enough so they will fill a chart or graph and then we have a need to share said chart and so then opt for the ‘let’s have a meeting’ option! His final closing addition to the matter was that of him adding,

“Adults have charts and want meetings to brag about their charts during which time the actual issues could have been dealt with. It’s probably because they need longer to do anything now their oldness has set in!”

Such truth and such misunderstanding all within these final sentences further highlighted the honest, frank and even brutal genuine belief behind the insights of children. Where else can we gain such a guarantee of honest unbiased opinions, simplified ideas and insight? Exactly, it’s hard to source at best in our world of ‘oldness!’

Deffinate food for thought. In the meantime I am considering selling my son or trading him in for a nice quiet pet maybe!

Superpowers of a child's view

@proudtonurse – inspired to share!

Nurse or Ninja? Just a thought

Should it be that maybe both uniforms are merged into one?

Do we feel that actually we need our ninja skills to get to being able to use the nursing skills we are there to share?

Would it be right to say that actually it’s the nurse inside that allows the strength to have to acknowledge any need for ninja skills to begin with? image

Whichever it may be I am proud to nurse and #Dare2Care


#Permission2Brew @CuppaCare
When was the last time you felt able to have a cup of tea with a patient?


There is no doubt that spending time with patients is beneficial to everyone, but is sitting down and having a drink with your patient culturally acceptable in your place of work? Maria Davison thinks it should be

Tea: the British cure for everything

If you have a good day, you put kettle on

If you have a bad day, you put the kettle on

Community nurse Maria Davison reached boiling point when, working up and down the county, she was routinely quizzed by staff for having a cup of tea with a patient.

“I’m fed up of being asked: ‘What are you doing?’ when what I’m actually doing is using my common sense,” she says.

#CuppaCare is a patient-centred initiative, started by Ms Davison and her partner Gavin Sykes, to draw attention to this grey area in nursing practice. “There are pockets of the country that allow it, and pockets that don’t, so nurses don’t know if they should, even when they can see that it would be a useful thing to do, ” says Ms Davison.

Changeday? What has that got to do with me?

“What’s it got to do with me!?”

I’m pretty sure every person that reads this has heard that statement and felt the negativity hit like a freight train. Sadly when I initiate conversations about NHS Changeday I get this comment from time to time but I LOVE IT!

You see it gives me that opening to flip someone’s whole thought process and attitude on its head. Let me explain, to me these people tend to be ignorant or uneducated about what Changeday can do for them. Human nature naturally makes people feel interest when there’s something in it for them, so let’s for example imagine a Porter.

Porters are an invaluable asset and members of our services but they are not clinicians and as such tend not to get involved in some initiatives because they don’t feel they are relevant. Well here comes Changeday!

So this Porter transports patients from Ward A to Treatment area B, to do this the quickest route is straight through the centre of the hospital down the same artificially lit drab corridors which takes on average 7 minutes. After a conversation with a particular patient about this mundane journey our Porter decides he’s going to do something different (shock, horror, gasp).

One day the Porter decides to take the long way around, along different corridors that have windows facing the outside world. Whilst on this journey Mrs Patient sees a squirrel scurry across the grass, her face lights up with a joyous grin as a memory of a day trip to a country park with her late husband starts replaying in her head. Now during the remainder of the journey stories are exchanged and Mrs Patient starts to feel like a human being again.

The benefit to our Porter, well he got the satisfaction of sharing this ladies story but also a warm and more importantly sincere thank you upon arriving at their destination. The cost of this little change? Simply 2 minutes added to the journey. This one small change made a massive difference not only to Mrs Patient but to every future patient our Porter transported because he simply dared to do something different.

As a society we sometimes forget the importance of the little things and the impact they can have, so I say to these people it has everything to do with you. You can change the little things, you can dare to be different and you can do something positive. You really do have the power to make a difference and all it takes is that one positive thought.