I worked as a Local Integration Lead in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire for many years and about 18 months ago, I took up the Local Integration Lead post in South Lanarkshire. It was an interesting challenge as although the post was the same, suddenly I knew no one and no one knew me. As with any new job, it takes time to be accepted and to know what is happening in the area.
Soon after starting in South Lanarkshire I noticed posters etc about John’s Campaign and wondered what it was. I was invited to the Launch of Johns Campaign in Lanarkshire hospitals, and then began my journey.
John’s Campaign was founded after the death of Dr John Gerrard in November 2014. John had been diagnosed with dementia in his mid 70’s but was still managing to live a good life at home. He was admitted to hospital to treat leg ulcers, during his five week stay family visits were severely restricted due to an infection outbreak and his decline was catastrophic. Family said, “ My father went into hospital articulate and able: he emerged a broken man.”
All three hospitals in Lanarkshire had signed up to this campaign and the launch day was a pivotal moment for me, as I heard first hand from staff and families as to how things had gone wrong and people with living with dementia had not always been given the care they required when they required it. There in the room that day it was obvious that staff were passionate about good care and wanted to improve the experience in hospitals for people with dementia. Johns’s Campaign supports the rights of carers to be involved from the moment of admission until the moment of discharge and this has been proved to give better quality of care and improved outcomes. Carers of people with dementia must have the freedom to be with them when they are most needed, not to an imposed time table. All Lanarkshire Hospitals now have open visiting to allow carers to be with their loved one as much as they wish.
I reflected later on this and thought how beneficial it would be if care homes could also be part of the campaign. I explained to care home managers that families would take comfort knowing that all our hospitals and care homes were all signed up to John’s Campaign.
Knowing that care homes already have open visiting, it was an easy step for me to take information from John’s Campaign to independent care home managers and discuss, I explained to care home managers that families would take comfort knowing that all our hospitals and care homes were all signed up to John's Campaign. Without exception they all agreed to sign up and be partners in this campaign. As I prepared to have a launch for John’s Campaign, I asked the Care Home Liaison Team to join with me to prepare for a large launch in the Banqueting Hall of the council buildings, this was to be on “What matters to me day”, their help was crucial and they suggested that we should also involve the council care homes. The council care home managers were all keen to be involved and all signed the pledge as well. The launch day was very well attended and was a huge success.
Edinburgh Care Homes have now also signed up to John’s Campaign. Patricia Chalmers, the new in post Local Integration Lead for North Lanarkshire is now leading on John’s Campaign for that area supported by myself and the Care Home Liaison Team.
Local Integration Lead, South Lanarkshireuntitled