For years, Tommy Whitelaw travelled the world running merchandising operations for U2, Kylie Minogue and the Spice Girls. But it all came to an end when Tommy became a full-time carer for his mum, Joan, who was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Sadly, Joan passed away in September 2012 and, since then, Tommy has travelled all over the UK on an awareness-raising campaign. On Wednesday, he was in Belfast speaking at the Caring for the Carers workshop hosted by the Patient and Client Council and the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care.
As part of Palliative Care Week 2017 we have published our End of Life Care report, which outlines some key issues in relation to end of life care experiences. Care at the end of life is a significant and important element of all care and the evidence in this report describes how the care received at this time can have a significant impact on patients and their families.
Claire Gray is a speech and language therapy assistant working with children with special needs. She lives in Newtownards, Co Down, with husband Kris and their two-and-a-half-year-old son. She is also mum to Matilda who was born in 2013 with a serious genetic condition and died just three months later. As part of Palliative Care Week 2017, which runs from 03-09 September, Claire talks about her daughter’s tragically short, yet immensely full life.
It goes without saying that sex is a fundamental part of healthy relationships and life. As a society we are becoming more comfortable about talking about sex, about issues of consent and about how to look after our sexual health. However, there is still some work to be done.
Amy Speers is 32 years old and lives in Bangor. For the past seven years, she has been having non-epileptic seizures, which can be difficult to diagnose and sometimes confused with epilepsy. Amy has since created a Facebook page and has written blogs to raise awareness of the condition.
Fans of the original Star Trek sci-fi series will recall Dr Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy using a handheld scanning device to instantly diagnose medical conditions. Back in the 1960s, the Medical Tricorder was simply the stuff of fantasy. Today, similar technology is a reality and its development is happening right on our doorstep, led by Professor James McLaughlin OBE. Ulster University lecturer, Dr Philip Catherwood, who heads up the Internet of Medical Things team seeking next-generation patient-centric healthcare solutions, tells us about some recent developments.
There is a real need to have a clear plan about how we provide social care in Northern Ireland in the future, particularly for our elderly. Growing concern among members of the public about the ability of our Health and Social Care Trusts to provide adequate care for older people was reflected in our latest People’s Priorities report.
The Patient and Client Council recently hosted a Healthy Minds workshop in Belfast. More than 150 people attended the day-long event, which included people with a learning disability, carers and healthcare professionals. The aim of the workshop was to give people with a learning disability an opportunity to share their experiences of mental health problems or illness. Service-user Jean Hale talked about coping with depression.
The Health and Social Care Board is currently holding a 13-week pre-consultation on stroke services in Northern Ireland to listen to a wide range of views from service users, staff, key partners and the general public. Registered nurse Rosemary Patton from Belfast was a full-time carer for her father who suffered a stroke. She says changes to stroke services can only happen if people make their voices heard.
We recently featured a blog by the Patient Information Forum’s Claire Murray about why it’s so important for people to have easy access to good quality health information. If that’s the case then why, asks Sean Brown, are so many healthcare professionals using terminology that is utterly meaningless to service users?
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and its Volunteer Peer Advocacy Service were the recent winners of the Patient and Client Council Excellence in Co-Production Awards. As part of Co-production Week (03-07 July) Martin Logue tells of his journey to accessing the service which, in turn, has enabled him to become part of the Peer Advocacy Service.
Health Information Week runs from 3-9 July with the aim of promoting good quality health information to support patients, service users and the public. Claire Murray of the Patient Information Forum (PIF) explains why this is so important.
Catherine Brown wanted to become a speech therapist after finishing a degree in English and Linguistics at Queen’s University. But after spending the summer in America looking after young people with a learning disability she realised that her true vocation lay elsewhere. Now coming to the end of her first year studying for a nursing degree, Catherine tells us why it is a real privilege to be a student nurse
Today is the 25th anniversary of International ME Awareness Day. The PCC first became involved with this long-term condition in 2013 following a fibromyalgia/ME focus group as part of the People’s Priorities report process. Head of Operations, Louise Skelly, recounts the journey to date.
In the run-up to Arthritis Care Week, from 8-14 May, Oonagh Diamond from Magherafelt explains how a bout of anaemia led to her being diagnosed with this chronic progressive disease that causes painful deformity and immobility in the joints.