Following on from the #WMTY17 Day last week we have a poignant guest blog today from our colleague Marianne

Tuesday 6th June 2017 celebrates ‘what matters to you day’ which is a day filled of mixed emotions on my part. I am a big advocate of the day and believe this question can make a difference to life of individuals when it’s carried through to its fullest not only on the 6th June but throughout the year. However, on my own personal reflection, I have my doubts about it.

Over the past couple of months I have been in and out of hospital visiting my uncle. On my first visit to the hospital, straight away my eyes went to the ‘What matters to you’ board behind his bed. I was excited to see it live although saddened to see that after a week of my uncle being in hospital, his board was left blank. I asked him if he knew what it meant and he had no idea. The nurses on his ward work tirelessly and I cannot fault anyone in the care he received while in hospital, but I couldn’t help think why hadn’t they asked the question?

After a few weeks my uncle was readmitted to hospital and yet again the same experience, the board was still blank. For a while I thought about asking the nurses but didn’t want to make anything awkward in regards to the care my uncle needed so blank it was. There are many things that matter to my uncle as with any individual and with a huge push for the campaign going on around me the actual practicalities still seemed far off.

On the third admission to hospital, unfortunately to say goodbye to my uncle, again my eyes went to the board and it was filled in! I was silently overjoyed to see that on his final time in hospital someone had taken the time to ask him what matters.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had time to reflect and explained to my aunt that I was happy his board was filled in, things like Lucozade and his wife were written on the board and so was the fact he needs his esure shakes each morning. I was yet again met with disappointment when my aunt explained that every day when she visited for the five days since the board was filled in not once was he given his shake until my aunt arrived at visiting time and asked the nurses. He was never a man to ask for help and didn’t want to hassle anyone but I just wished that after taking the time to ask what matters that the answers he gave were valued.

To me, the experience with my uncle felt like a tick box exercise. I understand the time pressures on health professionals but if we have such a wide spread campaign supported by the Scottish Government and medical professionals from around the world, are we sure that this campaign is truly making an impact on the lives of individuals? I still strongly support the campaign but I wait in anticipation to find out about impact it will make…

End of page.

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