Rory Chapman (Development Officer) reflects on the What Matters to You National Networking Event

Wednesday 17 January 2024 in Edinburgh

The What matters to you (WMTY) National Networking Event held in Edinburgh was an opportunity for healthcare professionals from across Scotland and the UK to share insights on best practice in providing person-centred care.

Following introductions, by Kevin Ward, Area Teams Manager Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the day was chaired by Shaun Maher, Strategic Advisor for Person Centred Care and Improvement.

The day began with a presentation on the WMTY research undertaken by Professor Haraldsottir, Director for Centre for Person-centred Research at Queen Margaret University. The research investigated who and why patients are admitted to hospice and found that in some cases hospital admissions were due to anxiety and fear at home rather than physical symptoms. The implications of the research mean that addressing fear and anxiety could lead to minimising admissions for those that wish to be cared for and die at home.

Examples of how the WMTY is making improvements in healthcare settings across the UK was provided by presenters from University Hospitals Bristol and Weston, NHS Lothian as well as Perth & Kinross HSCP and NHS Tayside both of whom Person Centred Voices are working in partnership with on imbedding WMTY and a publication in Partnership with Perth and Kinross to be launched May 2024.

Whilst each of these varied healthcare professionals told different stories of their WMTY journeys, they all had similarly positive outcomes. They demonstrated that implementing the approach can energise a workspace, increase capacity, and retain staff.

A photo pf a presenter standing next to a screen, giving presentation.
Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Presentation

In the afternoon Shaun hosted group exercises where healthcare professionals were placed into teams to exchange ideas on:

  • How the WMTY approach has improved their workplace.
  • The barriers to implementing the WMTY approach.
  • Innovative ideas on how to raise awareness of the WMTY approach.

To round off the day, our National Lead of What matters to you, Tommy Whitelaw and Shaun had the honour of presenting the Jane Davies Person Centred Best Practice Award, and runners up.

Tommy Whitelaw and Shaun Maher presenting the Jane Davies Person Centred Best Practice Award.
Tommy Whitelaw and Shaun Maher presenting the Jane Davies Person Centred Best Practice Award

The winner was Penny McManus, Assistant Practitioner, COPD Team, NHS Tayside. Penny’s nomination showcased an example of the difference made by careful compassionate listening. In her work she displayed a strong focus on the whole person and their whole life circumstances, and this enabled her to help them in ways that others might overlook. 

The runners-up were Jennifer McDowall and the team on ward six, Forensic MH team, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, and Jennifer Wyld, Patient Activity Coordinator Nurse, Leverndale Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Overall, the networking event was a great success as it provided a forum to hear positive examples of WMTY in healthcare, collaboration and relationship building and to discuss future WMTY events such as the What Matters to You Day on Thursday 06 June.

The WMTY National Steering Group is made up of Shaun (chair), Kevin and Tommy. The group is hosted by Healthcare Improvement Scotland  via  #WMTY24.

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