Louise Atkinson updates us on her research as part of her PHD. This week Louise takes part in the bi-monthly Artwalk and blogs about two large scale wall mounted photographs by artist Bob Clayden. Louise also hears Bob talk about his work and the process he used to create the images, which involved combining primitive photographic techniques with modern technology.
Congratulations to Alison Groat for her presentation to 200 Occupational Thepary students on Communication and Making Connections in Dementia. The presentation was aimed at developing their understanding of the importance of person centred support. Alison also introduced the students to the Home Based Memory Rehabilitation Progarmme which focuses on early intervention for people with Dementia.
It’s been a busy month for the team at Participation Cymru. There’s been an office move; training courses completed and exciting events attended including the Barod Community Interest Company launch. The team has also been recruiting people to the CSSIWs National Advisory Board to give carers, service users and volunteers the chance to be involved in the way care and social care is inspected in Wales.
John Cane writes about a couple of speech and language therapy training courses that he has attended recently, including one covering 11 to 16-year-olds.
Apologies for the delay in doing the Week 45 summary (been a bit busier and more tired than I’d anticipated). Thank you very much to those who contributed posts this week. It was great to have a new contributor, John Cane, who started with explaining something of his professional life as an independent speech and language therapist, working with primary and secondary schools in My working life…. I look forward to reading more about John’s work in the future.
Speech and language therapists were also mentioned in Elaine Hunter’s AHP : A Hidden Treasure #AHPDementia . She wrote about the types of AHPs (Allied Health Professionals) in NHS Scotland who can help people with dementia, their families and carers. I hadn’t realised that quite such a wide range of help was available.
Brian McCulloch’s post this week for Ayrshire Health was a very interesting read. In What’s it got to do with me? he revealed how patients can be reluctant to understand that they need to do something to improve their own health. I recognised the attitudes he described. Hospitals are rather scary places, different to our normal, non-medical worlds. I came across an interesting article on how the design of signs in accident and emergency departments can reduce violence: Signage system for hospitals “reduces violence by 50%.” On the very rare occasions when I have had to go to accident and emergency, I have been extremely anxious and found it quite difficult to understand what was happening around me.
I find the posts about the change to a greater use of digital technology in Dumfries and Galloway fascinating. This week’s was by Graham Gault: Ask yourself – “ is there a real difference…..with eHealth” and had a couple of similar pictures at the top, with a challenge to pick out the very expensive Picasso and the very cheap one by an anonymous painter (I was relieved to get it right – I am an art historian!). Sometimes, I have spent time in hospital waiting areas thinking about what a good controlled vocabulary system for the NHS would look like (one that incorporates words that ordinary people understand as well as the medical words).
I’ve been trying to use, and train others to use, straightforward language at work for many years. Dyfrig Williams’s post for the Good Practice Exchange at the Welsh Audit Office – Jargon busting - indicates that people still need to be trained to use Plain English and Cymraeg Clîr (Clear Welsh). Dyfrig’s own posts always seem clearly expressed to me.
Georgia Parker always writes very clearly in her posts. I think many readers would identify with the issues in her post, Back to blogging and the benefit of a break, of whether to dive into a large pile of work and not emerge until it’s all done, or step back for a while and recharge. I find sometimes that taking my work to a different place works well (I’ve always enjoyed working on trains and in cafés).
Ross Wigham used a boxing metaphor when thinking about the role of strategy in communications work, and the importance of being flexible in approach, in Strategy – like a punch in the teeth. I think most work needs a framework that sets out the principles of what should be done, but can flex, stretch or even contract to fit the reality.
I enjoyed the challenges to established art world thinking (and more generally to our cultural attitudes in the West) in Louise Atkinson’s Practice as research Week 53 A visit to the Museum of Contemporary African Art. The Museum in question is an artwork, an installation in the Tate Modern. There certainly needs to be more education about visual arts in other cultures. In the Western tradition there is still continuing debate about definitions of fine art, applied art, design and craft. I would worry if we ever fixed them because then culture would be dead. I worry that current copyright cripples creativity more than protecting creators’ rights, but that’s a whole other discussion.
Finally, a brief post by me about a couple of quite quick drawings I did in an art class in an art gallery: Hatton Gallery drawing session 3. There’s a post related to this in Week 46.
Thank you very much to all those who Liked, Followed and passed on links to this week’s posts. It does help to encourage the bloggers if you indicate that you think their post is worth reading. If you want to contribute, you are welcome to join at any time – more info is on our About page which tells you everything you probably need to know. Because I’m behind with the summaries, the [entirely optional] theme is for Week 48 and I suggest Winter Solstice, or Advent, or dark nights.
Summary of Week 45 posts
Ask yourself – “ is there a real difference…..with eHealth” by Graham Gault on the Dumfries and Galloway Health blog.
Dyfrig Williams writes about the training that he and his colleagues have had recently on the importance of understandable language in effective online communication, and where to find good guides to writing clearly such as Plain English and Cymraeg Clîr (Clear Welsh).
I must admit that I wished for a story that featured a crowd (or accumulating wealth) and one with a mat in it so I could have titled this post “A mo, a mass, a mat” because the start of the title that came out of the Week 44 posts reminded me of the first Latin verb I learnt to conjugate, amare: “amo, amas, amat” (I love, you love, he/she loves). At 12, it felt as if we were stepping into adult territory with that first verb. It always felt slightly embarrassing to chant “amo, amas, amat; amamus, amatis, amant.”
Chris Bolton dug into the more recent past to find an old Commando comic to illustrate his post about extending a military metaphor: Keep advancing until you take enemy fire…. how to measure impact. I was relieved that he recommended peaceful methods to resolve situations!
Samuel-James Wilson was reminded of his relatively recent past when he heard about the Prime Minister’s announcement of new work training schemes and his post title expressed succinctly his scepticism: A new era for apprenticeships…apparently.
I’ve probably mentioned before the fun of the apprentices awards day many years ago. English Heritage employed specialist craftspeople for carrying out some of the conservation work. It seemed like an excellent idea to me for the very experienced people to teach apprentices in proper workplaces. This apprenticeship scheme at English Heritage stopped when the government (which happened to be Conservative) decided that the craftspeople should be sold off in the early 1990s.
Joseph Conaghan brought some past to life in contemporary South Wales in his delightful post Houdini In Cardiff. He described where it was still possible to see the traces of what used to be a theatre where Houdini had got into a situation from which he could not escape without harm. Wherever you are, the traces of the past are often still to be found tucked away, on the less prestigious sides of buildings or structures. His post includes an autographed portrait of the Great Houdini.
Richard Overy featured a handsome man with a fine moustache in Texas Mo, to mark #movember. Richard is taking part and growing a mo again so if you want to donate, do visit his Movember 13 page, and help raise awareness of men’s health issues, and to raise funds for charities focusing on these issues.
In the medical blogs this week, there a focus on the work of Allied Health Professionals (or AHPs), specifically occupational therapists. These were all very readable blogs that made me wish I or people I know had the help of these professionals. Vicky Widdowson asked What does work mean to you? on dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog as she focused on the role of occupational therapists in helping people to continue working or to return to work. Lyn Flannigan wrote on the AHPScotBlog (Allied Health Professionals Scotland Blog) about her work - Being an AHP Working with People with Dementia - and wrote about experience of caring for her grandmother and how that helped her to understand. Kerry Gilligan remembered her early training in the 1980s and a case that made her realise how occupational therapy could make a big difference in Make a splash on the Ayrshirehealth blog.
There was mention in the comments on Chris Bolton’s second post of the week - Loving and Learning from Failure. Great idea, but how does it work? - of how the NHS could learn from its failures, but Chris’s post was not focused on the NHS but on work places generally, and could be especially useful for public sector where people have not been encouraged to admit even the most minor failures.
I sometimes fail to work out sums involving percentages because I forget some when I haven’t had to use them for a long time. I think I need to bookmark Louise’s Can you calculate percentage increases and decreases? She shows what she did in her micro teach session that she did as part of her GCSE teaching mathematics course, and it seems her teaching was successful.
Karl Green remembered when he was about 8 and first learned a bit about France and met a Frenchman in Fifty Shades of Green: Part 7 – My First Encounter With a Frenchman. I first met a French woman when I was a baby. She seemed extraordinarily old, older than my grandparents, and she taught me to say a few French words, such as ‘bonjour’ and ‘mercy beaucoup’ when I was an infant.
If you want somewhere more exotic than Paris or Calais to explore on holiday, you should come up to Northumberland. Ross Wigham wrote using a social campaign to back-up a tv show on the comms2point0 blog to explain how he had been helping to promote an ITV series in which Robson Green explores the county. Tourism is essential for the county’s economy and the local authority is working on ways of encouraging the growth in tourism so there are more jobs for those who live there. Northumberland is fabulous. From Latin inscriptions on the Wall to modern sports facilities, there is something for most people. Do visit if you can!
Thank you very much to everyone who contributed a post, tweeted or retweeted links, made comments, and Liked posts. We are not far off having had 200 contributors to Weekly Blog Club, so if you want to join in, check out our About page which tells you everything you probably need to know.
Week 45 was already completed by the time I wrote this blog so the suggested [entirely optional!] theme for Week 46 is cold weather.