• Hopeful 29 March 2016 | View comments

  • 28th March 2016 | By David Jolley

    Monday saw me complete my last ever clinical work as a registered medical practitioner – 47 years on from qualification via Guy’s Hospital Medical School in the University of London: MRCS (Eng), LRCP (London) and to take up my first post as House Physician at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight. We have much to thank the Beatles for and I was not for waiting until the age of 64 before taking up temporary residence.

    It has been a huge privilege and I will write it down.

    The last clinic was beautiful – with one person seen with her daughter at the clinic base and five seen at home, all but one with a family member being present. So I saw the people, learned of their lives and current difficulties, felt their homes and knew their locality. One of the warmest hugs of the day was for the A-Z of Greater Manchester. What a friend you have been.

    Tuesday gave time with Ros Watson to reflect on our first session of Dementia Conversations and to look at where this has pointed us. It is important to keep listening and to remain flexible but we want also to make best use of the steers which came from that first session: Sharing experiences, gathering and sharing information, obtaining training, considering carers, perhaps adding to the range of activities which are inclusive of people with dementia, looking at the practicalities of appointing Admiral Nurses.

    But people also identified BIG AREAS: Primary Health Care, General Hospitals and Faith Communities, where we might begin to review local realities and make contributions to improve matters.

    Primary Care and Faith Communities are perhaps the closest to us and there are things we might do without too much delay. Work is afoot. Excitingly the potential of the Dementia Roadmap to help us in Primary Care is there for the taking. So one component of Pathfinders is already finding a niche within another. If we can make this work – we might help others to use a similar approach. Only 17 CCGs currently using the Roadmap: people with dementia in another 194 might benefit.

    Wednesday was a dream as we celebrated Easter on John Leigh Park with the pupils, staff and PTA of Altrincham Church of England School. We had a total school Easter Bonnet Parade – every hat sponsored to make a donation to the Marie Curie Foundation: daffodils on the park will always bring back the knowledge of cancer and the work of the Foundation – Ladies dressed in yellow came and charmed us and shared their knowledge and commitment.

    We shared joy at the facilities of the park as the pupils paraded in their bonnets and they swarmed to park to hunt for Easter Eggs – everyone was successful.

    The expert horticulturalist from the council reassured us that the daffodils we had hoped would be in bloom for this day will be in bloom for next and subsequent years: ‘They are shy and sulk for the first year at the insult of transfer and new planting.’ They are the native bulbs which Wordsworth so enjoyed and wrote of: www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174790

    We are in this for the long game :)

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