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26 & 27
March 2019

NEC
Birmingham

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Innovations for the Future of Independent Living

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“Stop whinging and do something!”

Restaurant Tech Live blog post 1

These were the exact words that resulted in one of the most visible campaigns to impact the NHS…#Hello, my name is. The Stop whinging… statement came from one of the opening plenary speakers at this year’s RCOT Annual Conference and Exhibition, Chris Pointon, whose wife Kate Granger was a GP with terminal cancer. 

Kate was struck by the lack of basic communication between a patient (herself) and medical staff in the hospital treating her. As a result Kate and Chris started a campaign using social media mainly to encourage and remind healthcare staff about the importance of introductions in healthcare.  

This campaign has resulted in a seismic culture change within the NHS and even more impressively has spilled out into other countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Sadly Kate passed away in 2016, but Chris is dedicated to spearheading this campaign and is helping medical staff at all levels to deliver a personable, friendly service to patients, which makes such a difference at a time that is so stressful and difficult. 

Another ground swell campaign that you can learn about at this year’s RCOT Conference is ‘I am challenging behaviour’. This keynote session, which is part of the RCOT Specialist Section – People with Learning Disabilities stream - will be delivered by Sam Sly of  Enough is Enough Time4Change and Nic Crosby of GatherBuildWork. 

Again, the conversation about the unjust ‘challenging behaviour’ label being given to people with learning disabilities started on social media. There was recognition of a need to support people, who through no fault of their own were being prevented from accessing opportunities and enjoying a full life like the rest of society, because they were being labelled. 

Initially the message  was  ‘I have Challenging Behaviour’ and badges were produced to show how ridiculous it was to label someone as ‘challenging’ when the behaviours described were those that we all share and demonstrate: as anger, fear, anxiety and sadness. 

During a twitter debate, Professor Chris Hatton of Lancaster University suggested a one word change and emphasis to ‘I AM challenging behaviour’. This gives the badge wearer the power to stand beside those wrongly labelled. 

The campaign was launched in August 2017, and nearly 2,000 badges have been distributed, and not just in the UK but also in the USA and Canada (#IAMchallengingbehaviour).

To be inspired by these speakers make sure to book your place at the RCOT Annual Conference, 11-13 June 2018 at the Waterfront Belfast, Northern Ireland. Group discounts are available. Visit: www.rcotannualconference.org.uk 

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