If you would like me to write a piece for you, and/or to speak at your event/workplace, please contact me through this blog (click here) and I will give you my details.
To get an idea of the kinds of things I write, read the following blog posts:
The Five Stages of Grief
Why Is Death a Taboo?
Is There a Right Time to Die?
Dr Daniel Poulter MP, Did You Hear Me?
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: Are You Aware?
Here are some pieces of written work I've done for others.
Pseudo Obstruction Research Trust - Lucy's story (2013)
The J's Hospice - Inspire! (2013)
NCPC - Difficult Conversations (2014)
Read Difficult Conversations on the ehospice website
Read Is There A Right Time To Die on the ehospice website
Read Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: Are You Aware? on the ehospice website
Read Why Is Death A Taboo? on the ehospice website
Read Lucy Watts is invited to the Department of Health on the ehospice website
Read The Coping Cliff on the ehospice website
I've been poorly for 6 years now, and in receipt of Social Care for 5 of those. At the time we started receiving Social Care, I was 15, so still a child. Mine and my family's needs - including my mum personally and as a carer - were assessed when I was 17, before I made the "jump" into adult Social Care. We talked about the present and the future, and our needs as a family and as individuals. Our local authority approached us about a transition assessment; we'd been known to the transition team well before my 18th birthday, so the process was in motion well in advance. At first, my child Social Worker came and explained what was going to happen, then the transition Social Worker came round with her another time for an informal chat, explaining how the process would work and what it would involve. My child Social Worker then came round again, alone, to check that we were happy with the process. We had a few more meetings with the transition team. Because of the complications of my condition, and our request to stay on a social budget, the transition team are still supporting us and will do until we are handed over to the Continuing Health team to be put on the personal health budget pilot scheme. I was happy with the process because I got to know everyone well in advance and never felt overwhelmed or forced into anything. They genuinely wanted to know what I wanted and needed and kept these at the forefront of their minds. In the whole transition process, there was my Social Worker, my transition Social Worker, my District Nurse, my health Occupational Therapist and social Occupational Therapist. As I have not yet been handed over, we do not know my adult Social Worker, but I do know my Continuing Health Nursing Advisor. I have a clear transition plan, though as my transition has gone on longer than usual (I'm 20 now) it hasn't been adhered to exactly. However we knew exactly what was going to happen and when, which is really important to me. I have very little control in my life and I like to know exactly what is going on, so it was good to know exactly what would happen and when. I am unable to comment on my transition to adult Social Care as I have not been transitioned over to them, in light of the fact that I will be going onto a Personal Health Budget and we don't want to get an adult Social Worker involved for a few months only to be transferred over to a health budget. The process towards a Personal Health Budget has been made as I have been accepted onto the pilot scheme for this area, and will be fully transitioned over within a few months.
What I wish all Paediatricians knew (2014):
I would like Paediatricians to know that not all parents that challenge you or disagree with you are neurotic parents, and I think parents should be appreciated and used as an important pool of knowledge: you have the medical training, but they are the experts in their children. They know their patterns, behaviour, routines, diet, and they know when their child is sick. You get the odd neurotic parent, but that doesn’t mean all parents should be treated that way (especially mothers). When a child/teenager becomes sick, and needs care, it’s the parents who step up and fill that role. For example, my mum, who never wanted to be a nurse, has learned so many procedures she could rival any qualified nurse. She’s the one who gives me my medicine, runs round getting medications and supplies, does all the phoning around and chasing up appointments, gets up with me at night, sleeps on my floor when I am poorly, empties my bags round the clock, she does my TPN - something many nurses do not know how to do - as well as IV medication, central line care, PEGs, injections, mixing medications, catheterising, dressing, stoma bags, can catheterise a blocked stoma....many things a parent should never have to do. Some doctors do not appreciate how far a parent goes to keep their child alive, many give up their lives, like my mum has, to keep us alive.