The 6Cs are for everyone. Even me, a Caremaker.

When I stumbled across the “6 C’s” I thought it was a good campaign. A good idea, something to hopefully get healthcare professionals to bring their minds back to their hearts.  The ‘C’s resonated with me in what I need people involved in Isaac’s care to have ; he will have hundreds of carers and HCP’s over his lifetime, each one of which has a key role in either making a positive difference or not.  I felt motivated to help even one person see how positive care makes a difference, to highlight the impact of the little things that make a difference to Isaac.

And I’ve got a big mouth.  Well, not so much a big mouth as one that runs off when I have something to say ; I don’t hold my tongue well.  For me, blogging is where my mouth dashes to my fingers and runs over a keyboard, rightly or wrongly.  So it took me into blogging about it.

The campaign was something away from me, separate and in my eyes, something for HCP’s.  It wasn’t for parents, carers, dads of patients.  To digress I do struggle with that word ‘patient’ ; I’m dad to an Isaac, an Ethan and a Jake not ‘a patient’ but for the sake of understanding, I’m ok with Isaac being a ‘patient’.

It kind of got me thinking about Campaigns.  One of the earliest I recall was the ‘clunk click every trip one’ for the Seatbelt campaign in the 80’S.  I remember it because I had loads of those fluffy pom pom things with sticky bottom and the big eyes with a ‘clunk click every trip’ stuck around my bedroom.  I was too young to drive (yes really, those that have met me, please be kind, I had a hard childhood) and before you pick up on the ‘but what about seat belts in the back of the car’ let me remind you, this was the early 1980’s!

The thing is, hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on the seatbelt campaign and now the printed mugs, the posters, the fluffy pom pom things with a sticky bottom and the big eyes with a ‘clunk click every trip’ on the tail, all gather dust in cupboards. But seatbelt wearing is now standard and driving is safer. Campaigns come and go, but legacy and momentum are the measures.

Isaac could go into hospital next week and be cared for (or hopefully ‘cared about!’) by a nurse who went on a 6C’s workshop thought ‘that’s great’ and took it away to drive his/her practice.  That’s fab, that’s immediate response.  If that same person nurses Isaac when he’s 18 and they forgot the messages from the 6C’s 17 years ago, then it may as well never have happened.

And THAT is where the 6C’s is for me.  The campaign is excellent.  It’s established a framework for the expectations of patients, made the invisible more overt.  Its also taken my message from blog to talking live about it.  Why? Well, because a) Isaac is the most inspiring little person, if I can’t motivate people for him then who can I work for? b) I’ll still be here in 18 years.  Parents / patients or whatever you wish to call us are the people who can sign up to the 6C’s campaign and continue helping people learn how the invisible is in fact not just visible but can create life long memories of care.  The campaign may change, in 10 years it may be the 6 A’s or 15 Z’s ; I don’t care at all, my message will be consistent.  Isaac needs people who care, who show all aspects of the 6C’s.  And fluffy pom pom things with a sticky bottom and the big eyes.

I’m also really honoured to be a Caremaker.  I hate it by the way when people say ‘honoured’ when they mean ‘can’t be arsed’ but honestly, I’m honoured.  I’m not a HCP.  I’m a social worker of all things, leather elbow pads on my tweed blazer and hush puppies.  I’m a dad.  I’m nothing in terms of taking care to people in the most direct of ways that nurses and doctors do.  What excites me is the motivating effect that showing what good care for Isaac has been, how EASY it is to do, how anyone can do it for anyone.

Crucially, for me there is lots to be done in empowering more parents to speak and tell their stories of the 6C’s and good care.  Isaac is only as unique as the next child, if you get what I mean.  I’m far from either the only dad with a set of things to say.  I want to do all I can to support the 6C’s and Caremakers initiatives not because of campaigns, words, not even because of the fluffy pom pom things with a sticky bottom and the big eyes, but because I believe in the message, and more importantly, the legacy they will create.

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