Share your Learning

We would love to hear about how you got on when you had the ‘What matters to you?’ conversation:

  • What activities did you organise or take part in on or around ‘What matters to you?’ day?
  • Who did you have the ‘What matters to you?’ conversation with?
  • What difference did it make to you by having the  ‘What matters to you?’ conversation?
  • What difference has it made to the person that you had the ‘What matters to you?’ conversation with?

Please share your feedback with us via:

The information you have shared with us so far has been collated and several case studies have been developed. These can be found on the 2017 ‘What matters to you?’ day summary page.

54 thoughts on “Share your Learning

  1. Hi folks
    This is where we would like you to leave feedback about your experience of having your ‘what matters to you?’ conversation. Who did you speak to? what happened? How did it feel? what did you learn?

    1. Hi Shaun

      The Lochaber Community Partnership met the public in the local supermarket! We got lots of great feedback …about what really matter to them! As the interim District Manager for Lochaber, I shared my plans regarding our proposed priorities and spend for the coming year. This may sound scary, but it was fantastic and the public gave really considered and important guidance on the plan and they all liked the honestly and transparency of the approach! I now feel reassured that I am doing what the local tax payer in Lochaber feels is important, so thank you so much for the opportunity …but as others have stated, this is not for one day, but a continuous process!

      Warm regards


  2. Hi,
    I’m Gillian and do the Communications for Ayrshire Independent Living Network. We are funded to provide free information and advice to people who chose to take control of their own support, and choose SDS Option 1. We’re always looking for insights and new ways to use SDS to help people live their life the way they want, and as independently as possible. We look forward to posting some feedback for you.

    1. Thanks Gillian, that’s great. We look forward to hearing how you get on and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything else we can do.

  3. Hi there
    I’m a Team Leader in Adult Care up in Perth and Kinross. We’re looking to build on our client engagement work, and thought this would be a great opportunity for the team to do this. I believe I registered on Monday, but just wanted to check as haven’t reveived anything back yet. I would be grateful if you could check.

    1. Hi Val, sorry for delay in responding. Have you received any materials yet? We were overwhelmed with demand and have had to reduce quantities a bit to make sure there’s enough to go round. If you ordered last Monday I think you should get something soon. If not we can share some of the design materials with you so that you can print off. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

      1. Hi Shaun. Just to say thank you, and yes, I received the materials. Our Reablement Team one and all embraced the whole idea of What Matters to You Day, and I’m proud to report that on 6th June our staff asked 60 people currently receiving our service what matters to them – and received a great range of interesting and informative responses. This project has really helped us get to grips with thinking more creatively about what engagement means, and how we can learn from the people we work with. I feel that although this was only one day, there is much more to come.

        1. Hi Val
          That sounds fantastic – thanks for sharing! Your so right in your closing comment; this isn’t just about having a wmty conversation once a year, but making it the way we interact with people every day. Exciting and unexpected things start to happen when we focus on what really matters!
          Kind regards

  4. Hi there,
    I work for PAMIS (Promoting a More Inclusive Society) and support people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and their family carers. I met with a mum and asked her, “What matters to you right now?” The conversation was relaxed and friendly. We chatted about what was really important for her, her daughter and the whole family. It was a really useful exercise that gave me further depth of understanding of the situation the family are in. This mum just wants what we all want for our children… the best life possible. The information I have gained from having a conversation that enabled the mum to reflect on the really important things for her daughter, and the whole family, means that I will be better able to support her to access the best possible care under self-directed support possible. Care, that takes into account what really matters and would make a real difference to the young person with PMLD, her parents and siblings too.

  5. PAMIS (Promoting a More Inclusive Society) spoke to a Day Centre Officer working with profoundly disabled adults. “What matters to me is that the men and women I support are seen for what they can do, not what they can’t do. Working with this group can bring its challenges; we don’t always have the full complement of staff and not many of our service users get one to one support. Although our group face a lot of challenges around their health, communication and mobility, we work hard to think of interesting and stimulating things for them to do. We also know our service users, what makes them happy, what makes them unhappy, knowledge which we have built up over a long time. We’ve been making some multi-sensory stories for them and we’ve recently started to use our Sensory Room better, to give them a more stimulating experience. With our group, you have to make a lot of effort to get a small response; but when we get a response – a smile, a nod, a movement that tells us they’ve understood something, or they’ve found something good– it makes it all worthwhile. And even better, I’m constantly amazed with what people with disabilities teach me every day.”

  6. Hi,
    We are the student nurses from Woodside Health Centre, Glasgow. Today we had a “What Matters to you” stall where we carried out a small survey on 12 members of the public entering and exiting the healthcentre. We asked three questions: 1. What matters to you at this moment in time?
    2. What makes you happy?
    3. If you have/were to have a chronic condition what would be important to you?

    From the survey we found that the people felt their families and friends were what mattered most at this moment in time, having the ability to get out and about made them happy. They said that financial stability would be important to them when living with a chronic condition, they also felt that having someone available to talk to or visit them and education on their condition would be beneficial.

    From this survey we really feel we have a better insight into the needs of our patients and how to provide person centred care.

  7. Today I was having a talk with a patient in our ward,she had just had a visit from her daughter. I explained that today staff were to find out what matters to you, I asked her if it was ok if we had the conversation she said yes, on asking Mrs G what “matters to you” Mrs G said what matters to her today was that she is able to go back home to her own house and not to be put into care, Mrs G said that is why her daughter was up today to ask her mum what decision she has made Mrs G said I told my daughter that I would like to go back to my own house with my two daughters helping me as I know I am not able to do things on my own but I don’t want to go into care,then she said that’s how I feel today but maybe I will change my mind tomorrow. It was sad listening to Mrs G tell me the story as she said she knows herself that she can’t do it on her own but the only other option for is going into care

  8. Is this really a campaign to promote person-centred care in the Nhs? Seriously? Is that not just admitting the NHS is arriving 20 years later to the party? I don’t understand how this ‘campaign’ achieves any outcomes? I don’t understand where the action part of it is? I’m confused by it….

    1. Hi Sarah
      Better late than never 😉
      This isn’t about the NHS, its about connecting people and supporting them to stay focused on the things that really matter to the people they are supporting. No easy task in the current climate.
      Happy to explain more about the aims of this work if you are interested.
      Kind regards

  9. My colleague and I from Improving Health within Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, joined partners from Fife Council Community Learning and Development, and Homestart at a community BBQ event in Macedonia, Glenrothes yesterday afternoon. We talked to members of the local community, and some families accessing Homestart support. We had fabulous weather, and a good turnout, with people of all ages and stages in attendance. It felt great talking to members of the public about issues that were important to them, although a little worrying when you felt as though you may not be able to influence some of the situations they describe (e.g. difficulties getting appointments at GP clinics). Having had time to reflect, we can see how we can share and pass on the information to various services, and hopefully shape planning of some future events and information sharing in the area over the coming months.

  10. Hi folks
    First What matters to you conversations today with a group of individuals. What matters to you? is at the heart of what we do so it feels good to have a chance to actually feedback on how powerful having that conversation is. We chatted about the things that matter and some individuals shared their What Matters to them. It would be great to feedback some individuals What Matters? and show how it’s not about services but about having a life, companionship and being free of pain.

  11. My name is Jocelyn and I work in SNBTS, Glasgow Donor Center, both for platelet and whole blood collection. We have loads of dedicated and generous blood donors visiting us on a regular basis. Both in whole blood and platelet collection, our members of the care team has established a very good rapport with our donors. Especially in platelet donation, as our donors stay longer for their donation, we have a great opportunity to chat with them and really come to know them. The most recent one that I have chatted with, said it is important for him to maintain his appointment and stick to his usual donation time, as he uses his lunch break hour for platelet donation. He worries sometimes that he might be taken late for his appointment. I have reassured him that we always try our hardest to start the donation on time, I have relayed this conversation with the members of the team, so they will be all aware of this. It was a simple conversation but I felt that he was happy and relived somehow after expressing his concern and being reassured. This really made me realize how generous our donors sharing their precious time donating, bearing in mind that they come in voluntarily for this.

  12. Hi, I’m Kaye, the administrator for Ayrshire Independent Living Network. Our Manager attended a Community Engagement Supporting Event at the Grand Hall in Kilmarnock on 3rd June and had the following responses from people she spoke to:
    1. Q. What are some of the things you want to achieve?
    A. “Independence”, “Seeing my daughter in New Zealand”, “Have a girlfriend”, “Work, and meaningful activities”, “Help out somewhere”, “Learn a new skill”, “To have a better place to live”, Be independent of mum and dad and be treated as an adult”, “Be able to spend quality time with family and be healthy”.
    2. Q. What makes a good day?
    A. “Being happy/busy, seeing friends”, “Family”, “Getting to do what I want to do”, “Things don’t go wrong and have people to support me if I feel low”, “Feeling good”, “No arguments, being happy”, “When I’m comfortable”, “Seeing my friends and getting out and about”, “Spending time with family and being able to relax”.
    3. Q. What are the things most important to you at the moment?
    A. “Going to my group and being well supported”, “Family”, “Knowing who is supporting me and when, getting to church and keeping my link with my family”, “Family/pets”, “Friends and family”, “Health”, “My friends, family and my gorgeous doggies!”,

  13. Person 1 – Carer

    What happened?

    I spoke to a carer who’s husband had physical as well as early onset dementia.
    Both felt very disempowered when they had to accept social care & carers and professionals coming into their home. Nobody seemed to really understand what was important to both of them. The lack of control was very difficult to cope with. The cared for person often felt belittled. Despite his dementia he was still an intelligent person and wanted to be treated as such.
    Professionals and carers need to understand that activities are not always the answer to problems.
    With early onset dementia the feeling of loss is huge and entails loss of control, career, earnings, the ability to drive, relationships and so much more.
    The carer found the separation of physical and mental issues quite shocking and believes that Social Care and Health Care should be more holistic.

    How did I feel?
    I felt very humble that this person trusted me enough to share her experience with me despite being a very private person who is trying hard to put on a brave face, be positive and grateful and not wanting to complain.

    Person 2 – Person who used brokerage support

    What happened?

    This person used the brokerage to help with putting her support plan in place. The things that were important to that person was as follows:

    Being listened to and taken seriously especially with a mental illness such as anxiety and depression.
    Communication is very important at a level that can be understood (no complicated professional language)
    Good rapport with a non-judgemental person who cares
    Professionals talking to person and not at person, showing respect
    Professionals to accept that nobody knows a body more than the person herself

    When asked about what a good day was like the answer was:

    When the sun is shining the mood is lifted.
    Feeling stronger mentally.
    Knowing there is a future.
    Making new friends

    How did I feel?

    Happy about the postive feedback and to learn that this person found the support I had given very helpful and that it was giving her hope for the future which she thought she didn’t have due to her health problems.

    1. Hi Barbara
      Thanks so much for sharing this detailed account. Its great to see how meaningful and important your work is.

  14. ‘What Matters to You’ day was a wonderful way to engage with residents in our care home. We had some great conversations (and laughs) and pulled our ideas together into a big poster. Thanks for the support with resources and inspiration!

  15. A couple who had planned to enjoy their retirement to the full had their plans shattered when one suffered a life-changing illness and the other is now full time carer. They both feel isolated and don’t know where or to whom to turn to for help. When asked “What Matters To You?” the carer said “Having five minutes a day to call my own” and “When my spouse has a good day, I have a good day. If my spouse is having a bad day things just go from bad to worse until I want to run out of the door”. The cared for person said “I just want time in the morning when I go to the bathroom, the carers are often knocking on the door asking “are you finished yet?”….I often just hold on until their next visit”.

    I asked the same questions to another person who said “Trying to get better”, “Having the same carers”, “Being listened to, I hate it when people don’t listen and I feel as if I’m wasting their time”

    All of the people above are fully aware their comments would be posted on a public forum, I have immense admiration for their honesty and feel privileged they have divulged such personal information while entrusting me to ensure their anonymity.

    1. Hi Sandra
      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. This account reminds us how important it is to connect meaningfully with people, we get so caught up in the tasks when we get busy or the system pressures increase. A wmty focus keeps us connected to the human side of caring…

  16. Hi We held a What matters to you day for our service users and the things they said were “Going on Holiday and getting out and about”, “it’s important my SW listens to me and participates in the conversation”, ” For my SW to take me for my shopping”. I am glad to say most said similar to these and there were no surprises to us, rather a reminder for us to remind all staff that conversation is a two way process and they need to ensure they are communicating fully.

    1. Hi Gwyneth
      Thanks for sharing. Keeping have those conversations and I’m sure you will be surprised sooner or later… 😉

  17. Hi, I am a Social Worker within an Adult Learning Disability Service of West Dunbartonshire HSCP.

    I asked a client ‘What matters to you?’ / ‘What is important to you?’ and they replied their health. What came through from our discussion was him having the support to ensure their health needs are met through a variety of staff performing a variety of tasks within different environments. Support staff supporting him within his home to ensure that his personal hygiene is appropriate was important, as was the support to his local gym and swimming pool. He was also glad to have the support and advice from support workers in promoting a healthy lifestyle through his diet and being active. Another important factor to this client was him having access to local services such as his sport centre and being able to access to his local GP and other health professionals with the support of a clinical support worker.

  18. Hi,
    I am a senior social care worker in a small care home (7 permanent and up to 12 day services). My colleague and I had several conversations on the 6th June.
    We both agreed that it felt good to have this one to one conversation, all who wished to take part were very eager to talk of “What Mattered to Them”. We also felt it was an easy conversation to have as we know the customers very well-maybe that’s why they were quite open in their replies!
    A few quotes; “music and good friends”, “I am quite pleased with the care I receive, it’s a day out to me”, “This matters to me as it gives me relief, I switch off as it takes the pressure off me, everybody helps, I’m not on my own. It’s friendly here and we all join in together, I don’t worry like when I’m at home”, “seeing folks and visitors, seeing the dog-I like that anytime, I try to look my best”, “It’s very good to have someone to talk to”, not good to keep things to yourselves”.
    It was also interesting to see that all who took part wanted to share their conversations and gave permission for quotes to be added here.
    What Happened-
    My colleague and I agreed that conversations had a positive effect; folks seemed to feel valued, enjoyed their one to one discussion, it had made folks smile and they all had fun getting photo’s taken with their badges on! It was also noted that some don’t have close friends or family-we were a “neutral ear”- “there to listen”
    For us it was nice to hear that all were happy with support they receive, but interesting to see that that was not top of the list for some i.e. music/dogs. It certainly made us think of how a conversation like this on a regular basis can “make someone’s day”.

    1. Hi Louise
      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us it sounds like you had a really enjoyable day and some meaningful conversations. Feel free to share some of your pics if you are able!
      Kind regards

  19. The nursing team at Morven Ward, Glen O’Dee Hospital, Banchory have been having “what matters to you?” conversations with our patients for just over a week and it’s been remarkably informative. There are clear commonalities like “my family,” “understanding my treatment,” and “getting better and home” but there’s nearly always an individual context that deserves attention. The process has been really enjoyable and provided us some real food for thought on how we can adapt our practice to better meet patient needs.

    1. Hi Marc
      Thanks for sharing. Its really heartening to hear that having wmty conversations is helping you to think about new ways of working to better meet the needs of the people you are working with.
      Keep up the good work and keep us posted if anything interesting happens!
      Kind regards

  20. Hi I’m Chris Wallace, I manage a community rehab team in Dumfries
    We had two contributions from patients, who said what mattered to them was
    ‘ good health and my family’ and ‘ my new home, enough support to live in this lovely house with my partner independently. Its important we get to live here happily together’

    I hope ‘ what matters to me’ is part of our culture and something we ensure is key to our
    engagement with patients and Carers

  21. Hi, Im Olivia I am a Senior Charge Nurse in PRI and we have been fully engaged in “What matters to you” day. We held caring conversations with our patients and each other as colleagues. Everyone got involved from physiotherapists to the pharmacist and phlebotomist and every story was valuable. One patient story was of a man who simply wanted to go home and sit in the sunshine in his garden. Another patient wanted to be more independant and be able to walk his dog! He said he missed his dog so much. There were many requests for more information – “I feel like everybody’s making decisions about me – I want to be more in control”. One patient wanted to get better and go fishing and another simply wanted to be free of pain. We had fun and spent quality time with our patients which is what matters.

    1. Great work Olivia and thanks for sharing. The feeling of helplessness and people making decisions about me rather than with me is a common issue arising from wmty conversations.
      Thanks again

  22. We provide health and social day care services to adults with learning disabilities living in East Renfrewshire and were very pleased to have the opportunity to take part in the What matters to you day. We had a total of 52 what matters to you conversations with a mixture of people who use our services, their relatives and their paid carers. We were pleasantly surprised by how well individuals with learning disabilities engaged with this project, with several actively seeking out staff wearing the What matters to you badges to have conversations with them. Most staff commented on how rewarding the experience was and have already taken some form of action in response to their conversations. Main themes of the conversations with people who use our services were: “my family” “getting a flat” “going on holiday” “seeing my friends at the centre” “having a busy day” “working on the bikes” “working in the cafe” “getting a job” “having carers that know me well” “not being bossed about” and for relatives: “all relevant information being shared when there is a new staff team” and “being able to work in partnership with paid carers”.

  23. Hi I am Kay, and I am an independent broker at Community Brokerage Network
    When I asked the person I am working with “What matters to you?” she replied that due to her illness she wanted:
    “To keep my life as close to it was physically and psychologically”
    “To be with people and family”
    “Not to let her personal standards go, how I dress, how I present myself”
    “To keep up the challenge – not just taking the easy way out”
    “Trying to do the things that I still enjoy- gardening”
    “At work, to be valued as before and to maintain my role as before”

    “What matters to you” in terms of the service your broker provides?
    “Your awareness of local knowledge-you open up alternative options”
    “Helping me to NOT make assumptions about not being able to do things!”
    “Acting as a bridge between social work and myself”
    “communicating in an advocacy way”
    “Verbalising in the correct way”
    “You got things moving”
    “You recognised there is a balance between “taking over “and “providing choices and suggestions.”
    “the relationship is important” – no awkwardness in not taking up a suggestion. “The worker has to remember that they are on my territory”

    Person I am working with: – “How did it feel for you?”
    “Easy to talk and think about things”

    Kay – “easy and not awkward as I feel we have built up a trusting relationship”

    What happened?
    “You got things moving and have been very supportive”

    How Kay felt? “Happy that I seem to be doing things well for this person and happy at the positive feedback!

  24. We had a an afternoon of ‘What Matters to You’ chat and people told us so many things about what mattered to them, what made them feel safe and what helps them to stay healthy. We asked people with support needs, carers, staff who provide support and we also had some students who came along. It was a really enjoyable experience. The overwhelming themes were relationships with other people and having things to do. We’re happy to share our responses.

  25. I am a Senior Day Care Officer at the Corbett Centre in Inverness. Our Service Users, Carers, Social Workers, Managers and staff are very excited about taking part in ‘What Matters To You’ and we intend to have discussions in the very near future. We look forward to sharing our responses with you.

      1. Hi Claire,
        We had very interesting discussions with our Service Users, Carers, Staff Group, Management and Senior Management regarding ‘What Matters to You’. One of the overwhelming responses from all parties was “good communication” followed closely by “being listened to”. Service User responses included “being respected and valued as an individual”, “feelings safe”, “having structure and routine”, “my needs being met” and “having choices”. Carers responses included “being kept up-to-date” and “confidentiality”. Staff responses included their wish to “work in a happy environment”. The exercise certainly made us all think about why we come to the Corbett Centre and highlighted the Care Standards that need to be maintained in our everyday practice.

  26. Self- directed support team gearing up for the 6th of June 2017 “what matters to you day” with Telecare – Health Improvement Team – Occupational Therapy – Sensory Support promoting INCLUSION in Dumfries and Galloway.

    Focusing on It’s what matters NOT what’s the matter an exciting co- production with the Stove network !

  27. I work with Lomond and Argyll Advocacy Service. We held a What Matters to you event on a ward in the Argyll and Bute Hospital. We had staff and patients attend and support the event. We had healthy snacks and drinks available. We had a topic discussion around loneliness and isolation. We watched a short Film on loneliness. We spoke about how this makes you feel, the impact it has and on people, and then we discussed things that you can do, how to maybe address and sign posting options. We discussed social prescribing, letting people know what is available in terms of resource directories.
    We also talked about 52 weeks of kindness, and came up with ideas how We can further promote and develop this.
    We recorded discussions on a flip chart, we used also a box to post comments into for anyone who maybe didn’t feel comfortable to speak out, and we had some of the What Matters to you materials for folks to make and record their comments on. We got a good response from folks, interesting ideas and suggestions. It was a good way to promote discussions together with nursing staff, OT, patients and advocacy, all found the short session valuable. I can email in our summary of the event once complete? Thank you

    1. This sounds great Ailsa. We would definitely welcome having a look at your summary once you have finalised it!

  28. It was the first time IBES (Instituto Brasileiro para Excelência em Saúde) participated in this initiative and it was amazing! In addition to posts in social media, we also made an article on our website ( ) and an animated video on Youtube ( explaining what the proposal was and how health professionals from all over Brazil could participate. It will be the first step of many to come! Count on us !!
    Best regards, Aléxia Costa (Education Director – IBES)

  29. I ran two workshops with North Ayrshire Youth Council, asking 33 young people what they thought about involvement and engagement, and at the end of the session asked them what matters to you. A total of 77 responses were received – ranging from greater support for young people going through transition, to a need to feel included and heard in all discussions about young people. Specific health & social care related matters will be forwarded to North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership to contribute to their engagement for their Strategic Plan 2018-21.

    1. Thanks Sharon, there has been a lot on work ongoing in North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership for and will be interesting to hear the results!

  30. Hi,
    I’m Karen and I work within the Person-Centred Health & Care Team inviting patients to give real-time feedback about their experience in hospital.
    On the National What Matters to You Day on 6th June, I had a conversation with a young man in a ward who told me he hadn’t eaten a meal from the ward preferring to use local outlets. We were talking about the ‘what matters to you’ board in his room when his dad came in. I filled dad in with the idea of how the board can be used to display what’s important to the patient and their care needs. Dad gave no response at all to our conversation. We talked about the ward being keen to encourage patients to display their goals by making them visible on the board with the idea of seeing them ticketed off as they are achieved, ultimately supporting self management and discharge planning. It was evident good nutrition mattered to this young man being a body-builder, and feeling he wasn’t getting his nutritional needs met I suggested he write this on the board which would in turn let those caring for him know what really mattered to him. At this point dad joined the conversation offering many options on how to address gaps in food options and choices with both agreeing the boards were a great focus to display what is really important to the patient and their family, which in turn allows staff the opportunity to get to know patients as individual on a deeper level, ultimately finding out what matters most to them.

    1. Thanks very much for sharing this story Karen – this is a great example of the WMTY principles working for the patient and staff!

  31. Hi , I’m Katrina, I am a Lecturer in Nursing at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Myself and a few of the other Nursing Lecturers worked alongside Kirsten, the Person Centred Care Lead in NHS Grampian to talk to the public about what mattered to them, in central access points and wards. I am sure my colleagues would agree, being in acute hospital, talking to the public was a grounding experience about the reality of what really matters from both a person accessing care and a member of teams giving care perspectives. The people accessing care were genuinely moved that staff took the time in obviously busy schedules to ask what mattered, explain everything and “be” with them, during challenging times. A mix from staff of pressures to get to know what matters alongside, a lovely story from a 2nd year RGU student nurse who was trekking about hospital kiosks (on her break) to find Mango juice for a post op trauma orthopaedic patient, because that was what they fancied!
    We also set up stands across campus and spoke to students and staff alike about what mattered to them, explaining the WMTY campaign. Family, friends, passing academic work featured highly, as did pets/cats/dogs and time for keeping fit! All in all, I really enjoyed co-ordinating out WMTY efforts!

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