'Janet Ratcliffes Lived Experience

Read about Lived Experience Panel (LEP) member Janet Ratcliffes lived experienced with a dementia specialist nurse Bridget Willis.
Bridget and Janet and her dog

Article by Janet Ratcliffe (Lived Experience Panel Member) & Bridget Willis (Dementia Specialist Nurse/ Mental Health Practitioner)

Janet Ratcliffe

I was put in touch with Bridget through a Healthwatch workshop on End of Life care where we were encouraged to share our lived experiences. At the time my mum, was very frail, in a care home with dementia and was in and out of hospital for a variety of reasons but mainly because it was impossible to prevent her from moving around unassisted and constantly falling.

Bridget came to visit my mum to see if there were things that could be put into place that could help her and she continued to visit mum until she passed away in 2019.

Bridget invited me to speak about my experiences at one of her training sessions I was delighted and the great feedback from participants encouraged me to agree to further sessions

Bridget Willis 

As part of my role I run a course for professionals across Stockport highlighting the key issues around dementia and end of life. The course is attended by a variety of staff from community services, GP’s, care homes and Stepping Hill.

Through Janet’s stories of her mum’s life and photos it reminds us all that people lead really full and meaningful lives and have families that love them and we need to think about that when looking after them. It is much more meaningful and powerful for the participants to hear Janet speak about her mum and her life. Often when people have dementia they are just seen as a confused elderly person.

Pictured above: Janet's Mum, Catherine Davies.

Janet Ratcliffe

Having worked in the NHS I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in process and procedures, which whilst very important has to translate into a good experience for the patient. Sharing lived experiences is a great way to celebrate the good and highlight those areas that need improving

Bridget Willis 

Janet also described brilliantly the challenges and frustrations faced by carers trying to best advocate for their loved ones. Participants have fed back that this has made them consider how best to work with and support carers. Participants have identified Janet’s session as valuable and moving. Janet’s session has really enhanced the training day and I am very grateful for her input.

Join the Lived Experience Panel

If you would like to find out more about the work of Healthwatch Stockport’s Lived Experience Panel and/or find out more about joining the Lived Experience Panel please contact Francine Harrop – Lived Experience Panel Engagement Worker



0161 974 0753

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