• Simon O'Donovan

World Health Day - 7th April

"No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of a lack of means." "The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with faith to fight for it." Nye Bevan, 1948 This CST activities page focuses on the NHS, as it is "World Health Day' on 7th April.

Firstly orientate members to day, date, month, year, place and the name of our group. Next, ask members if they have ever worked in the NHS, or have had family or friends who have done so. (The NHS is the UK's biggest employer with over 1.5m staff, so there may well be some direct experience.)

Ask members what they most value about the NHS? Some ideas:

- the specialist care and treatment which is available free to all at the point of delivery;

- the compassion, care and devotion of staff, many of whom see their work as a vocation;

- the skills and expertise of GPs and all who work in Primary Care

- the excellence and speed of care and treatment in A+E and provided by Ambulance services

- the availability of specialist services such as Mental Health, Cancer Care, Surgery and so on.

Nye Bevan, MP for Tredegar, created the NHS in July 1948. It is coming up to it's 72nd anniversary. We moved on to think about how the NHS had changed over recent years. These were our thoughts: - Increased life expectancy through advances in treatments and improved care.

- Population growth and more demands on the NHS, coupled with austerity cuts over the last decade! - Increased specialism within the service, including new technologies for diagnosis and treatment. - Changes in uniform (ask members if they remember the starched hats that nurses were expected to wear, for no particular reason!) - Societal changes and different disease and injury profiles - reduced smoking, working down the pits is no more and safer occupations generally, including more blue and white collar roles.

- However, a generally speaking, less fit population, with obesity on the increase. - Increased used of alcohol and drugs, leading to especial pressure on A&E departments and other front-facing services. - Increased knife and gun crime, rarely seen previously. - Sadly, abuse of NHS staff (a fairly new phenomenon). - Different status of NHS staff, some improvements in pay, overall less vocational and more professional (Matrons were expected not to marry!) - Some disappearing roles, e.g. Matron.

QUIZ QUESTIONS As usual, we had some questions to prompt memory, recall and discussion. What are the different blood types? - O-positive: 38 percent - O-negative: 7 percent - A-positive: 34 percent - A-negative: 6 percent - B-positive: 9 percent - B-negative: 2 percent - AB-positive: 3 percent - AB-negative: 1 percent. Has anyone given blood recently? Sweden has successfully implemented a scheme whereby blood donors are informed by text message if their blood has been used and for what purpose, which is a great motivation for people to become donors. When was the UK’s first successful heart transplant operation? -

1979 (PAPWORTH HOSPITAL) What is the largest bone in your body? -

FEMUR Point to your thyroid gland -

NEAR ADAM'S APPLE Point to your patella -

KNEECAP Point to retina -

EYE Point to your 'funny bone' -

ELBOW Point to your diaphragm -

BELOW YOUR RIBS (muscle wall between thorax and abdomen) Point to your tympanic membrane -

EARDRUM What is the organ that produces insulin? -

PANCREAS What is it impossible to keep open when sneezing? -

EYES What are the five basic tastes? -

SWEET, SOUR, SALT, BITTER AND UMANMI (pleasant savoury taste) What are the five senses? -

TASTE, SIGHT, TOUCH, SMELL AND HEARING What are you if you are hirsute? -

HAIRY Name the fictional hospital in which the drama 'Casualty' is set? -

HOLBY CITY (filmed in Cardiff Bay) In which US city was 'St Elsewhere' (St Eligius Hospital) set? -

BOSTON Who played Matron in the 'Carry On' series? -

HATTIE JAQUES Who starred in the 1965 film 'Doctor Zhivago'? -

OMAR SHARIF Which 1982 film was about a cross dressing male played by Dustin Hoffman starring in a daytime soap as Hospital Administrator Emily Kimberley? -

'TOOTSIE' What was the sister in charge's name in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'? -


DIRK BOGARDE What was the name of the long running Scottish TV drama about a country doctor (1961-1972)? -

'DOCTOR FINLAY'S CASEBOOK' What TV drama series which ran between 1975 and 1983 was commonly referred to as 'The Z Cars Of Nursing'? -

'ANGELS' Who was the nurse who went to the Crimean War to nurse wounded soldiers? (She was born in 1820 - ten years before Britain had its first steam passenger railway) -

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE Which comedian used to be a mental health nurse? -

JO BRAND Which comedian retrained as a psychotherapist? - PAMELA STEPHENSON What children's game sort of replicates a surgeon removing body parts? -

'OPERATION' Who is the current and Health Secretary? -

MATT HANCOCK How much was on the side of the 'Brexit Bus', which promised money for the NHS? -

£350M A WEEK


Complete the following proverbs or idioms about health: As fit as a - FIDDLE An apple a day - KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY Alive and - KICKING Picture of - HEALTH Bitter pill to - SWALLOW Black and - BLUE Break out in a cold - SWEAT Catch your death of - A COLD Clean bill of - HEALTH A dose of your own - MEDICINE Go under the - KNIFE Just what the doctor - ORDERED On the - MEND Prevention is better than - CURE Rub salt in your - WOUNDS Take a turn for - THE WORSE As white as a - SHEET As deaf as a - POST As blind as a - BAT Sick and - TIRED OF Full of - BEANS Two heads are better - THAN ONE One foot in the - GRAVE Pushing up -DAISIES.


Just for fun we then all tried doing the following difficult or nearly impossible things with our various body parts. - Raise one eyebrow (like Mr. Spock in 'Star Trek') - Make a 'V' between your first two fingers and second two fingers (again like Mr. Spock) - Lick your elbow - Twitch your nose (like Samantha in 'Bewitched') - Wiggle your ears - Touch the tip of your nose with your tongue - Make a tube shape with your tongue - Tickle yourself (doesn't work unless somebody else does it for you!) - Try bending your middle finger and putting your hand on the table, with your middle finger touching your palm. Now try lifting your ring finger off the table. It's impossible! - Try putting your fist in your mouth (not too hard) - Try 'writing' the number 6 with your right forefinger whilst making clockwise circles with your leg. It's impossible!

-What about patting our head and rubbing your tummy at the same time? Anyone got any tattoos, that they can show us?

Is anyone double-jointed?

Is anyone ambidextrous?

MUSIC QUIZ The playlist this week included some songs to move to, which required a degree of activity and strength. The aim being to improve fitness and well-being. Some members did movements sat down.

When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman - Dr Hook What was peculiar or special about the appearance of the vocalist Ray Sawyer in Doctor Hook? HE WORE AN EYE PATCH Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) - Robert Palmer What is a doctor who specialises in mental health called? - A PSYCHIATRIST ... heart care and treatment? - CARDIOLOGIST ... cancer care and treatment? - ONCOLOGIST ... stomach and bowel care and treatment? - GASTROENTEROLOGIST ... skin care and treatment? - DERMATOLOGIST

...waterworks? - UROLOGIST

Ain't Got No - I Got Life - Nina Simone Listen carefully. What is the only body organ that features in this song's lyrics? LIVER The Clapping Song - Shirley Ellis Can anyone click their fingers? Go around the room.

(Clap along with the song.) Y.M.C.A. - Village People What were the six occupations/costumes of the group? BIKER, COP, CONSTRUCTION WORKER, INDIAN, COWBOY & SAILOR (Get members to do the Y.M.C.A. arm movements) Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees What film is this song from? (John Travolta danced to it!) SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER A Spoonful Of Sugar - Julie Andrews What film musical is this song from? MARY POPPINS MASH - TV Theme What do the letters M.A.S.H. stand for? MOBILE ARMY SURGICAL HOSPITAL Casualty - TV Theme Who is the longest running staff member in this show? CHARLIE FAIRHEAD (PLAYED BY DEREK THOMPSON) Somewhere, My Love - Andy Williams What film was this song from? DOCTOR ZHIVAGO Doctor Who - TV Theme Who is the new and first female 'Doctor Who' actor? JODIE WHITTAKER Doctor Kildare - TV Theme Who starred in the long running 1960s TV drama 'Doctor Kildare'? RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN Goodness Gracious Me - Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren We simply tried to identify who were singing this song. Gangman Style - Corean Style Who danced to this song in 'Strictly Come Dancing'? ED BALLS Dry Bones - The Delta Rhythm Boys What are our bones collectively called? SKELETON The remaining songs were for movement and dance. We got members to stand where possible, or encouraged seated movement if balance or mobility were difficult.

Ask members if anyone goes to a health related class or session?

Yoga, Aqua-aerobics, Zumba, Pilates Swimming, etc

Maybe get them to demonstrate some of their 'moves'?

Superman - Black Lace Hokey Cokey - Black Lace Do The Conga - Black Lace Heads, Shoulders, Knees And Toes - Vicky Arlidge I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor

End with an upbeat song to finish the music round.

Then take cold drinks and a quiet break in the garden, before heading back indoors for some relaxation.


Nurse - Doctor, doctor! There's a man here who says he's turning invisible! Doctor - Tell him I can't see him. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor! I keep thinking I'm a pair of curtains. Doctor - Pull yourself together man! ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor! I keep thinking I'm a dog. Doctor - Take a seat. Patient - I can't, I'm not allowed on the furniture. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor! I think I need glasses. Man - You certainly do, this is a pet shop. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor! My son has swallowed my pen, what should I do? Doctor - Use a pencil till I get there. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor doctor! I think I am a worm! Doctor - Well just wriggle onto the chair. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor I’m addicted to brake fluid. Doctor - Nonsense man, you can stop any time. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor doctor! I feel like a dog. Doctor - How long have you felt like this? Patient - Since I was a puppy. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor, I feel like a pack of cards. Doctor - I'll deal with you later. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor, I feel like a spoon. Doctor - Sit still and don't stir. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor, everyone keeps ignoring me. Doctor - Next please! ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor, I feel like a bell. Doctor - Take these pills, and if they don't help, give me a ring. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor. Every time I drink a cup of tea, I get a pain in my eye. Doctor - Take the spoon out of the cup. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor, I can't get to sleep. Doctor - Sit on the edge of the bed and you'll soon drop off. ------------------------------------------------------------- Patient - Doctor, doctor, I feel like a parrot. Doctor, doctor I feel like a parrot. Doctor, doctor I feel like a parrot…

About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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