I was Patient Affairs Officer at Barnes Hospital for eight years, and for the last 22 years I have been a Trustee of the Friends of Barnes Hospital, including being Chairman, whilst also being involved in other health and community organisations.
As Chairman in a period of great change and threat of hospital closure, I ensured the Friends supported patient activities, research projects and equipment, whilst looking for new ways to help prevent loneliness, depression and hospitalisation for older patients in the community – many with long term mental health problems. I often articulated patient needs to service decision makers and for a decade lobbied and informed at every opportunity for the retention of NHS services on the site.
It’s deeply satisfying to support patient care at grassroots level and work for better patient-centred healthcare. Helping local people understand changes to NHS services has been important, as has securing their support locally.
I feel proud to have a voice in encouraging a vision for the future of the NHS locally.