I retired from the NHS in 2011 and became a volunteer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust) on the Patient and Carer Council, which involved talking to patients.
I have personal experience of various health issues, including:
- Learning difficulties
- End of life/bereavement care
- Elderly care.
I felt there was a need for the patient voice to be heard - a patient’s viewpoint is not necessarily a clinician’s - and so I became involved as a hospital governor, as well as vice-chair of Hall Green Health's Patient Patient Participation Group (PPG), a CCG strategic patient partner and as an associate of Solihull Patient Network. I am now patient co-chair of the Birmingham and Solihull PPG Forum.
Through these organisations I am invited to participate in a number of patient-related initiatives and am able to put forward a patient’s point of view. I think we need more patient involvement, and from a wider range of ages and diversity, in order to fully represent all patients in Birmingham and Solihull.