Being seven months older than the NHS, I feel like its big brother and want to protect it, and to make it more easily accessible by disadvantaged folk.
The Type 1 diabetes I’ve had since childhood not only makes me a human pin-cushion but also gives me some insights into other long term conditions and drives me to do risky things outside my comfort zone. My interest in health was boosted by a pre-retirement job in Health Scrutiny for Birmingham City Council, at the interface between councillors and the heads of NHS trusts.
I’ve twice been a carer for dying relatives I loved: my first wife had motor neurone disease and my mother had lung cancer and heart disease. That left me with an interest in care and support for carers.
Born and raised in Birmingham, I’ve lived there for most of my life, working in each of the CCG’s Birmingham localities.
I’m an experienced chair and was chair of Accord Housing Association’s group board and recently chaired a sub-committee of the Area Prescribing Committee. After being the most vocal member of Hall Green Health PPG, I moved to Solihull in 2012 just in time to help plan and create Monkspath PPG, which is the largest-attended in Solihull.
I’m currently its deputy chair after chairing it for two years. I chaired Solihull PPG Network in 2014-5 and 2015-6, then again this year. I am also stand-by chair of Healthwatch Solihull Advisory Board. In July, I was surprised to get a CCG award for my work on patient participation and Healthwatch.
I was also involved in the previous Solihull CCG Patient Voice Panel.