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Prior to 2001 I was a successful businessman about to become a dad for the first time. My life was going to plan. Then in 2001 I was diagnosed with leukaemia.
I spent seven months at St Bart’s in London before recovering well enough to be transferred to a regional hospital. It was here I contracted MRSA which nearly killed me. It was entirely down to the excellent care provided by the dedicated NHS staff at both hospitals that I have my life today. I was, and still am, hugely grateful.
I embarked on a process of giving back to the people who had done so much for me. My campaigning for the NHS began.
In 2010 the Department of Health asked me to be the first National Patient Champion to continue the work I had started, engaging with all NHS stakeholders. I leapt at the chance to bring positivity to the role, and made it my mission to shine the light on the great work provided by all staff, whether nurses or doctors, administrators or cleaners.
Today, I continue to draw on my wealth of business experience, knowledge and insight to support and inspire and to make positive change. I love what I do. I love inspiring individuals and seeing them engaged and valued. Better still is seeing the fruits of my labour – tangible results in improved care and service for the many people who use the NHS.