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National Patient Champion

My role as the first National Patient Champion, sponsored by the Department of Health, began in May 2010. I was appointed Patient Champion following the recognition of my self-funded, self-motivated campaign to reduce MRSA and other infectious diseases within hospital settings and improve hygiene in general across the NHS. I became involved following treatment for leukaemia in 2001. My journey as a patient through the NHS had both highs and lows.

A prominent doctor once asked this question of me: When was it that the patient became a burden to the NHS?

I consider myself extremely lucky to have had my cancer treatment at St Bartholomew's Hospital in central London as every part of my 7 month stay was nothing less than world class. World class to me was love, compassion, dedication, honesty and complete care. However, not all of my treatment was the same at a local general hospital whilst being treated for pneumonia.

Once I left Bart's and was transferred to my local hospital where I was being treated for pneumonia the experience was not the same. As a result of poor hygiene, I contracted MRSA. This near death experience terrified my family and changed my life; subsequently for the better.

This highlighted for me the disparity in care delivery across the NHS.

My Role

The key reasons for the development of the Patient Champion role on a professional basis were to build a continuous and meaningful relationship between the staff, the patients and the public they serve and to empower, to shape services and improve health outcomes together.

  • Prepare for a significant change to a more local approach to public and patient engagement.
  • Be a conduit of change and voice between NHS organisations and the service users, patients, relatives and carers they serve.
  • Forge lasting partnerships and build on existing local public and patient relationships to improve quality and efficiency.
  • Connecting to what matters to patients to improve self care and to improve the system of care.
  • Search for the maximum possible opportunities for flexible local implementation.
  • To work with NHS organisations to influence large scale change, staff behaviour and culture

Please read my Patient Champion Report for more detail.

The NHS is defined by it's problems, never by it's achievements and my work is never negative and always celebrates the achievements of the NHS.