I have worked in the NHS all my working life as a nurse, health visitor, nurse manager and complaints manager. I have also worked as a Reviewer for the Commission for Health Improvement, and its successor the Healthcare Commission, as nurse and complaints specialist auditing health care provision.
I have always been interested in the quality of nursing care given and became increasingly concerned about the numbers of cases of poor care that have been reported in the media in recent years. As the Patients Association has an excellent record of speaking up for patients I decided to volunteer as an Ambassador and use my knowledge and experience of working in the NHS to assist in the good work they do. Since volunteering I have been involved in several initiatives including the ‘Eyes and Ears’ campaign where local volunteers assess the quality of care in their local area supported by news reports, local people’s verbal information and personal experience. This information is passed to the Patients Association so that a national picture emerges and areas of concern can be highlighted. To raise the awareness of the Patients Association role I place display boards and leaflets in local prominent community places such as libraries and local hospitals.