Please tell us a little about yourself
My father was in the RAF and we moved around a lot as accommodation was in short supply after the war. I attended 15 different schools which was educationally a challenge but personally very empowering. It gave me a critical eye and an ability to evaluate and compare. I wanted to become an Educational Psychologist, helping those for whom school wasn’t working, as it very often hadn’t for me and started on that journey by first teaching, to get a feel for what went wrong. Then I married and went on to have three children and remained a classroom teacher – not wanting to feel I was both an inadequate mother and an inadequate Ed Psych – often a woman’s dilemma I have found.
Latterly I worked with BCH supporting their bid, but since Sirona won, I have been pleasantly surprised to find them very rewarding to work with.
I’m a vocal but much appreciated member of the Parkinson’s Patient Group of my GP surgery.
Why did you want to become a Member of Sirona?
I have attended Sirona consultation meetings since the bid for Adult Community Services was first being worked on and was very impressed by the care taken by Sirona to consult all parties involved, service users as well as professionals. Listening and integrating into your plan elements of what had been said at the meetings. Senior management attended these meetings and there is a transparency and honesty about your organisation which brings a breath of fresh air to healthcare. Sirona feels to be a learning organisation, flexible and responsive. I especially appreciate that you have Freedom to Speak up Guardians, as without this I believe an organisation can’t learn and grow.
What do you hope to achieve as a Member?
I hope to inform and clarify strategic decisions affecting service users directly and to communicate these decisions succinctly to other service users. I am not afraid to ask questions and I have always found Sirona management willing to answer thoughtfully and openly. My experiences have taught me how to communicate clearly and simply in ‘plain English’.
What do you think the future holds for Sirona?
I think that Sirona will be seen as a model of good practice, to be emulated by other community healthcare providers, promoting and supporting the adoption of healthy lifestyles and well-being amongst our population. I see Sirona as a successful, well-run healthcare provider, whose focus is on pro-active community initiatives and quality care rather than on growth in the sector. It may be possible to do both – but slowly and without compromising on quality.
What message do you have for staff?
Your professionalism, compassion and energy enabled the contract handover amidst the COVID crisis to proceed smoothly – Thank you!
Please can you tell us something about yourself that not many people might know?
I am a writer and a poet. I have written books for families affected by Parkinson’s, to enable them through stories, to talk about their own situation more comfortably. I have written RAPS, including one for teenagers affected by Parkinson’s disease in their family and some in French, and stories about a little boy called Billy. I write poetry about everything! From Parkinson’s disease through reflections on COVID both humorous and serious, love poems to my husband and grandchildren and reflections on nature and life in general.