We asked each of our Patient Participation Group members to tell us a little about themselves.
I qualified with a physics degree and went into teaching in 1967. I taught GCSE physics and some years later became Head of Science and then, near retirement, I became a member of the Senior Management Team. During my teaching career, I was appointed as Chair of GCSE physics for the AQA examinations board and represented them on various government bodies overseeing GCSE physics examinations nation-wide. I retired after 39 years of teaching.
In the early years of my retirement, I worked for a Manchester-based charity which was involved in raising funds for an MRI scanner for the Manchester Children’s Hospital. I worked for this charity for 3 years before deciding to use my retirement to do the things I always wanted to do – walking, cycling, reading, theatre and driving throughout the UK to explore areas not previously visited.
Later on in my retirement I was invited to join the PPG for St Andrews Medical Centre where I have been a patient for many years. I decided to take up the offer of being a member of the PPG because I think that it is important for patients to have an input on issues which affect all patients. It is vital for the success and progression of the practice to discuss improvements which would benefit patients, the medical team and staff of the medical centre. It is not necessary to have any background medical experience to contribute ideas but it is important that patients’ concerns and questions are raised so that changes can be implemented from a patient’s perspective.
I joined St Andrews PPG because I want to help make a difference. I have been a patient here for a number of years now and have been fortunate to have the best doctors in an amazing practice. By being on the PPG group I believe, with the other members, we can help the doctors and staff have the best practice in Eccles and Salford and make it better for all patients.
I have been a volunteer for Salford for the last 12 years within health and social care. I have seen many changes over that time, working with many departments, such as Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Mental Health and Adult Safeguarding. I also volunteer with Salford University, helping our students in health.
I joined the surgery 10 years ago, looking for a family practice that could meet all of our needs. It was the best move we made. I live in Monton with my husband and take an active role in community life. I was a school governor at my daughter’s school, and I am a member of my local Residents Association.
I’m 52 and have worked in local government since leaving school at 16. I’m currently working in public health with responsibility for later life issues. I’m extremely passionate about ensuring that local services are delivered in such a way that they allow people to age well – people need to be able to grow older by continuing to do the things they enjoy.
Last year, I supported my mum through the difficult decision of moving dad into a care home. He was a stroke survivor of 25 years and had received loving care at home until he was 85 years old. It just became too much for mum. As a society we overlook, too often, the role carers play and we need to do more to support them.
I believe that there is a crucial role the team at St Andrews can play in ensuring local people (its customers/patients) receive the best service they can, not only in the surgery but in supporting them to enjoy a good quality of life by promoting support services within the community to those who need it.
I moved to this area from Hebden Bridge in 2014 and was looking for a new GP practice to join. I chose St Andrews as it had such great scores in the Care Quality Commission’s national audit of GP surgeries. They did well because patients had given good reviews of the expertise and support they got from the medical and reception staff, and systems that worked well for patients, such as the ability to get appointments easily.
All my work roles have involved improving the quality of systems and care for customers and staff in organisations. Therefore, I know the importance of feedback to ensure that improvement is continuously taking place, and wanted to join the Patients Participation Group, and encourage others to get involved in the working of the practice, so it keeps improving.
I have worked mainly in education, starting as a teacher in schools in Manchester and London straight from leaving Manchester University in 1968, until setting up my own business as an estate agent in 1971. I sold the business to go into Further Education (FE) in 1984, firstly as a lecturer in Business and Management, then in the Senior Management Team as Head of Quality Improvement and Head of Business School at Hopwood Hall College in Middleton, and later Assistant Director of Kingsway College in London (now Westminster Kingsway College after a merger). In 2000 I went to work for FEDA, the main support agency for FE colleges (which morphed into the Learning a Skills Development Agency, LSDA) as Manager of Quality Improvement Consultancy Services. I was leading around three hundred consultants, all ex senior managers or lecturers who went into colleges nationally, supporting staff to improve quality in learning and development for their learners. I became a management consultant myself, working in both FE and private sector firms, and also trained as a Life Coach working with individuals in all walks of life. Although now retired, I like the structure of working ten hours a week as an administrator in a family estate agency in Irlam.