Can you please tell us a bit about your background?
I’m originally from Oldham, but now live in Milnrow, Rochdale.
I originally trained as a pharmacist and worked in hospitals in Yorkshire and Essex and then as a high street chemist for the Co-op in Warrington and Walsall, before rejoining the NHS in 1994 in a clinical management role. I worked across Greater Manchester and the Northwest before joining the National team at NHS England as Deputy Director of Innovation in 2013. I retired from the NHS in 2016, which has enabled me to have time to join the team here at St Ann’s.
What interested you about St Ann’s?
When working as a pharmaceutical adviser in the West Midlands one of my roles was to inspect care homes, nursing homes and hospices and I was struck by the culture of calm compassion and kindness in the hospices, so when the opportunity came along to work with the team I jumped at it.
What are your first impressions of the hospice?
The friendliness of the volunteers and staff – when I first came to the hospice I was offered a drink as soon as I entered reception, even before I had signed in! I’ve since had the opportunity to walk round the place and it appears to be a haven for people at one of the most difficult times in their lives. The organisation surpasses the compassion and care values of the NHS.
What are you most looking forward to about being a Trustee at the hospice?
Being able to contribute and using my experience to see opportunities and take them for the patients and carers we all serve.
What do you think are the biggest challenges hospices face in the current climate?
More and more people would prefer not to end their days in hospital , so whilst we can cater for many people in the hospice, there are many more who would like to die at home, so our community programme is critical to helping these people – so taking our skills and expertise to their homes requires our staff to feel supported and empowered in working outside the traditional hospice bases.
Fundraising is also critical to the ongoing success of the hospice – without this we are limited in what we can offer to support patients and their families.
What about the biggest opportunities?
St Ann’s has a high profile in Greater Manchester – and is taking a leadership role across the North West, through stepping in providing end of life support to not only patients but their families too. Working collaboratively with other hospices can improve the profile of the hospice movement to attract funding and sponsorship to provide support to even more families. The partnership working with the NHS hospitals enables what is often aspired to in the NHS – seamless care.
Why do you think St Ann’s is so respected by our local communities?
The organisation is proactive in stepping in to help patients at their most vulnerable times with care and compassion – people don’t always remember what you’ve said, but they remember how you made them feel.
Do you live locally?
I live in Milnrow, Rochdale but have spent the majority of my working life in Manchester.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spending time with my friends and family is always great fun, and I also enjoy gardening, and baking.
Can you please tell us a fact about yourself that not many people know?
I’m a bit of an open book really, but I’m quite messy, so when people come to visit I spend hours tidying up so they have no idea!