About us Meet the Board Meet the Board Chief Executive - Rachel Power Rachel has over 20 years’ experience of working in health and social care within the voluntary sector. She joined the Patients Association as its Chief Executive in June 2017 and has overseen a significant period of change, establishing a new senior leadership team and a new three-year strategy to help drive the organisation forward. She is passionate about empowering patients and speaking on their behalf to ensure the patient voice is heard and acted upon. If you have any queries about the work of the Patients Association, or would like to contact the operational team for any reason, please email [email protected]. For information on how to contact our helpline, please see here. Our President - Sir Robert Francis QC A barrister specialising in the NHS and clinical negligence, our President, Sir Robert Francis QC is best known for his work on the Mid-Staffordshire Foundation Trust inquiry, which reported in 2013. Sir Robert's genuine passion for justice in healthcare and for improving care more generally makes him a perfect ambassador for the Patients Association and we are proud to have him as our President. Our Trustees Our Board of Trustees make sure our mission and vision are met. They set and review our direction and make sure we’re delivering our objectives as well as offering advice and guidance to help the Patients Association continue to do the work we do. Ultimately they are responsible for the governance of the organisation, ensuring that we stay on track, achieve our goals and remain true to our core values. Chair Lucy Watson Lucy is passionate about listening to and learning from patient and carer experience to improve the quality and safety of health and social care. Lucy was previously an experienced NHS Director at board level leading on quality, patient safety and governance. She worked as a nurse commissioner driving improvements in the delivery of high-quality care for patients including improvements in complaints management, learning from complaints and involving patients as active partners in their care. Lucy was delighted to take on the role of Chair of the Patients Association and the opportunity this provides to champion the voice of patients and drive change at a national and local level for better patient experience and continue to focus on involving patients in their healthcare. She is currently working as an independent healthcare advisor for quality and safety and safeguarding. Isaac Egberedu - Honorary Treasurer Isaac’s background is in public finance management, in which he has worked for over 30 years. Since his retirement, he has been working on a voluntary basis with different ‘Not for Profit’ organisations, including mentoring accountants in Nigeria and mentoring young refugees as Finance Officers in the UK. Currently, Isaac was the Chair of the Finance Committee of Concordis International Trust, a UK based charity whose main aim is to promote conflict resolution and reconciliation for the public benefit and maintain trust between communities. Anna-Maria Rollin MBE Maria has worked in the NHS throughout her professional career and spent 34 years as a consultant anaesthetist at Epsom General Hospital, where she still retains an honorary contract. She was Senior Vice-President of the Council of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. She has always had an interest in patient information and was co-editor of a prizewinning book on the subject. She was a Lead Performance Assessor in Anaesthesia for the GMC and is currently a GMC Associate and PLAB examiner. She has an interest in medicolegal matters, and has written expert reports for the GMC, NHS Resolution and the Medical Defence organisations. Most of her publications have been concerned with standard-setting, quality assurance, and safety. Caroline Hewitt Caroline was a leader in NHS and not for profit organisations and as a charity trustee for many years. Her focus in these roles has been on securing high quality services for people, whilst delivering sustainable financial solutions and strong governance. After qualifying as an accountant in 1989, she held a range of positions across the finance sector for many years. Caroline has since held a number of Chair positions, including Chair of group of primary care trusts, accountable for £3.3billion budget delivering health and healthcare to over 3 million population. Daniel Hopkin Daniel is a qualified solicitor with 15 years’ experience of advising businesses and not-for-profit organisations on commercial, company law, and corporate matters. After starting his career in private practice in the City, Daniel has since 2010 worked as an in-house lawyer in the industry. He joined Becton Dickinson (BD), a global medical technology company, in 2014. Rachel King Rachel is working as an International Evidence Manager for an international Multiple Sclerosis charity. She leads the Atlas of MS project which provides vital evidence that can be used in advocacy to improve the lives of people with MS around the world. Prior to this she ran her own market research and insight consultancy supporting not-for-profit organisations including patient organisations to help them understand their beneficiaries, employees/volunteers as well as other stakeholders better. Rachel lives with two chronic conditions; asthma and hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) which brings her into contact with healthcare professionals on a regular basis. She is passionate that patients’ voices are heard to understand what is important to each individual and enable shared decision making with respect to care and treatment. True patient partnership can provide critical insight to drive change and implement improvements to ensure patients can ultimately live their best lives. Julie Thallon Julie trained as a nurse in London and specialised in district nursing before a long career in NHS management. She has worked across all types of NHS organisations including executive positions as Director of Nursing and Chief Operating Officer with acute trusts and as Director of Performance & Commissioning and Director of Quality for CCGs. Six years ago Julie established her own consultancy company and has been working as an independent consultant ever since; she is currently also a Non-Executive Director for the East of England Ambulance NHS Trust. An experienced NHS leader and executive coach, Julie continues to provide management and development support on contract to NHS organisations across the country. Julie hopes to bring her wealth of NHS experience and expertise to support the Patients Association in its extremely important work supporting patients. Julie lives in Norfolk with her husband and a dog, a cat, three chickens and five sheep. Fiona Browne Fiona is passionate about clinicians working collaboratively in partnership empowering patients to live their life in the way they want to. As a patient with lupus (a life-long chronic disease where the immune system attacks healthy tissue and organs), Fiona sees a number of different health professionals on a regular basis, and so has a particular ‘user’ perspective which she hopes brings a broad perspective to decision making. Fiona is Director of Education, Standards, and Development at the General Osteopathic Council, a statutory health professional regulator. She is particularly interested in themes of engagement, support, and community in healthcare supporting behaviour change and patient safety. Suzanne White Suzanne White is an experienced clinical negligence solicitor, partner, and Head of the Clinical Negligence Department at Leigh Day. She has a medical background and previously worked as a senior radiographer at King’s College Hospital. She went on to study Law and has specialised in this area of expertise since qualifying in 1999. Suzanne is head of a department at Leigh Day and specialises solely in clinical negligence and runs a varied caseload of complex, maximum severity claims acting for injured patients. Besides being a lawyer, Suzanne is a passionate advocate of patients’ rights and has campaigned for patient safety throughout her career. Meryl Davies Meryl has held senior roles in a number of charities. After a decade in international development, she made the move to UK-based work when she took on the role of CEO of Re-engage, a national charity focussed on social isolation and loneliness experienced people over 75. She is passionately committed to the importance of listening and involving people who are most impacted by the work of a charity but too often still don’t have a voice in finding solutions. She is particularly interested in including the voices of LGBTQ+ older people when developing health and well-being interventions. Meryl is a trustee at YoungMinds, the mental health charity. Bhavna Joshi Bhavna Joshi has been an avid patient advocate through her career in the pharmaceutical industry and personal experiences. With an interest in gerontology – the study of old age – and a background in public health, she is keen to engage as many people as possible from diverse backgrounds in the planning and delivery of health and social care. Receiving a diagnosis of glaucoma in 2016, has given Bhavna an impetus to improve the care pathway for patients along with considering the individual in a more holistic manner when assessing them for other conditions. She is passionate about using her own experience to improve care for others in all the spheres she works in. Bhavna lives in Hertfordshire and works in London. Associate Trustees Rowan Hillson MBE Rowan joined the Patients Association after seeing the difficulties patients can face getting healthcare during the pandemic. She worked as a hospital consultant physician caring for people with diabetes, and those with acute medical illness. She has also worked with NICE, and with the Royal College of Physicians, being elected onto its board of Trustees for three years. From 2008 to 2013, Rowan was National Clinical Director for Diabetes in the Department of Health (Diabetes Tsar), working with colleagues to improve diabetes care in England, with a particular focus on safety. Rowan strongly believes that patients should be full partners in their care, enabled to manage their condition with support from healthcare professionals as needed. Rowan has written books for patients and professionals and writes for a medical journal. Rowan is a Trustee for the Diabetes Care Trust (ABCD) Ltd, the charity that supports the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists, a mentor for University of Birmingham students, and an NHS volunteer. In 1981, with the Outward Bound Trust, she pioneered British Diabetic Association (now Diabetes UK) Outward Bound courses for people with diabetes that ran for 30 courses. Wiqas Valji Wiqas Valji qualified as pharmacist in 2007 and started his clinical career as a hospital pharmacist working for the NHS in London. He then moved into healthcare information technology. For the last decade, he has worked for global IT software companies who provide software to the NHS. His extensive experience in this area has made him a champion of ensuring technology works for both patients and clinicians and contributing to better outcomes and experiences for patients. Working for American and Swedish companies has given Wiqas exposure to international healthcare markets as well as the differing cultural and business practices. Currently, Wiqas works as a freelance health IT consultant with an interest in electronic medication management system development and implementation as well as clinical decision support systems."