Patient Partnership Council

Patients sitting around a desk at a meeting

The role of the Patient Partnership Council

The Patient Partnership Council (PPC) brings our patient partners and our staff together to help improve the quality and safety of the care we provide. The council is our patient forum, helping us to oversee patient and public involvement and providing our organisation with independent and objective recommendations for the way we care for our patients.

The work the council does touches on all aspects of the care we provide, services and pathways.

The PPC is made up of patient partners (lay members) and our staff, including:

  • eight lay members plus a lay chair and lay vice chair
  • clinical staff including doctors and nurses, and the Deputy Chief Nurse
  • non-clinical staff including the Director of Communications and Head of Patient Experience

For more information, please contact bhrut.patientexperience@nhs.net

PPC members

  1. Alix Holmes, Staff Partner

    AlixI have worked for our Trust for almost 30 years. The majority of that time has been in cancer services, as chemotherapy nurse, manager, Matron and for the past four and a half years as the Macmillan cancer information and support manager, which is a role I really love.

    I have always been interested and passionate about patient experience and information, so I was delighted to be asked to join the Patient Partnership Council as a staff representative.

    I am also interested in staff experience – I’m the co-founder of the Trust’s staff choir Sound of Pride.

    I live locally in Brentwood, I’m married with two grown up daughters and I’m proud to say that one works in our hospitals, too. 

  2. Suzanne Squirrell, Staff Partner

    Suzanne - PPC memberI have worked in the NHS for 28 years. I trained as a cardiac physiologist at the Middlesex and UCH hospitals and after I had my first child, I joined the cardiology department at King George Hospital. Here I helped to develop the pacemaker implantation and follow-up service.

    After four years I took up a position at Oldchurch Hospital to lead the pacemaker follow-up service, moving across to Queen’s Hospital with the rest of the team in 2006. My specific areas of interest are in atrial fibrillation and end of life care for patients with ICDs.

    Outside of work I have three children, a grandchild and two crazy cats.  I have also volunteered with St. John Ambulance for 32 years.

  3. Charlie Richardson Outpaitents

    Charlie Richardson Outpaitents

    I have been retired for 4 years and had been working in a charity shop in Romford.  When it closed, I applied to volunteer at Queens Hospital which has been one of the best things I have done.   I have been a volunteering at BHRUT for over 2 years.  I am a way finder across both hospital sites as well as a patient partner for out-patients.  I volunteer at the information desk at KGH interacting with patients and visitors in both outpatients and around the hospital.   I have been part of the patient partnership council for a year working as part of a great team in a very happy and enjoyable environment which I look forward each week.

    In my spare time, I like to enjoy watching most sports, playing pool at the local RAFA club where we are top of the league. I previously enjoyed photography and developing my own pictures.

  4. Karen O’Mahony - Care of the Elderly

    Karen O’Mahony - Care of the Elderly

    This Is Me: range of jobs in early work life ranging from accountancy, minimal people contact to TV and creating on air promotions, plenty of people contact. Eventually the people aspect became my thing so I went into teaching which led me into counselling and then mentoring students with mental health issues at university. Teaching / counselling involved elements of volunteering / placement hours so volunteering was almost normal for me and the experiences gained were invaluable.

    Personal life events meant that almost overnight my world became one of hospitals, care homes and elderly care issues in general and so once I’d navigated my way through, without any form of satnav!, the role of Patient Partner for Care of the Elderly seemed a perfect fit. I’m passionate about elderly people and their experiences both lived experience, past , and their place in a society which is forever changing, present/ future. One of my mottos is courtesy of Soren Kierkegaard, philosopher, who said that ‘life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards’ and for me embraces both what was but also what is. I’m passionate about elderly care both now and in the future and I’m keen to encourage future elderly generations to be more proactive in their own health because 70 is the new 50 and people now have greater access to general health information. Practising what I preach,  I’ve always been into health and fitness and strongly believe in the notion of Move it or Lose it. I’m one of Havering’s health champions and I’m planning to qualify as a fitness instructor for over 65’s in August this year. I’m a huge fan of the TV show Greys  Anatomy and in times of doubt sometimes wonder, ‘What would Christina Yang do ?’. I’m also far too easily distracted by Twitter !

    To finish, I’ll use another phrase from

    my counselling theory courtesy of the person-centred guru Carl Rogers, which simply says that we are ‘always becoming ‘

    In a very tiny nutshell, that’s me 

  5. Kate Baker – Specialist Medicine

    Kate Baker – Specialist Medicine

    I came to be a patient at Queen's hospital in December 2016 when I was treated with a low grade brain tumour. My care and treatment from the team on Sahara B, which is under the Specialist Medicine division, was so wonderful that I took on the role of Patient Partner for the division so I could ensure that world class care is paramount throughout the service.

  6. Linda Van Den Hende - Chair

    I have spent my working life in the Public Sector, Local Government, a short stint in the Health Service and latterly the Metropolitan Police. My last employed role was with the Met Police where amongst other roles, I was the Director of Occupational Health for four years, worked as the HR advisor of Police Reform and latterly the Director of the Strategic Disability Unit, which I set up and lead for two years. During this time, I had a national role in the police for disability, mental health and Occupational Health.

    I spent my last five years of work as a self-employed HR/Management Consultant working in the police service, mainly for the Association of Chief Police Officers (it has since changed its name) where I led on national negotiations for police pay and conditions. During this period, I worked on specific projects in several police forces and the Home Office through the UK. I ceased working in 2010.

    I am an elected councillor for the Residents Association in Havering since 2006. I was Mayor of Havering 2017/8. I undertake work for the Local Government Association, previously as Deputy Chair of the Workforce Board and an employer side representative on JNC/NJCs for various staff groups.

    I am now an LGA Regional Peer for London and the South East. I have been a school governor for over 30 years in various schools, including Chair in a Special School for 10. I have served on the Havering Stop and Search monitoring Group for 12 years, as Chair and now as Vice-Chair. I am a member of Havering’s Independent Advisory Group for Police matters and the local police ward panel. I also serve as an Appropriate Adult for police custody.

    I sit as a Trustee on the Board of two local charities, First Step and Havering Volunteer Centre. I am also a Rotarian and married to a very supportive retired police office, have one son and one granddaughter.

  7. Noel Judge – Anaesthetics

    Noel Judge – Anaesthetics

    I have had 5 major operations. I have received wonderful treatment and care from the NHS.  As a member of the Patient Partnership Council, I have the opportunity to give something back to the NHS as a thank you and to make use of my experience and expertise as a patient.  I am Passionate about our NHS and strive to influence, shape and improve patient experience and be a voice for our patients.

    In addition to being a member of the PPC, I am also member of the Cancer Patient and Public Advisory Group at BHRUT.  I also a member of the UCLH Cancer Collaborative Patient Experience & User Involvement Steering Group which covers an area incorporating 17 hospitals including BHRUT.

    My professional background until I took early retirement was a 1st Deputy Head teacher in a large secondary academy school for 4 day a week and acting Head teacher 1 day a week.

  8. Sara Turle – Cancer & Clinical Support

    Sara Turle – Cancer & Clinical Support

    I am a nine-year survivor of cancer, having been treated at Queen’s Hospital. I am passionate about working together with staff in improving patient experience. In collaboration with staff and lay colleagues, I’m actively involved in the improvement journey the Trust is travelling, contributing to and supporting a diverse range of initiatives to help make things better for patients. This has included production of a cancer support film. I’m a member of the Patient Partnership Council with a remit for Cancer and Clinical Support.

  9. Felicity Smith - Maternity

    I’m really passionate about maternity services after the birth of my son at BHR in 2012, and making sure that every women and family have the best experience at such a life changing time.  I’ve been involved in BHR’s maternity services since having my boy on and off in different roles, but I’m really excited now to be a patient partner.  I work full time, so I often do my volunteering in the evenings!

  10. Maxine Forrest - Women’s Services

    Maxine Forrest - Women’s Services

    I live in Brentwood and have done so for 16 years. I retired from full-time employment in 2018 after devoting 29 years to the NHS. My roles were in support services including secretarial, health promotion, AIDS education, management, patient experience and progressing to the post of Associate Director – Communications for a mental health and community NHS Foundation Trust in Essex.

    I am passionate about enhancing communication between clinicians, patients and their families thereby contributing to service improvement. I believe that my and my family’s personal experience of services at Queen’s Hospital, combined with my professional skills and knowledge, equip me to be a dedicated and approachable patient partner. I am a member of the Patient Partner Council as well as the Trust Education Group, ensuring that the patient’s voice is heard.

    I am a mum and grandmother with two grandkids who live on Long Island in New York. I am a big music fan having worked in the record industry in New York and London for 10 years prior to joining the NHS.

  11. Victoria Miles-Gale - Head of Patient Experience

    Victoria Miles-Gale - Head of Patient Experience

    I’m Head of Patient Experience in our Trust, with responsibility for patient experience, voluntary services, our bereavement team and Chaplaincy.

    I’m aware that, every single day, our patients have a range of experiences of the services we provide. By listening to them and asking how we could do better, we have many opportunities to improve.

    King George and Queen’s and hospitals are my local hospitals and I am passionate about continually improving the overall experience patients, relatives and carers have every time they come into contact with our Trust. We’re on a journey towards outstanding and I am very proud to be part of that.

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