The Patient Voice at St Bartholomew's
We meet from 5.30pm to 7.00pm on the second Wednesday of every other month (January, March, May, July, September, November) in the Conference Room, West Wing, St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
What we are
We are a group of volunteers who work in partnership with St Bartholomew's Hospital. We share their aim of improving services, and our special role is to provide the patient perspective. We want everyone who comes to St Bartholomew's Hospital – visitors as well as patients – to feel that the care and treatment they receive here is the best.
What we do
We work with hospital staff in a variety of ways, always providing an outside point of view – the patient perspective. For example, some members of The Patient Voice sit on hospital committees, while others follow up trends in patient feedback or check reports about the quality of care. We regularly work with senior staff on projects to improve patient services, and we are sometimes asked to review leaflets and forms to make sure they can be easily understood by patients.
Whatever skills and time a Patient Voice member can give, we try to find an activity to fit. And because we want to make a difference, we do ask that members limit themselves to one or two activities, at least to begin with. That way, each member can focus on specific issues and gain the knowledge needed to have an impact.
What happens at meetings
Come along and find out – you'll be very welcome. This is the next meeting date:
Wednesday 13 March 2019 in the Conference Room, West Wing, St Bartholomew's Hospital
The hospital provides basic refreshments and your travel expenses will be reimbursed.
At these group meetings, each Patient Voice member reports on their progress since the last meeting. We hear from hospital staff about recent patient feedback and developments within the hospital. The Patient Voice Board tells us how the current year's Action Plan is progressing. There is usually a short presentation from a member of staff about a topic of interest, and news from the Hospital Board. Any fresh volunteering opportunities for members are announced.
Who can join
Our role description describes the main duties and responsibilities of membership. Anyone over 18 who has been a patient or other visitor at St Bartholomew's Hospital or who lives locally can apply to join The Patient Voice.
NHS rules for hospital volunteers mean that applicants must be personally screened, just like hospital staff – a DBS check with the Disclosure and Barring Service is required, and two personal references.
We provide a half-day induction session to introduce new members to the work of The Patient Voice, and also offer a 'buddy' link to an existing member. The work is not a legal contract and is unpaid, but travel expenses are reimbursed.
Get in touch
If you are interested in becoming a Patient Voice member, please contact us at SBH.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020-3765-8821. Or come to our next meeting to get a fuller idea of what's involved before you commit yourself, and if you'd like a chat afterwards, just say hello.
You may prefer to keep in touch but not be a member, and if you fill in our supporter application form we'll put you on our mailing list. We hope you will still attend our meetings and learn at first hand about what we're doing.
Many of the patients at St Bartholomew's Hospital do not have English as their main language, and we would very much like them to come along and tell us how they think the hospital could do better. You may know you can use Google Translate for an instant translation of any part of this webpage.
Who runs the group
A member of staff at St Bartholomew's Hospital provides administrative and liaison support as the Patient Voice Co-ordinator, and we have a Patient Voice Board to manage the work of the group. The Chair and Vice Chair and three other Patient Voice members are elected by the members at our Annual General Meeting. Also on the Board are the Patient Voice Co-ordinator and a representative from a local Healthwatch. We have an agreed constitution which describes our structure in more detail.
Until the first AGM, an Acting Patient Voice Board is in place.
- George Hogan (Chair)
- Malcom Billings (Vice Chair)
- Val Southon
Meet George Hogan, our Patient Voice Chair:
"I am a retired psychiatric nurse. I live in the Borough of Croydon with my partner. We have a garden which takes up a lot of our time, as does visiting friends and family. My hobbies are reading, listening to music and collecting signed first editions.
"I have been involved with a patient group since 2011, at the Heart Hospital in Central London. When the Heart Hospital merged with Bart’s Hospital in 2013, the patient group moved as well and continued as 'The Bart’s Heart Centre Patient and Carer Group'. I was Chair of this group until the Summer of 2016.
"In Summer 2017 the 'Patient Voice Design Group' was formed at Barts and I joined this. I was elected Acting Chair of the Patient Voice in June 2018.
"I want the members of the Patient Voice to be actively engaged with Bart’s Hospital and to work with it to improve the quality of its services. Our members should be seen as equal partners in all the groups they attend and their views should carry as much weight as the members of staff they are working with.
"I am keen to support the development of the Patient Voice and am looking forward to holding elections for our officials in March 2019."