The patient voice at St Bartholomew's Hospital
We meet quarterly from 5.00pm to 6.30pm on the first Wednesday of every third month (March, June, September, December) in the Conference Room, West Wing, St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Who we are
We are a group of patient 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 and improvement programmes, 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, ensuring that each member is supported to 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 4 September in the Conference Room, West Wing, St Bartholomew's Hospital
At these group meetings, patient voice members report on their progress since the last meeting. We hear from hospital staff about recent patient feedback and developments within the hospital. The patient voice leads and Staff Patient Experience and Engagement lead tell us how the group is progressing. There is usually a short presentation from a member of staff about a topic of interest, and news from the Trust and Hospital Board. Any fresh volunteering opportunities for members are also 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.
Get in touch
If you are interested in becoming a patient voice member, please contact us at SBH.firstname.lastname@example.org 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
The Patient Experience & Engagement Lead at St Bartholomew's Hospital provides administrative and liaison support as the patient voice co-ordinator, and we have two leads to support the work of the group. The patient voice is also regularly attended by our representative from Healthwatch City of London.
George Hogan, patient voice lead:
"I'm 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 St Bartholomew's Hospital in 2013, the patient group moved as well and continued as 'The Barts 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 St Bartholomew's 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 St Bartholomew'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 what its future at St Bartlolmew’s Hospital holds."
"I’m a museum curator (retired in 2012) living near to St Bartholomew's Hospital. I became involved with patient voice in 2018, encouraged by my neighbour the late Val Southern, largely through having had a hip replacement at another London hospital.
"Two other family members also had short inpatient stays at different hospitals, and all three of us have strikingly similar reservations about our separate experiences. Both my parents were doctors who went on to high positions in medical and public health administration.
"My first major post-retirement project became a PhD in the history of 3D model-making as represented in institutions of memory (two museums, one cathedral), focusing on the largely unremembered stories of the makers. So, volunteering through patient voice continues my interest in trying to give recognition to people who might otherwise be voiceless."
"A business manager by profession, I have worked mainly in the ‘not for profit’ sector across a range of organisations including law and medicine.
"When professional standards were introduced to The Bar, I took the first chambers to compliance.
"I worked for Professor Ian Jacobs at UCLH for over seven years within the UKCTOCS research project into Ovarian Cancer. Over a long period I have volunteered for Macmillan Cancer Support, both in an information centre and also on the inpatient chemotherapy wards in a central London hospital.
"I recently undertook a project in the chemotherapy department at St Bartholomew's, shadowing and logging the patient journey and producing a comprehensive report.
"Living close to St Bartholomew's and, with my experience of supporting patients, I joined patient voice to be part of the St Bartholomew's initiative to 'put patients at the heart of all we do'."
About Healthwatch City of London
Healthwatch City of London is the independent champion for City residents, workers and students who use health and social care services. They help ensure that those running health and social care services put people at the heart of their decision making and service provision. Their purpose is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of service users and to speak out on their behalf, making sure to get services right for the future.