Healthwatch Hertfordshire welcomes five new Trustees

On 26 October 2021, an Extraordinary General Meeting was held to elect Trustees to serve on the Healthwatch Hertfordshire Board.
Wooden colourful welcome sign

During the meeting, those members of the Board of Trustees who were standing again were re-elected and five new candidates were elected to serve as Trustees.

Members of the company also voted to re-elect Steve Palmer, our Chair, who has already served two 3-year terms of office.

The new Trustees are:

Alex Booth is a Programme Manager working for a large retailer. He has extensive experience in delivering change programmes impacting large numbers of customers/employees, developing strategy and managing stakeholder communications. He has a passion for developing the skills of others and putting individuals at the heart of decision-making. Outside of work, Alex is an approved foster carer/adopter and has direct experience of the social care sector. He is also a volunteer leader in a local scout group. Through family he has experience of palliative care provided by the NHS/charitable organisations and social care provided for people living with dementia. Alex is passionate about ensuring that service users are at the heart of decision making and that the experiences of users of the diverse/lesser known services across health/social care are heard.

Brenda Davies is a retired teacher who has worked in both mainstream and special education, laterally as a Senior Manager providing support and advice to mainstream schools working with children with learning difficulties and on the Autistic spectrum. Following heart surgery in 2012, Brenda became a patient Governor at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals to try to give something back for their amazing work. She served on two committees and led an ad-hoc committee to promote Governors and Non-Executive Directors to work more closely together. During the six years as a Governor, she learnt about the constant, changing challenges faced by the NHS. In her spare time she enjoys holidays and time with the family.

Ramone Nurse works as a Senior commissioner for a London Borough and has more than 20 years’ experience in housing, health and social care. Ramone is passionate about improving health outcomes for the wider population and preventing ill health. In her current role she focuses on improving services in collaboration with residents, using excellent project management and analysis skills to do so. Working part time as a health and fitness trainer, Ramone has supported people with learning disabilities, older people and those with mental health issues to increase physical activity and maintain good health outcomes.

Jan Taylor worked in the NHS for more than 30 years as a Therapeutic Radiographer, reaching the position of Radiotherapy Service Manager before taking early retirement in 2006. She has wide experience of Cancer Service provision, local, regional and national strategic planning, training and education. Since “retiring”, she has been involved as a member of the Board of Governors at the United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust and volunteered with Healthwatch Wiltshire. Since moving to Hertfordshire more recently, she has volunteered with Healthwatch Hertfordshire. She was also part-time programme manager for The Soldiering On Awards. This annual Awards event honours and recognises the achievements of former members of the Armed Forces - especially those who suffered injuries, both mental and/or physical. Jan brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and an appreciation of the challenges faced by health services, both as a provider and a stakeholder.

Neil Tester’s professional focus is on making people’s voices heard in health and social care policy and practice. From 2015 to 2019 he worked for Healthwatch England and since then has been Director of The Richmond Group of Charities, bringing together major health charities to help them make more difference through collaboration. He also understands how the world looks to health professionals, having worked for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Neil’s personal experience of health and care systems comes from years of long-distance caring for parents with multiple conditions, as well as his many months of treatment and rehabilitation following an accident.

We have five new Trustees joining our Board at a time when health and social care are facing huge challenges, made even more difficult because of Covid-19. I believe our new Trustees will help Healthwatch rise to these challenges. They bring a wide range of skills and expertise, as well as a commitment to ensuring the voices of Hertfordshire residents are not only heard, but can make a difference. I look forward to working with our new Trustees over the next few years.
— Steve Palmer, Chair of Healthwatch Hertfordshire

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