04 September 2017

Can you tell us about yourself, what is your background?
I have worked in mental health as a Psychologist across a variety of settings for over 15 years and enjoy meeting people from diverse backgrounds and hearing about their different life experiences.  I am passionate about equality and ensuring that everyone has a voice, being a strong advocate for empowering service users and carers.

Why did you become a Governor? 

There are two main reasons.  Firstly, I wanted to get more involved in making improvements to my local community in Hackney.  Secondly, having worked on the front line as a clinician and seeing vast changes in the NHS over the years, I often felt frustrated that there was only so much I was able to do within my role in the healthcare system.  Being a Governor meant I would not only have a different overview of my local NHS, but also the opportunity to use my experience to influence the NHS from a more strategic and holistic point of view.  

How did you get involved with the Trust as a Governor?
A large part of the role of a Governor is listening to the experiences and needs of our service users, carers and staff, and being able to represent the key themes in other forums such as the Council of Governors' meetings, smaller more focused committees and working groups or in public meetings.  I took every opportunity I could find to meet with our members to hear what matters most to them, and then execute the second main aspect of our role which is holding our Non-Executive Directors to account.  This could, for example, take place whilst reviewing the performance of the Trust at Board meetings with our Executive and Non-Executive Directors, looking at areas such as finances or data which shows how well we are doing across a number of different monitored areas.

What are your key goals as Deputy Chair of the Council of Governors?
The Council's Quality Improvement Project this year is focusing on measuring the impact of the Council's work, which will assist us in monitoring our performance as individuals and as a collective.

How do you think the Trust can do better?
I think the next steps for the Trust is to spread their knowledge and expertise as leaders in mental health, on both a national and international level, as we are already beginning to in our publications and liaising with other partnership organisations.  I love that our service users and carers are always at the centre of everything we do.  I think we can improve by integrating this further into our practice, not just working with, but in our local communities.  I would like to see mental and community health becoming a common language throughout our society, not just in our services, with a focus on prevention rather than cure.

What do you do to relax?

I love spending time with friends and family, travelling, and constantly learning and experiencing new things.  I enjoy all sorts such as good food, music, sports, films, theatre, and volunteering.  I'm always trying to find the right balance between getting out and about doing things, versus cosying up at home and putting my feet up.

What is the most interesting place you’ve visited and why?
One of the most profound places I've visited is the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.  It is usually nature that makes me feel humble and grounded, however this was truly one of the most breathtaking, man-made creations I have ever seen. I literally stopped and stared at it all day.  A very magical, serene sight which changes with every new angle of the sun.

If you would like to stand as a Public or Staff Governor for the Trust please contact the Membership Team by emailing  membership@elft.nhs.uk or call 0800 032 7297.   Nominations are now open and close at 5pm on Tuesday 12 September 2017.