I was born, a long time ago, in Edinburgh, where I lived for most of my early life going to school and then university there. I am very proud of my Scottish roots and indeed still live in Scotland, commuting from Lockerbie each day.
Although I first started work in 1976, I also had a lengthy career break to bring up my four children and didn’t return to work until 1995. I began building up knowledge and understanding of the health and social care system through a sessional role supporting smoking cessation, then moved to shaping health promoting organisations across north Cumbria as part of the Health Action Zone. After which I moved to Cumbria County Council (CCC) to develop and manage the Cumbria Strategic Partnership, leading the partnership to develop the first Community Strategy for Cumbria, also chairing the national body that connected and shared best practice between all Local Strategic Partnerships in England, LSP Futures. Whilst at CCC I commissioned, and subsequently contract managed, HWC and the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service providing useful insight into the complexities of the commissioner/provider relationship before switching to my current role in the third sector as Chief Operating Officer for People First.
My role as Chief Operating Officer involves working across People First and also strategic leadership of both Healthwatch Cumbria and Healthwatch Lancashire which often requires lots of travelling and many meetings each week.
I absolutely love working for PF and share its commitment to ensuring that the experiences of people can directly shape improvements across the full spectrum of health and social care services.
Role: Chief Operating Officer