Paula Grayson is a Public Governor for Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Luton and Rest of England.
Being an EPUT Public Governor has allowed me to listen to patients, carers and other stakeholders, and directly influence healthcare.
For example, I attended the Bedfordshire and Luton Wellbeing Service’s (run by East London Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) working lunch for members. I wrote this up to circulate to Governors. The next day I attended Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s workshop on improving crisis care for people with mental ill health. Comments from service users and carers were really helpful in understanding how and where people would like to be assisted. I wrote up this workshop to circulate to Governors. I shall use the information when meeting the local providers for mental health to question their current assumptions about how services should appropriately be delivered.
The trust’s responsiveness to my questions at the monthly Board of Directors meetings, at the Council of Governors’ meetings and during my work on committees (Nominations, Remuneration and Training and Development) has shown how an effective learning organisation can hear us.
I am looking for better integration of health and social care. I want to help EPUT make a difference for people, allowing them to stay physically and mentally well in their own homes. I work with private and public sector organisations and Government Departments on being more effective, particularly in improving diversity outcomes, while recruiting, motivating and developing professional staff to serve communities more appropriately. Appointed an ACAS Arbitrator in 2000, this recognised my capacity to absorb large amounts of information, then reach balanced judgements for the benefit of all participants.
I arrived in Bedfordshire in 1983, working for Unilever Research before helping create the University of Luton. Working in Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes and Essex, I understand local and regional issues. Running Bell Consultancy and being a member of seven business, charity and voluntary groups, I encourage colleagues to engage with health, becoming members of foundation trusts while giving me their views about health services. I joined in the Queens Park Community Parade celebrating the diverse nationalities represented in Bedford, as we all walked along to their fete. I talked to a Local Community Coordinator who is being funded by the Local Authority to help people remain healthy in their homes by offering good ideas to suit their needs. I talked to HealthWatch, a befriending charity and another charity which offers courses to help people feel more settled in Bedford.
From family experience of mental and physical ill health and through reading case studies, when tutoring masters students, I ensure people consider ethical issues in health as well as business. I wish to continue contributing to effective, efficient and caring health services.