We welcome Mike Fereday to our Board with effect from December 2016. He has been a resident of the Parish of Cold Ash for 38 years and has an extensive working background as a forensic scientist. He joins the Board of Healthwatch West Berkshire Berkshire to use the skills developed in his professional life to assist its vision for people in the locality of West Berkshire. He is generally interested in the future workings of local healthcare and is involved, from a patient perspective, in the current “Connected Care” project and regularly attends public meetings of the Clinical Commissioning Group.
He believes it is important that the general public not only have a say, but can actually influence, for the better, the direction that healthcare and social care provision take. From a local perspective, the challenge for Healthwatch West Berkshire is to collect, collate and direct these views to relevant stakeholders in the hope of providing services that more directly reflect the needs of local people.
Andrew Sharp, Healthwatch West Berkshire Representative –
Martha Vickers, Local Representative
Martha has lived in Newbury for 24 years. She has recently retired after working as a health visitor in the area for most of this time. She has served the area as a local councillor and was Newbury Town Mayor in 1997. In her role as a health visitor she worked with the victims and perpetrators of Domestic Abuse, having witnessed the effects on young children of Domestic Abuse.
Karens professional background is Education (teaching, training, development and consultancy). She was also a trustee of an independent advocacy service and a local authority Governor and Chair of governors.
Since retiring Karen has become very involved with things NHS and social care, about which she is passionate. She sits on a variety of groups as a lay contributor including Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Appraisal Forum and Revalidation team.
Other roles include being a member of her Medical Centre Patient Group, the local area patient group, the Thames Valley and Milton Keynes Patient Experience Oversight Group, the local the Public Engagement subgroup of the Health and Wellbeing Board and the local Suicide Prevention group as well as contributing as a lay contributor on various research trials. Karen is a lay associate to the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and sits on the Oxford AHSN Learning Disability Advisory group. She is also involved locally with the homeless night shelter and sits on the Homeless Strategy group. Karren had completed the AHSN Learning Together course in 2016.
Karen is committed to equality of access to health and social care and that the citizen voice is heard across groups which represent and take decisions about/for them.
We’re delighted that Dr Adrian Barker will be strengthening our board with his knowledge and experience.
Having spent 26 years in local councils and national-level local authority organisations, including responsibilities in health and wellbeing, public engagement, national policy development and research, Adrian Barker has spent the last eight years undertaking freelance assignments and on a voluntary basis working locally in support of health and wellbeing.
As well as being a Healthwatch board member, his current roles include Chair of the Falkland Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG), Chair of the West Berkshire Patient Panel (the forum for local PPGs), and Patient Leader at the Royal Berks. He also sits on the national NICE Indicators Advisory Committee and is involved with various projects for the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). He sits on two Health and Wellbeing Board sub-groups, one that helps co-ordinate engagement between the various partner bodies and the other on mental health. He has also supported consultation on the local Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy
In the last six years he has been a member of the local Health and Wellbeing Board, a CCG lay member, Public Member on the NIHR Public Health Research Research Funding Committee and chair of Time to Talk, a charitable youth counselling agency.
Having worked professionally on advising local authorities on involving the public and promoting health and wellbeing he is now keen to make this work, looking at it from the other side of the fence, to improve, and reduce inequalities in, the public’s health and wellbeing.
Having spent several years in hospital with Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis since the age of two, and as a wheelchair user, went to a specialised school then college for disabled people in Alton. From there I went straight into employment age 19 into an IT/Telecoms company for 7 years.
I gained experience not only in the “World of Work” aspect but also gained a valuable insight on how companies try to adapt to disability. I changed jobs and moved to a large International Mobile Telecoms company where I gained various skills from customer service to monitoring and fault finding complex network issues. After 11 years employment culminating in redundancy, I started my own business which involved auditing companies, looking at their Access and Evacuation and working environments in line with the Equality Act to see if they would be able to employ someone with a disability. Unfortunately owing to further health issues I had to put the company on the back burner. Recently I have been approached and asked if I would like to join the Health Watch Team. I have many years experience of health needs/issues/requirements that people may have or have currently faced. I feel that I can use my expertise to help where needed, or at the very least, be available to add value and experience to any projects I maybe asked to get involved with.