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Date: 13 June 2021
Members' profiles: Fran Gurney
"I first became involved with the Queen Elizabeth hospital 11 years ago when I had surgery to treat thyroid cancer," recalls Fran, "One day I was waiting to see my consultant and I picked up a copy of the hospital magazine, News Focus, as it was called back then. There was an article asking people to join as volunteers, so I got in touch and joined. I thought it would be a nice way to thank the hospital for saving my life."
Fran joined as a volunteer in the cancer centre, offering support to the patients who had just received their diagnosis. In 2002 she was asked to join one of the Patient and Carer Councils that was being set up to give patients a voice in the developments of the Trust.
Now Deputy Chair, Fran feels the work of the Patient and Carer Councils makes a huge difference to the patient experience. "I'm not a bored housewife, I do this because I am interested in the hospital and it is way for me to give something back."
Members of the Patient Carer Council amongst other activities, visit the wards every six weeks to get patients views on their care. "It's the little things that can make such a big difference to the patients, " explains Fran, "For example on one ward the tea and coffee was served about twenty minuets before the meal which meant by the time their food arrived their drink was cold. We have helped the wards to rectify that."
"We are very lucky on the Council that we are supported by some excellent senior nurses, who value our views as patients and carers."
Fran has been involved with many of the focus groups such as the Models of Care Group which looks at way-finding in the new hospital. Despite all of her activities, she still manages to volunteer in the Patrick Room in the Cancer Centre every Tuesday.
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