Partnership appoints lay chair to be a voice for patients, families and carers

The Royal Brompton and Harefield and King’s Health Partners Partnership (RBH-KHP Partnership) has appointed Sue Saville, healthcare broadcast journalist, to the new role of lay chair. Sue will chair the existing patient and public reference group and in coming months, both the adult and children’s reference groups, which the partnership plans to stand up. Sue will represent the groups on the partnership’s executive committee.

The purpose of the role of lay chair is to champion the voice of patients and ensure their views are actively considered in the work and decision-making of the partnership, as it continues to develop its ambitious vision for heart and lung care of adults, children and young patients. Sue will also help to spearhead the partnership’s patient and public engagement activities.

The lay chair role was co-designed and appointed by colleagues from across the partnership and, most importantly, members of its patient and public reference group. The partnership’s executive was delighted to endorse the appointment on 26 January, noting Sue’s genuine and demonstrable understanding of the power and importance of the patient voice in healthcare and research, as well as her extensive experience of chairing UK and international committees and symposia, involving both patients and clinicians. Sue started in her new role on 25 February.

Sue said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role of lay chair, making sure that the voices of patients and their families are at the heart of transformational plans for the future delivery of care to millions of people. It’s an exciting opportunity to involve patients more closely in the design of services that impact their lives.”

Dr Richard Grocott-Mason, managing director of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Clinical Group, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our patient and public reference group has made a vital contribution to the partnership’s strategy, vision and ongoing collaborations. Sue Saville brings with her exceptional experience and expertise and we are extremely fortunate that she will be joining us as lay chair at this exciting time.”

Sue’s knowledge of the healthcare sector comes from her career in broadcast journalism. She spent 12 years as ITV’s medical correspondent, following roles at GMTV, where she was chief correspondent, and the BBC, as a reporter. Now freelance, Sue continues to make healthcare films with ITN Productions, often for health-related charities such as the British Thoracic Society, Alzheimer’s Disease International, the annual Care England Conference and the Royal Society for Public Health on Anti-Microbial Resistance, which was filmed at Harefield Hospital. Sue is a highly experienced chairperson of healthcare symposiums and committees in the UK and abroad.

In 2017, teams from across King’s Health Partners began to work with their colleagues at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust on a new partnership to revolutionise cardiovascular and respiratory services for patients. Royal Brompton and Harefield has now joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, but this important cross-partnership work continues as we take forward our shared vision to create a global powerhouse for heart and lung medicine and research in London, providing the best possible patient care and experience.