Can you describe what you do day-to-day?
I joined Royal Brompton & Harefield (RB&H), new to the NHS, during lockdown in March 2020. My main objective as the membership manager is to engage with patients and members of the public who have joined our hospitals.
Our members have a strong sense of connection with our hospitals, are keen to stay up to date and demonstrate their support. My job is to keep members informed of the latest news and research across our hospitals and inspire them to increase their involvement. Collaborating with the patient and public engagement team, the research team, the volunteer department, our arts team and our charities is an essential part of my day to day role.
With traditional face to face member communication channels being restricted during lockdown and members’ growing desire for information, I launched a health and wellbeing webinar series. These events have provided a rewarding opportunity to collaborate with some of our clinicians, nurses, AHPs, psychologists as well as the corporate team. On top of this, I work on a variety of quality improvement and change management projects.
What do you like most about your job?
I am a people person so engaging with our members, patients and staff is what keeps me motivated. I value the sense of community that any membership body presents and feel particularly lucky to be working with a community of patients so passionate about the care they receive, and staff so committed to delivering exceptional care.
Which part of your job is most challenging?
Many people don’t understand what membership is, who our members are and why membership exists. It has been challenging raising the profile of membership with so few opportunities for face to face engagement.
What is the best/funniest thing a patient has ever said to you?
There is one member, also a participant of our Singing for Breathing group, who phones me regularly and begins every call by singing , ‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…’ On the days he calls, no matter how my day has started, I can’t help but smile for the rest of it.
Why did you decide to work in healthcare?
Being American I did not grow up with any meaningful appreciation for healthcare systems outside the US, but since arriving in the UK 26 years ago I have developed an overwhelming sense of respect and admiration for the NHS. When I decided to leave my last non-profit role, I knew I wanted to work someplace close to my heart and now there’s no looking back!