NHS Service User Representative
How did you get involved with your local NHS?
I needed to use a variety of NHS services and it has has given me the motivation to become involved as a service user representative. I also worked with the NHS in a volunteer role in the Patient Public Involvement Forum.
What’s involved in being a service user representative?
The role involves attending meetings and reading a lot of information beforehand. I talk to other service users and represent their views where relevant. I have also participated in working groups that have produced reports which have helped local services.
How have you made a difference to local diabetes services?
I regularly raise important issues with the NHS, such as access to emotional and psychological therapy for people with diabetes. I have also given feedback on NHS leaflets to help make them more user-friendly for patients.
What do you enjoy most about being a patient representative?
I enjoy having the opportunity to find out about local services by attending meetings and networking with other people. I also enjoy being able to make a difference by helping to improve the healthcare that people receive.
What advice would you give to other people who want to get involved?
I would encourage people to get involved as it’s a very worthwhile cause and it will help you improve the services you use. As a Diabetes Voices member you will get plenty of support from Diabetes UK to help you make the most of the role.