What it means to be a Patient Partner at St George’s
Nicholas Low is one of our Patient Partner’s at the Trust, serving on our Patient Partnership and Experience Group.
The group brings together patients, clinicians and managers so that our patients have a voice and can get involved in helping us provide outstanding care, every time.
We spoke to Nicholas about his history with St George’s and why he wanted to become a Patient Partner.
What is your connection to St George’s?
“Personally I have had a relationship with St George’s Hospital for circa 50 years – family; children, parents; wife and friends have all been treated here so St George’s is my hospital. I am a stakeholder especially as the NHS belongs to ALL of us.
“I am a survivor, most recently for neurosurgery, and quite frankly I am so grateful for the skill and professionalism of the clinical team at Atkinson Morley and the care extended to me.
“I wanted to give something back to society in general and St George’s in particular and I feel that in my own small way, can make a difference. The power of one!”
Why did you want to get involved as a patient partner?
“Let’s be frank – St George’s is not perfect – never was never will be. It’s like the acting profession in that one is only as good as their last performance.
“However I detect a force that is striving to make this hospital the best that it can be and I want to be part of that transformation to make St George’s a centre of excellence for the local community which it serves.
“I feel that I can bring skills from a professional career with multi-national companies, NGOs, and charities, and most importantly, contribute to improve and enhance patient experience from a personal perspective – one can only truly empathise until one has actually walked in someone’s shoes.”
What do you enjoy about the role?
“I am excited as never before with the transformational leadership in place with a clear vision that is self-critical with transparency, frankness, openness and a willingness to be held accountable. They want to engage with patients, families/carers and staff.
“I am an enthusiastic participant in the Ward Accreditation programme and would strongly recommend it – mentally, physically & emotionally – it ticks all these boxes. To be frank one gets more than one puts in. It’s a win-win!”
Why would you encourage people to become a patient partner?
“As a Patient Partner you can engage with patients who are at their most vulnerable to comfort, reassure and listen to their concerns and fears.
“I feel that being dressed as a ‘civilian’ does make a difference with those reticent to share and provide responses. So my message – your Hospital NEEDS you! Think of it like this – it’s not what the NHS can do for you but what you can do for the NHS.”