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Patient and Public Involvement

Patients' Panel

Become a member of the Trust's Patients’ Panel

Come and make a difference to our patients, carers and relatives by becoming a member of the Trusts’ Patients’ Panel. For further information on how to become a member of the Panel or to request an application please contact Lesley Lopez Lead for Patient and Public Involvement on 01923 217 803  or email Lesley.Lopez@whht.nhs.uk. Please note that all applications must be received by 00.01 on the 30th of June 2017.

Documents for download

The Trust has had a Patients’ Panel since 2003. Members are not representatives of other organisations but are just a small group of ordinary people living in West Hertfordshire who have been, and in several cases currently are, patients of the Trust. They have been invited by the Trust to join the Patients’ Panel as individuals because they have shown a positive interest in its work and a willingness to devote time to bringing a patient's point of view into improving what the Trust does.

The Panel has been described as being a ‘critical friend’ of the Trust – supporting the Trust in many ways but not hesitating to act when finding things to criticise, and then helping to put things right.

The Panel has access to all levels of the Trust’s management and can, as a group or individuals, visit any ward or clinic in the Trust’s three hospitals at Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans. Good relations have been established with nurses, doctors and administrative staff, building up mutual respect and valuing each other’s contribution to patients’ care and concerns.

At present there are 8 Panel members: Chair, Gill Balen, Vice-chair, Eddie Lucas, Gwen Andrews, Pauline Dolling, Tom Drabble, John Howley, Jo Tyldesley and Wendy Wilson.


Gill Balen, Chair

Gwen Andrew

Eddie Lucas, Vice-Chair

Tom Drabble

Pauline Dolling

Joanne Tyldesley

Wendy Wilson

John Howley

The Panel takes part in many working groups set up by the Trust. These include:

  • Site Meetings
  • Quality and Safety
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Medicines Usage Safety Panel
  • Patient Information
  • Safeguarding
  • Governance
  • Maternity
  • Audiology
  • PLACE Inspections
  • CQC Inspections
  • Patient and Public Involvement

Amongst on-going concerns is signage across all sites and improving communication between the Trust and patients. It is a requirement of the Trust that all in-house produced leaflets and questionnaires are reviewed by the Panel so that they are ‘patient-friendly’.

The Panel visits all three sites to make sure that food quality, cleanliness infection control, maintenance and the patient environment are of an impeccable quality. A wheel-chair bound member of the Panel has played a large part in seeing that the facilities take into account the needs of disabled patients.

If you recognise a panel member from their photograph or identity label and have the time, do stop and take a while to talk to them as they would love to hear your views, as a patient or carer, on how the Trust is doing and how it might improve. You might consider being involved yourself in the Trust’s work as a volunteer.

For further information on the Patients' Panel or an opportunity to talk to the Patients' Panel Chair, Please contact: Lesley Lopez, Patient and Public Involvement Lead on:

07881 623 836 or email: lesley.lopez@whht.nhs.uk

Updated January 2016

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