She spoke to us about her role as she prepares to welcome new members to the Healthwatch Greenwich Board.
“My role as a Board Member is to advocate for better health and social care service in Royal Greenwich”, she tells us. “When I was recruited, I did not have a specialist angle, but over time I have started drawing more and more on my expertise in research and academia.”
Amanda has been a Royal Greenwich local for years. The first time she came across Healthwatch Greenwich, it was a community event. "I approached the team and they explained how they work to improve the quality of care locally - you could say I have a personal interest in this, but I also liked the idea of working to improve health and care services for everyone else in my community. So when my role was advertised, I applied right away.”
For Amanda, the most important skill for a Board Member to have is to be able to relate to other realities. “Perhaps the only thing you need is to have the desire to make a change and help develop Healthwatch Greenwich as a consumer champion” she says, adding that there is not one technical skill that is most important. “The more diverse the Board, the better work we can do. We need people who have very good knowledge in Marketing, HR, Law... Research skills are also important, and this is what I am bringing in the Board”.
Amanda enjoys meeting people from completely different professional backgrounds. “I enjoy learning from people who are eminent in their field, but also people working in the frontline. We work together for one important goal."
"I think Healthwatch Greenwich is an important link between all the different patient networks and health organisations in Royal Greenwich. Without this link, local initiatives would lose a powerful, central voice that advocates to improve care services and care equality.” Amanda adds that local Healthwatch organisations give a strong, unified voice to everyone using health and social care services locally. "Healthwatch Greenwich, with their links to Healthwatch England and other local Healthwatch organisations, can bring together services not only across south east London, but across the whole country.”
What is in store for Amanda in the next few months? “My family is in Brazil where the situation is much worse, so I would like to see the end of all the news about people dying and being frightened. I hope for a time when people say, this pandemic is under control and we can go back to our new normal type of life.”